This weekend will see the WRC debut its new points-scoring construction, ratified by the FIA, which is designed to spice up rallies and in particular the action on Sundays.
Below the brand new system, a sliding scale of 18-15-13-10-8-6-4-3-2-1 factors shall be awarded on the finish of Saturday, however provided that a crew reaches Sunday’s ultimate classification. If a crew fails to complete on Sunday, the Saturday factors shall be awarded to the subsequent best-placed pairing.
Opponents will even do battle for seven factors assigned to Sunday’s leg. Factors shall be awarded to the highest seven opponents by way of the next sliding scale; 7-6-5-4-3-2-1.
The prime purpose for its introduction is to stop drivers from cruising by Sunday’s phases preserving tyres for the end-of-rally Energy Stage, which stays unchanged with the highest 5 quickest drivers receiving bonus factors, 5 the utmost.
If a driver completes an ideal rally, they are going to proceed to attain 30 factors as per the earlier laws, however there may be now a state of affairs the place the eventual outright rally winner may endure an issue on Sunday and subsequently go away the occasion with fewer factors than their rivals.
The complicated new factors system has already sparked loads of debate amongst drivers and groups. Toyota’s Elfyn Evans and Hyundai duo Ott Tanak and Thierry Neuville all feel that the victory has been devalued under the new rules.
Nonetheless, M-Sport boss Millener has welcomed the change, which he feels provides extra energy to the groups when it comes to technique, and will supply a bonus to his group, led by younger weapons Adrien Fourmaux and Gregoire Munster.
“I believe it’s nice,” Millener advised Autosport. “No person likes change, however I believe now we have to vary.
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“The WRC as a complete hasn’t achieved any modifications for the reason that introduction of Energy Stage factors, and so they had been an excellent change, however then we sort of went stale and stagnant for 5 years.
“This can be a huge change, however I believe it has introduced in much more technique.
“It’s most likely a slight benefit for us with our line-up. We will have a powerful Friday and Saturday, possibly from an advantageous street place, after which we will reassess on Saturday night time and possibly we don’t have to push as laborious on Sunday.
“Beforehand, up to now, for those who had been in place on Saturday night time you may have been overtaken on the Sunday and you’ll be fearful about that. You don’t have to fret as a lot as a result of so long as you end, you’ve factors from the day earlier than.
“There’s extra technique from the groups as a result of for the time being it is extremely a lot driver-related, which is nice however group sports activities work when the entire group is concerned. I believe it is a actually good step.
“I nonetheless really feel it is a comparatively simple system to know. Sure, the general winner of the rally may not have the identical quantity of factors, however the driver will nonetheless be the general winner.”
As beforehand reported, the FIA has acknowledged that “the influence of the modifications to the factors system shall be reviewed and monitored over the course of the upcoming season to permit for changes wherever vital”.
Whereas Millener is in favour of the change to the points-scoring system, he believes that is one in every of a number of modifications that have to be undertaken to maintain the WRC shifting ahead.
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“It isn’t the one one we have to make. We have to preserve growing and we’d like a change annually at the very least,” he added.
“I do know the objective of the FIA and the WRC Promoter is to have a powerful deal with the place we’re going sooner or later.
“Rallying has had a tough time over the past 12 months, a few of it justified, some unjustified, however it’s troublesome to provide the complete reasoning to the followers as a result of we’re working to verify now we have this future and safety going ahead.
“I hope the factors system goes to point out that. I do know there are some sceptics, however like I say change is an efficient factor.”