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Friday, June 14, 2024

WRC drivers again “extra intense” dash format trial

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The WRC is conducting a trial of a brand new shorter format on the Italian Island gravel rally, which it hopes might provide occasion organisers extra flexibility and assist enhance the championship’s promotion. A transfer to fluctuate occasion codecs, to incorporate endurance and dash rallies from subsequent season, is a key a part of the WRC and the FIA’s future imaginative and prescient for top-level rallying.

This weekend crews will contest a 16-stage rally protecting 54 kilometres lower than final yr’s Rally Sardinia, which will probably be accomplished inside a 48-hour window.

Shakedown was held on Friday morning forward of 4 levels [two passes through a loop of two stages] throughout the afternoon. Saturday will comprise eight levels, punctuated by a tyre becoming zone as a substitute of a service, earlier than 4 extra levels on Sunday morning.

Talking forward of the rally, the drivers have largely supported the WRC’s new format. Eight-time world champion Sebastien Ogier says he’s “satisfied” it may work however believes there could possibly be some tweaks made to additional enhance it. 

“Truthfully, I prefer it,” Ogier instructed Autosport. “It’s also not excellent, however it a primary attempt.

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“The thought of first and second go of levels in the identical loop shouldn’t be perfect with the chance that stage might change into blocked. That’s not optimum.

“I’m satisfied that it could possibly be a very good format. I like that there’s some organiser making an attempt this.

“It doesn’t change how we do the race. For certain, there are much less kilometres, so there’s perhaps much less alternatives and fewer room for having any concern. To get well from a difficulty on a brief rally is almost unattainable.”

Sébastien Ogier, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT

Photograph by: McKlein / Motorsport Images

Hyundai’s Ott Tanak believes the brand new format might create a extra intense competitors, with crews now anticipated to hit the bottom working from the beginning.

“I might say it’s principally altering the Friday with half a day now, and it is vitally vital for the street place for the remainder of the rally,” he stated.

“Clearly right here the street place is essential, so we have to be within the rhythm instantly. In some methods, for certain extra intense.

“It’s clearly very busy; there isn’t any free time in any respect with very quick nights. It’s not simple, however it’s bit extra thrilling most likely.”

It’s a view echoed by the championship chief Thierry Neuville, who feels the WRC might go even additional and make some occasions even shorter sooner or later.

“Timing-wise, as soon as it begins, it will likely be extra intense for us,” Neuville instructed Autosport. “However genuinely over the week thus far, it has been fairly good.

“I’ve all the time stated that we want longer occasions and shorter occasions.

“We’d like a little bit of combine and a few story telling; so we have to create a six- or seven-day Safari and three- or four-day Monte Carlo. That’s what the WRC wants, after which shorter dash occasions like right here. We might even do Friday afternoon after which a protracted Saturday and that’s it.”

Thierry Neuville, Martijn Wydaeghe, Hyundai World Rally Team Hyundai i20 N Rally1

Thierry Neuville, Martijn Wydaeghe, Hyundai World Rally Staff Hyundai i20 N Rally1

Photograph by: McKlein / Motorsport Images

Whereas the core thought behind the trial is enhance promotion of the championship, a shorter format gives groups a component of cost-saving too, in response to M-Sport crew principal Richard Millener.

“The shorter format is one thing all of us needed on chosen rallies and I’m in favour of it,” he stated.

“It will likely be attention-grabbing to see, so let’s see the way it works in actuality. I don’t assume we must be vital till we have now completed it.

“It’s not large, however it’s cost-saving with resort nights and flights. Individuals will argue that it creates much less income to the world, however I might argue again and say if we are able to promote and construct the game so it’s greater, then we may have extra spectators.

“The price is de facto having additional individuals within the workshop for a day, which helps, but additionally the flexibleness to perhaps permit extra occasions into the calendar by being a manner for barely much less time.

“The price saving isn’t large, however it’s simply the begin to discover methods to be extra environment friendly.”

Watch: Rally Italia Sardegna shakedown highlights



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