There will be 12 events next year and in 2010 - provisionally - are you happy with the rotation plan that comes into effect in 2009?
I think what all the manufacturers want to see is the events in the right car markets that have the right market value. The 2009 calendar everybody accepts and obviously there are still question marks over 2010 because there are some events in there that maybe won't run and maybe won't pass the FIA safety standards. But I think from our perspective what we would very much like to see is a core of events that reflect the traditional values of the championship and are in the right markets. Also there needs to be the opportunity to bring in new events in important car markets. Again I think all the teams have made it clear that is what they would like to see in the longer term. The idea of 12 and 12 we didn't feel worked particularly well, simply because there are not 24 events out there that are going to be right for the manufacturers' and the marketing of the championship.
Final question, the WRC still hasn't got a global promoter and as far as I know, the future regulations still need to be hammered out as well. What progress is being made on both of those fronts?
Obviously the global promoter has gone out to tender now and the tenders have closed. The ISC, who are the current media rights holder, we believe have put themselves forward and we feel they would be a good partner for that. Hopefully we will see an announcement certainly before the Rally Ireland as to who the global promoter will be and that can then move the championship forward.
What about the future regulations?
Again all the teams and all the manufacturers have worked very closely with the FIA for many months now. We feel that the format and the template that has been produced with the kit to give you a Super 2000 plus car or Group N plus car fulfils the marketing requirements for the manufacturers' and is absolutely the right way to go. We very much hope that the FIA will sign that off shortly.
Will that cut costs?
Yeah it will do - but it is important to get the right balance there. It is not only about the absolute cost of producing a car. It is about the costs of running the car too. The direction we have gone over the last few years, with multiple use of engines and transmissions and so on, is very important - it is critical to retain that. It makes a big difference to the overall cost of operating. It is not just about the initial cost of the car. It is about the cost of running it too.
by Rob Wilkins
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