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Airikkala warns: Rotation a bad idea.

by Rob Wilkins


1989 RAC winner Pentti Airikkala has slammed the decision to start 'rotating' World Rally Championship events from 2009 - and has warned that it is going to be a 'total mess'.

Under the new proposals, which come into force next season, each round in the WRC will take place once every two calendar years. Already this has led to the loss of the legendary Monte Carlo Rally - one of the most prestigious and well-known rallies in the world, which will now form the opening round in the 2009 Intercontinental Rally Challenge.

It also means there will be no Rallye de France-Tour de Corse in '09, while in 2010 - provisionally at least, there is no Wales Rally GB, no Neste Rally Finland or no Acropolis Rally of Greece.

Airikkala is convinced this has nothing to do with what is good for the sport and implied that it is being done for ulterior motives: "It has been tried before and it was a total mess. It will be the same this time," he told Crash.net Radio last month at the Castle Combe Rallyday.

"Why don't we support the events that are doing well and then let them stay on the calendar? It is all political and that is why they are rotating them. It is basically because [FIA president] Max Mosley wants to have various countries in so they will vote for him - and one way to do that is to say: 'I will give you a WRC event'. All kinds of countries are coming up - but it is not good for the sport."

As for the future, Airikkala has a clear vision on how he would like the WRC to develop, not that he thinks it will happen: "The answer is easy - just go to rear-wheel drive cars [again] - the only problem is it will be too popular then," he continued.

"The cars would go sideways and there would be too many people wanting to watch it and then you would have a crowd problem. But that is a small issue to deal with.

"You can imagine if you have three-litre engines and normally aspirated - the engines will make a lovely noise. None of these turbo charged noises. It would be great.

"The big problem with four-wheel drive cars is that the engine power is so important. The more power you have the better results you can get. But that is not the case with rear-wheel drive. If you have 300 horsepower, that is enough, more than enough, to put down the traction.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Pentti Airikkala [Pic credit: Marcus Mullens]
12.02.2017 - 1st place Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN)-Miikka Anttila (FIN) Toyota Yaris WRC, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT, 2nd place Ott Tanak (EAU)-Martin Jarveoja (EST),Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team and 3rd place Sébastien Ogier (FRA)-Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - 1st place Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN)-Miikka Anttila (FIN) Toyota Yaris WRC, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT, 2nd place Ott Tanak (EAU)-Martin Jarveoja (EST),Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team and 3rd place Sébastien Ogier (FRA)-Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - Jukka KETOMÄKI (FIN) - Jarkko ALANEN (FIN) Skoda Fabia R5
12.02.2017 - Gus GREENSMITH (GBR) - Craig PARRY (GBR) Ford Fiesta R5
12.02.2017 - Gus GREENSMITH (GBR) - Craig PARRY (GBR) Ford Fiesta R5
12.02.2017 - Hiroki ARAI (JPN) - Glenn MACNEALL (AUS) Ford Fiesta R5, Tommi Mäkinen Racing
12.02.2017 - Alexey LUKYANUK (RUS) - Alexey ARNAUTOV (RUS) Ford Fiesta R5
12.02.2017 - Eric Camilli (FRA)-Benjamin Veillas (FRA) Ford Fiesta, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - Eric Camilli (FRA)-Benjamin Veillas (FRA) Ford Fiesta, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - Eric Camilli (FRA)-Benjamin Veillas (FRA) Ford Fiesta, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - Emil BERGKVIST (SWE) - Joakim SJÖBERG (SWE) Citroën DS3 R5
12.02.2017 - Emil BERGKVIST (SWE)  Citroën DS3 R5
12.02.2017 - Jarosław KOLTUN (POL) - Ireneusz PLESKOT (POL) Ford Fiesta R5, C‐Rally
12.02.2017 - Eyvind BRYNILDSEN (NOR) - Anders FREDRIKSSON (SWE) Ford Fiesta R5 Adapta Motorsport AS
12.02.2017 - Ole Christian VEIBY (NOR) Skoda Fabia R5, Printsport
12.02.2017 - Ole Christian VEIBY (NOR) - Stig Rune SKJÆRMOEN (NOR) Skoda Fabia R5, Printsport
12.02.2017 - Ole Christian VEIBY (NOR) - Stig Rune SKJÆRMOEN (NOR) Skoda Fabia R5, Printsport

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