Richards: Tyre regulations to blame for WRGB mess.

Subaru team boss David Richards has hit out at the FIA and slammed the current tyre regulations after the shenanigans that severely disrupted day one of the Wales Rally GB.

Richards believes that what happened on Friday was a travesty for the sport and the spectators. Indeed he is livid that the competitive mileage had to be cut by more than 50 per cent and all because competitors only had gravel tyres, while conditions were icy and snowy.

Speaking at the end of the leg, DR added that the solution is obvious and he reiterated calls for an emergency tyre should conditions be abnormal.

"It's been an extremely frustrating day. For some time now, after the introduction of the control tyre, we have said that there should be an emergency tyre available in the event of extreme conditions," he explained.

"When conditions are like today, it should be at the discretion of the clerk-of-the-course to use them. We should not find ourselves in a situation where we are not able to deliver to spectators, who have had an even more frustrating day than us.

"One of my guys drove down from Warwickshire at 6am today and hasn't seen a rally car in action. How can we turn round to the general public and say that it was too slippery for the best drivers in the world to perform? It makes a mockery of the whole sport.

"We've repeatedly spoken to the FIA about this and we've been told it's too complicated to sort out. We don't accept this."

Citroen boss Olivier Quesnel meanwhile echoed those sentiments and he also endorsed the idea of a back-up tyre for 'special' circumstances.

"The conditions were quite awful and we didn't have the right tyre. That's not the fault of Pirelli, but the fault of the regulations," he continued. "It is stupid, because today we could have made a nice rally for the spectators and competitors with an emergency tyre.

"It was bad – especially for the spectators. It was a mess. This is supposed to be a show and we need spectators, but we cannot put on a good show without good tyres. Obviously there is also the aspect of safety, and what we have been doing is not nice."

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
David Richards (GBR) Prodrive Subaru Team Principal World Rally of Japan, 1-3 September 2006, Japan.
Alexey Lukyanuk - Ford Fiesta R5
Alexey Lukyanuk - Ford Fiesta R5
Pierre Louis Loubet (FRA) - Vincent Landais (FRA) Citroen DS3 R5
Pierre Louis Loubet (FRA) - Vincent Landais (FRA) Citroen DS3 R5
Karl Kruuda (EST) - Martin Jarveoja (EST) Ford Fiesta R5, Drive Dmack Trophy Team
Scott Pedder (AUS) Dale Moscatt (AUS), Skoda Fabia R5
Scott Pedder (AUS) Dale Moscatt (AUS), Skoda Fabia R5
Scott Pedder (AUS) Dale Moscatt (AUS), Skoda Fabia R5
Essapeka Lappi (FIN) Janne Ferm (FIN), Skoda Fabia R5 WRC2, Skoda Motorsport
Quentin Gilbert  (FRA) - Renaud Jamoul (BEL) Citroen DS3 R5
Lorenzo Bertelli (ITA)-Simone Scattolin (ITA) Ford Fiesta RS WRC, FWRT
Lorenzo Bertelli (ITA)-Simone Scattolin (ITA) Ford Fiesta RS WRC, FWRT
Teemu Suninen (FIN) - Mikko Markkula (FIN) Skoda Fabia R5, Team Oreca
Nicolás Fuchs (PER) - Fernando Mussano (ARG) Skoda Fabia R5
Nicolás Fuchs (PER) - Fernando Mussano (ARG) Skoda Fabia R5
Podium, winners Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger (NOR), VW Polo WRC, Volswagen Motosport, 2nd place, Ott Tanak (EST) Raigo Molder (EST), Ford Fiesta WRC, Dmack WRT and 3th Hayden Paddon (NZL) John Kennard (NZ), Hyundai i20 WRC, Hyundai Motorsport

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colin barnett - Unregistered

December 06, 2008 1:12 AM

as someone who has been involved with rallying for many years either spectating or spannering i would not bother to get out of bed to go ahd pay a ransom to see nothihg.did that many years ago.dyfi too many spectators.took money but no refund on way out.dave richards is right in what he says but its too late.its not rallying anymore its just a rip off for spectators,competitors and commensense. bit like formula 1?

Porkster - Unregistered

December 06, 2008 8:32 AM

Totally agree with Colin Barnett's comments. It's a massive contradiction that bigger and bigger budgets are spent on promotion of Rally GB to get more people watching. Now the organisers have just managed to undo all the good, by cancelling these stages and ruling out the safest tyre options. The same thing happened in Japan. It's simple, the FIA need a plan B for tyres. After all, they are the ones that messed with the dates for GB, then decided to put it back into December. And surprise surprise, it's icy and snowy in December!!!! My advice is go and watch the Historic cars rallying instead - www.hrcr.co.uk - bigger range of cars sensible marshalling and the right tyre choice. P

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