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Champion hits out at tyre rules.

Sebastien Loeb has become the latest person to hit out at the WRC tyre regulations following his maiden win on Wales Rally GB.

Loeb came out on top of a three-day long battle with Jari-Matti Latvala to secure an eleventh win of the season but was faced with some of the most challenging conditions of the year after the Welsh event was hit by icy conditions throughout.

Those conditions led to much of the first day of running being canned, with the competitive mileage being reduced and two stages being cancelled altogether.

It led to calls in the service park for a change in the regulations to provide an emergency tyre, with Subaru team boss David Richards and Loeb's Citroen boss Olivier Quesnel both claiming that the situation on day one could have been avoided if a different tyre had been available rather than just the Pirelli control tyre.

Speaking after the event had drawn to a close, Loeb said he was already focused on fighting for a sixth title when the 2009 campaign kicks off in Ireland, but warned that the regulations needed to be examined over the short off-season break.

"Sure, I am looking forward," he said. "My goal is to win another title. I will try to get six! We will see. There will be some good fights but we need to look at the regulations.

"In most of the rallies it worked okay to have a hard tyre but in a rally like here you have no cuts, no tyre choice, no gravel crews, no information of the condition of the stages and for me it is getting more dangerous. I understand it is a question of reducing cost but when you see Chris Atkinson's crash I am quite sure that had he had a gravel crew and cut tyres he wouldn't have crashed. He was aquaplaning on the mud. I think it would be cheaper to have a gravel crew rather than a totally destroyed car.

"We always speak about safety, and this is going the wrong way. I hope for next year, and especially for Ireland, we will be allowed to cut the tyres if it is raining very hard.

"Like this, as it is now, it is completely wrong."


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rich ard

December 08, 2008 1:48 PM

dafydd, in a way i agree with you. the rally was moved into december, and the poor conditons should have been expected. when it was earlier, i always asociated the rally with the onset of icy/snowy conditions. i do think that the drivers should be able to drive on a suitable all-weather tyre, but if the tyre manufacturer does not provide such a tyre, then a rethink is required. maybe an emergency tyre as you suggest, and available to all.

Dafydd Larcombe - Unregistered

December 08, 2008 12:34 PM

I totaly agree with Richards and Quesnel/Loeb, there should be an emergency tire, GB and Argentina saw crews on the "wrong tires". I think there could be a super short stud for "icy conditions only" so we dont wreck the gravel stages, maybe like Canadians have on "winter road car tires". The reason by the way that Hafren 1 and 2 was cancelled was apparently because the safety cars couldnt get through. I cant help wondering how we managed in 1988/1993 and 1996 when we had snow/Ice. The event should of been better prepared. Also I think that the F.I.A need to re think the majority of todays WRC rules, Its my opinion that they are choking our beloved sport and its making us look silly at times.



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