The FIA's World Motor Sport Council has announced that a bonus point system will be implemented in the World Rally Championship next season.
The announcement was the big WRC news to come out of the latest meeting of the WMSC in Paris yesterday [Wednesday] and will result in three drivers getting the chance to add to their championship tally on each event.
Every round of the season will feature a stage on the final day which will be used 'for the purpose of enhancing television coverage', with the top three drivers scoring points on the scale of 3-2-1.
Speaking ahead of Rally Japan this weekend, both Sebastien Loeb
and Jari-Matti Latvala
backed the move, although Latvala said he felt the running order for the live test would need to be changed.
“I think it's a great idea,” he said. “We need more live TV, for the audience it's good. But for the points, if you are in the lead and opening the road, then you have no chance to get those [live TV stage] points. If we do this then we should reverse the order like we did in Finland for the last stage.”
“I think to have points, if it brings some TV, why not?” Loeb added. “At the moment, the rally doesn't need more points but it needs more media – if it's the right solution, why not?”
Amongst other changes, a two-wheel drive class will be introduced into the Production World Rally Championship while new engine rules will see top teams only allowed to use two engines per car from the fifth round onwards.
As a result, teams will hope that any issues with the new 1.6-litre turbo-charged engines are resolved quickly at the start of the year.