Shakedown qualifying for WRC gets green light, format confirmed

The regulations applicable to Shakedown Qualifying for P1 and P2 drivers on gravel rallies only have been agreed, confirms the FIA.
The World Rally Championship will adopt 'shakedown qualifying' for all gravel events from 2012, it has been announced.

The decision was ratified following a meeting of the FIA's World Motor Sport Council in Singapore on Thursday. The WMSC also clarified the format it will take for all priority one and priority two drivers.

“A two-hour window will be allocated for free practice, during which drivers will be permitted a maximum of two passes over the Qualifying Stage,” the FIA explained.

“Running in the order of the Championship classification, drivers will then be permitted one Qualifying run.

“Taking into account the stage times, P1 and P2 crews - in order of fastest to slowest - will then select their start positions. Any driver not completing the Qualifying Stage will choose their position last.

“On subsequent days, all Priority 1 and 2 crews will restart in reverse order of their provisional overall classification.”

Currently the order on the first day is set by championship position - something that penalises the drivers' at the top of the championship, while the order for days two and three is based on the overall classification at the end of the previous legs. This has led to 'go slow' tactics at the end of the first and second days, with drivers deliberately backing off and sacrificing positions in the final stage to avoid losing time 'sweeping' the road the next day.

Meanwhile, in a separate development, the WMSC has revealed that the SupeRally format may not be used on all rounds next season.

“From 1 January 2012 organisers of WRC events will be allowed to specify whether cars are permitted to re-start after retirement,” the FIA added.

“As the WRC seeks to move into new territories, it is recognised that a more flexible approach is required in order to fit in with local infrastructures.”

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Morrie Chandler (NZL) president of the FIA`s World Rally Championship Commission
Michele Mouton (FRA) manager of the FIA World Rally Championship

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Dafydd Larcombe - Unregistered

September 23, 2011 1:53 PM

I think that in the interest of the spectators Super Rally should continue, but those using Super Rally should sweep the road on the remining days of the Rally as penalty for retiring Also they should be allowed to re join at the earliest opportunity only taking a time 5 minutes slower than the fastest time for every stage not completed This will add value for spectators who can only get to see one day of a particular event and for example may other wise miss the driver who has retired from that morning The Sport needs more cars on the stages, this is also in the Sponsors interest, if a driver retires on the 1st stage a sponsor will be very Unhappy, but if he re joins at least that sponsor is getting coverage

Grant - Unregistered

September 23, 2011 12:09 PM

How is giving people a random position fair? That just makes it a lottery. At least with a qualifying run, it is based on skill, performance etc. Nothing 'mickey mouse' about that to me.

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