The FIA World Rally Championship looks set for more upheaval in 2005, despite a number of revolutionary changes already being in place for the coming season, which starts with next week's Monte Carlo Rally.

According to reports in the media, a number of new measures could be introduced next year, following a meeting of the World Rally Commission in London on Wednesday.

The proposals, which will be put to the FIA's World Motor Sport Council in March, include allowing a driver to re-join the event the next day after 'retirement', and rewarding points based on the finishing positions of each of the three days.

A statement obtained by BBC Sport Online and Reuters explained:

"There will therefore be 16 - three-day - events [in 2005 and beyond], each with its own winner, second, third etc, but the world championship will be decided on the results of 48 separate days of competition."

Currently, if a driver retires on day one or two, then that is it. However, the new proposals could radically alter the sport should they be rubber-stamped.

FIA president Max Mosley put forward this suggestion last year, and he was chair at the meeting on Wednesday.

Other ideas include scrapping the 'Mille Pistes' concept [only introduced this year], and replacing it with a two-day reconnaissance followed by the normal three days of rally action, with normal rally cars being used throughout [ie instead of gravel crews for the reconnaissance].

This year, organisers can apply to the FIA to avoid the 'Mille Pistes' system.

The World Rally Commission also put forward proposals that WRC events should never clash with Formula One - a situation that, in recent years at least, hasn't occurred anyway.

Further proposals include trying to cut costs by standardising certain components, such as turbochargers, and limiting tyres. Although the latter option wasn't popular, Mosley may push through change on the grounds of safety. Increasing speeds mean that limiting tyres is an effective, if crude, measure of cutting velocity, as has been witnessed in F1 with grooved tyres.

Mosley told British newspaper The Guardian: "What I fear is that, if we don't get the costs down, we're going to start losing more manufacturers."

Skoda and Hyundai have both withdrawn from the sport this year, and Ford also seriously considered its position, before announcing that it would take part.

What do you think of the proposals? Have your say, in the Crash.net forum...

 

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