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According to the BBC World Service sports segment this evening, there will be changes proposed for WRC in '05.

A car that crashes out or breaks on day 1 or day 2 of an event will be permitted to repair and re-start the event the next competitive day.

Each event will have it's winner, but Championship points will be scored on each day of the schedule. According to the news report, there are 16 events x 3 days each = 48 days worth of points available. The WRC champ will be the one with the most points.

The rationale is that people come to see the cars. It's bad for the sport if a couple of favorites crash out early and the fans can't see them for the rest of the event.

This scoring proposal is not yet cast in concrete, but will be submitted to the powers-that-be for serious consideration and adoption.

This was confirmed by an article found at the BBC's sports webpage, http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/world_rally/3401629.stm


Comments?
 

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It sounds to me like they are trying to make up some of the excitement that was lost by going to the new points system. Without the big drop in points after first drivers are not willing to throw anything away to win. Now if they say go ahead push hard and if you crash we will let you back in people will drive harder. I think in the long run it will just make it more expensive for all teams because they need crews and parts or spare cars think Petter at Corsica. It will also leave the privateers in the dust because the risk taking will be higher at the sharp end. The privateer is thinking if I destroy my car today that is it for the season and maybe my career because I really can't afford another car. While the factory driver is thinking if I destroy my car today worst case I don't score today.
 

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It also takes away from the whole concept of just what a rally is.

Rallies were started (way back when) to prove the durability and capability of a car company's products. They wanted to show that a car could survive the punishment of multiple days and miles and make it to the finish line in one piece.

Breaking was a failure for the manufacturer; their car couldn't make it all the way. It wasn't good enough. To the victor went the spoils; their car was good enough and strong enough. General public, you should buy their car. They've got a product good enough for you. Their product will be tough enough for you, because it was tough enough to survive the rally.

Now, it's a case of "oh, their product broke? Well, they've got mechanics on site to repair it and get it back in the rally."

Well, how many mechanics are following the general public around, to fix them when their cars break?

The whole concept of repairing a DNF car and starting it again the next day is just wrong.

Remember when that marathon runner in the Boston Marathon cheated? She went into the subway, rode a few miles ahead, and then rejoined the race? I'm thinking that repairing a DNF car and starting it again further down the route is akin to this marathon runner.
 

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But in the "old" days it was more a road rally with the odd special stage thrown in, not the all special stages format of today.

Here in Barbados we allow rejoining if you can repair with penalty times for missed stages, but then again, we are at the clubman level. The idea here is to let the members get as many stage miles in as they can get. While this is great for this level, I think once you move to the "pro" class your need for this should be diminished. I believe in the US you run two separate club events on a weekend, so if someone should retire on the first day, they can run on the second.

However, with only 10 Manufacturer wrc cars I think spectators that paid a load of money would like to see the pro's running as long as possible. If the points were set as such to encourage rejoining, but definitely not win the weekend then I really don't see the problem. Plus with all the restrictions being put on testing, teams like Skoda, with new cars can get more testing miles should something simple happen to the car early on.
 

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>However, with only 10 Manufacturer wrc cars I think
>spectators that paid a load of money would like to see the
>pro's running as long as possible.

So, this is a response to them forcing the manufacturers down to two prime cars (from 3+) and to the fact that a couple of manufacturers have decided that there are more cost-effective ways of marketing their product? ;-) (for an alternate reason, see the last para.)

The problem is that WRC, like NASCAR and F1, is becoming more of an "entertainment event" watched by casual/non-enthusiast viewers and less of a race watched by enthusiasts. The drive to have real-time, near real-time, or same-day reporting means that you have to retain the viewers over the multiple days of the event. This was not a problem with a summary show a day (or week) after the event - if people were going to watch it they would. It is hard to justify expensive advertising space on the day 3 live show if there is a reasonable chance that the competitor that draws the viewership won't be there on day 3 (think Carlos Sainz and a Spanish advertiser for a possible scenario).

The purist in me doesn't like the concept, but the realist understands. Of course, by going to the Mille Pistes recce system they have effectively destroyed the ability to have a prime-time daily summary show for European events, so they have to do something to entice the viewers to stay up late to watch...

I'm waiting for the event that has to cancel a stage (or a day) because they have so much spectator traffic that the competitors can't do their second recce run in the morning... Or the competitor that is forced out because their rally car breaks/crashes on the recce.

And how do you enforce parc ferme rules when you use the rally car to recce in the morning of each day? Of course, if each day was effectively a separate event, the problem is solved (that would be the cynic in me ;-)).

Adrian
 

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I think it takes even more of the endurance out of WRC. First they eliminate the really long rallies from back in the 60's to taking away night stages to this. All to make it more spectator/tv friendly. Personally, I felt it was spectator friendly enough when there were night stages. I understand it made for poor filming conditions, but to me rallying has been the mailman of racing. Through rain, sleet, snow night or day...
 

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Adrian;
Are they allowed to use their rally cars for the recce? I thought they had to use a different vehicle, to reduce the wear and tear (and cost) on the competition vehicle. It's also much more comfortable for the crew to run a recce car (cushy seats, softer suspension, air conditioning, cup holders).

Plus, a competition vehicle (in full colours) out on the open road would get swarmed by the spectators, making it even slower for the crews.
 

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i believe that there is no recce specific cars any more. Atleast I know that Ford can not running I think the Landrover or is it the Volvo as recce car.
 

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The mille pistes system seems to have fallen out of favour with FIA/WRC head honchos. On the WRC site, an article says that events may be able to get a waiver for this year, and the mille pistes system will not be used in 2005. So basically FIA just screwed around and made some rule changes without properly discussing it, and now they have to backtrack.

I'm sure the hardcore rally fans like us will have some qualms about this new system for '05 (reentering rally on the next day)...but I think it will be okay, and entertaining. Even if you rejoin the next day, you can't win the rally. You can pick up some additional championship points, but you can't win the rally. The cars that are the most durable and reliable (and fastest) will still be winning the rallies.

WRC has been a sprint-event for several years anyways and this is just a progression of that. Long gone are the days of epic cross-country jaunts. Out of all the changes they have proposed to make in the past few months, I think this ability to re-enter a rally makes the most sense for spectators/TV/teams/sponsors, etc.

Oh, and as for recce cars, I beleive that in mille pistes you have to use either a totally unprepped car or the rally car. It is a cost saving measure, to try and eliminate the cost of building and shipping the specially prepped recce cars. It's a dumb rule, because the rally cars aren't designed to go 60kph and it's hard on them to go that slowly, and I would think recce in an unprepped car is just dangerous. And what do people like Ford do now with their fleet of recce Volvo's?
 

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>Adrian;
>Are they allowed to use their rally cars for the recce? I
>thought they had to use a different vehicle, to reduce the
>wear and tear (and cost) on the competition vehicle. It's
>also much more comfortable for the crew to run a recce car
>(cushy seats, softer suspension, air conditioning, cup
>holders).

Part of the change to the Mille Pistes recce rules was that there were to be no more prepared recce cars (which were used during the event as gravel cars) and that recce had to be done in a regular street car or in the rally car. This was ostensibly to reduce costs.

>Plus, a competition vehicle (in full colours) out on the
>open road would get swarmed by the spectators, making it
>even slower for the crews.

Yes. I don't think that the FIA thought through all the potential consequences of their rule changes before they made them... (and why doesn't that surprise me?)

Adrian
 

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I can see giving this system a try. But the points formula should include an incentive/extra points to the car that finished all 3 days so that it would be harder to finish only 2 of the 3 days consistently and yet win the championship at the end of the year. That way the works drivers wouldn't push like crazy knowing they can get back in without much penality. (beside if you throw it in the woods, the likely hood of getting back in with the same car should be slim).
 

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I feel that a rally is about the strength and endurance of the car and the team (as mentioned above). But, I also see why the WRC is talking about letting cars rejoin the event on subsequent days, "spectator excitement". Which leads to happy and healthy sponsors. These days, all levels of sport depend on sponsors to some degree or other. NASCAR, WRC, NBA, NHL or your child's minor soccer league team would be dead if someone didn't pay-up. Sponsors are key to providing the methods and means by which a sport survives. The WRC will do what they feel they need to do to keep the money rolling in.

The WRC is making an effort to retain their fans and sponsors by possibly allowing drivers to rejoin the following day after a mishap. Interesting idea, but mix it up a bit with regards to the points structure. For example only:
If a car has problems during an event (3 days) that would normally put it out of the race, that car (team) should be excluded from the manufacturer's points regardless if that car rejoins the following day or not. Or something along that line.

You must admit, most of the races in the past few years would have been even more exciting if ALL the top drivers were in all 3 days of each event. But, then again, "That is racing!"
Andy
 

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I guess if you look at it this way...
Imagine Lemans, if a car has difficulty and pits for what seems an eternity it is still allowed to race.
I guess it can work for WRC but you shouldn't be able to start like there was no tomorrow. If you crash out or what not on Day 1, you should be penalised the extra minutes in service to repair your car. Just as you would be in Lemans. Just cause you wreck doesn't mean the everyone else pits as well.
 

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I think the FIA totally forgot what recce cars were for they were not for "hey look at my nice expensive recce car" they are to prevent what happened to Possum Bourne and I have scene in other wrc coverage like a big box truck tipped over on one of the Hyundai teams recce Evos. It looked pretty bad if their hadn?t been a roll cage it would have been game over. Think about what happened to Martin Headland in Sweden with Pat. The drivers where screaming about this but the FIA didn't listen.

I hate the fact that the WRC is becoming a sprint event that is made for TV. A lot of other people feel the same way and that is why Dakar is becoming more popular. That is racing "The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat" The FIA will be shooting themselves in the foot because if you want a circuit race with everything nice and neat they have Formula 1, FIA Sports Cars ext. ext. ext. just about every other motor sport. But rally appeals to peoples sense of adventure where else are you going to see people fixing their car with a rock, driving through a stage missing a tire, waiting for elephants to cross the road, hitting sheep. Getting birds sucked in through your roof scoop ext.

I can see starting the cars back at the back of the top 15 if they want for a test or whatever and if they drive back into the points sure give it to them they deserve the points and they get to test and the fans get to see them. I think this should be allowed where ever, even here maybe not even days but at the next MTC you can get to. As privateers it sucks to pay like $950 in entry fees and have a problem and be out for the race. I was pissed in STPR when we missed two stages and a service because the organizers couldn?t get their act together and get us out of the woods after one of the stages was closed down because of a car off the road. It would be one thing if events where close to home and cheep but when you have laid out all the time and cash to get to an event you want to run the event not be parked on the side of the road waiting for someone to realize you are there. But on the same not I wouldn?t and couldn?t expect to be put back in on par after DNFing a stage just as if nothing happened.
 

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I think they are doing their best to turn rallying in to a sterile sport, a Mickey Mouse parade. Wait and see they may even start a left turn only rally series very a la Nascrap (OK maybe this is a bit far-fetched). I don't like it, I don't like it a bit.
As far as I'm concerned you DNF, tough sheeet, see you at the next rally.

My 2 cets (approx 28.000 Liras)

Cheers

M.Samli
 

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I understand the premise. I was thinking about heading to Mexico this year, but with the situation being so unsure even about how many top teams would be there, back when I had to buy a ticket, I said forget it. I don't think I'd really want to see it if drivers could reenter. I don't know exactly the points structure but would it be possible for someone like Grondholm to ball it up, like has this year, and then put in two days where he is the fastest, and beat out Carlos Sainz who was super consistant, but placed maybe 2nd or 3rd all three days?

PLus, it seems like this is a way to keep the privateer outfits from getting coverage. I think if a privateer moves up because a factory driver stuffs it, they should get the attention. After all, they have outdriven the factory driver.

All in all, I think it detracts from the sport.
 

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i think some of you may be misreading how this is proposed. or maybe i am. it appears to me that the top 10 from each day will recieve season points. but it will still be cumulative time from all three to calculate the winner of the single event.

so if marcus crashes on friday tearing off the rf wheel again he would get no season points for friday. now the team fixes the car and he is third fastest for sat. he would get the 3rd palce point for season and then is fastest on sun he would of course get 1st points for the day but the winner of the rally was only 2nd fastest for the day. but it would be impossible for him to win the rally overall because of the stages he missed on friday.

i do however think that the winner of the rally should get bonus points towards the overall season points.

have you heard what nascar is going to do next year?

w/x amount of races left all the drivers w/in x amount of points of the leader will be compressed to having only five points between each position. essentially creating a playoff type system for auto racing.

or how about what trans-am did this year?

at halfway point of race all the cars w/in a certain amount of time behind leader got bonus pints for season champ. and w/x amount of laps left there was a mandatory restart to bunch up the field.

greg
 

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or how about what trans-am did this year?

at halfway point of race all the cars w/in a certain amount of time behind leader got bonus pints for season champ. and w/x amount of laps left there was a mandatory restart to bunch up the field.


Bonus Pints! Now that will definitely be interesting!:p
 

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>or how about what trans-am did this year?
>
>at halfway point of race all the cars w/in a certain amount
>of time behind leader got bonus pints for season champ.
>and w/x amount of laps left there was a mandatory restart to
>bunch up the field.

That is why I didn't bother to watch many Trans-Am races last year. The whole concept of randomly-assigned bonus points (they randomly chose the lap that they awarded the bonus points on) and the "competition yellows" struck me as farcial.

Adrian
 

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pints, glorious pints! guess i had a bit of a one track mind last night!

greg
 
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