FIA ratifies powerstage rule change

David Evans
This article first appeared on autosport.com

A regulation change to stop World Rally Championship crews taking a tactical approach to powerstages has been ratified by the FIA.

Crews delayed checking into the final stage on Rally Sweden and Rally Mexico so they could start further down the order, benefitting from improved grip on the roads after cars ahead had swept loose snow and gravel from the line.

Cars running out of sequence meant there were larger than expected gaps on the powerstage, which was a concern for the FIA and WRC Promoter in terms of safety and live television coverage.

MN reported last month that a rule change to discourage teams from intentionally checking in late was close to being pushed through.

From this week’s Tour of Corsica onwards, any crew checking into the powerstage at anything other than its allotted time will now forfeit points.

An FIA statement said: “Following an e-vote by the World Motor Sport Council, competitors who do not start the Power Stage in the given order will not be eligible for Power Stage points as per Article 5.3.2 of the FIA WRC Sporting Regulations.

“This will take place with immediate effect for safety reasons. The amendment to the Regulations will help avoid intentional late check-in which increases the gaps between competitors, help minimise the movement of spectators when no cars are running, and prevent behaviour aimed at circumventing the start order of the Power Stage.”

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