FIA is Planning to Slow the World Rally Championship Down

World Rally Championship officials at FIA don’t seem to be pleased with the speed at which the sport is operating on.

A Motorsport that needs to be slower. Who would have thought? Well, apparently the folks over at good ol’ FIA did. Recent developments in WRC have led FIA to consider adding regulations that prohibit the cars from going over an average of 80 MPH on the courses. The FIA is citing the speeds that took place during the first run of Rally Sweden’s Knon stage after Ott Tanak set an average speed of 85.62 MPH in his M-Sport Ford.

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FIA’s Rally Director Jarmo Mahonen commented on the proposed changed to regulations, offering some insight as to why the administration is seeking to step in, as well as providing some insight in what they’re prepared to do to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

“These cars are quicker than the old cars – but in this stage even last year’s [cars] were going more than 130km/h [80mph].”

These kind of stages teach us one thing: we need to take a firmer grip when organisers want to introduce new stages, we have to be present to check them.

If we see a stage time of more than 130km/h then it’s an indicator that we need to be looking at this.” – Jarmo Mahonen

It’s curious that FIA would choose to step in so late in the game. One would think that they would have provided the stage with ample coverage before deciding to green light it in the first place. Then again, it is a large administration with thousands of moving parts. There’s bound to be a cluster-bumble somewhere in there.

Sebastien Ogier (FRA) competes during the FIA World Rally Championship 2017 in Torsby, Sweden on February 10, 2017
Sebastien Ogier (FRA) competes during the FIA World Rally Championship 2017 in Torsby, Sweden on February 10, 2017

In the end, it’s the same old tiring alter-re-alter process. It would be better to let the drivers and teams just get on with it. The drivers know the dangers, the fans by the track know the importance of staying within the correct areas too.