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World Rally Championship: Summary of regulation changes for 2016

The main changes to the Sporting Regulations

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By Olivier Ferret

16 January 2016 - 19:21
World Rally Championship: Summary (...)

Throughout the course of last year, the World Motor Sport Council approved a number of regulation changes for the 2016 FIA World Rally Championship. The main changes to the Sporting Regulations are as follows:

A WRC Team wishing to score points in the Manufacturers’ Championship may register at any time before the closing date of entries of the first rally entered. There is no longer a minimum of seven nominated rallies for a WRC Team.

As there is no longer a minimum number of events required for participation by a WRC Team, the number of permitted chassis has been amended to three per car. Similar limitations have been placed on gearboxes, differentials and turbochargers.

For simplicity, the Priority status of drivers has been amended to reflect the Championship they are contesting. P1 drivers will continue to be those competing in a World Rally Car, while P2 status will now be allocated to competitors in the FIA WRC 2 Championship and P3 status for those contesting the FIA WRC 3 and Junior WRC Championships.

There will no longer be a title for WRC 2 Production Car Cup drivers and co-drivers.

The FIA Junior WRC Championship will now be contested over six events; Portugal, Poland, Finland, Germany, France and GB.

While the start order for P1 competitors will continue to be in Championship classification on Friday and Saturday, in the interests of both safety and fairness, P1 competitors running under Rally 2 regulations will re-start as a merged group after the other P1 drivers according to their position in the classification.

To further increase levels of security, all competition cars must now be fitted with an FIA safety emergency console that comprises an emergency button. An exact procedure has been defined in the Sporting Regulations in the case of an accident and failure to comply with the procedures will be reported to the Stewards.

The speed limit within the service park will be strictly enforced and any driver exceeding 30 kph will be fined €25 per kilometre per hour over the limit.

WRC and WRC Candidate rally organisers are obliged to implement and follow the FIA Institute-developed Environmental Certification Framework. In 2016, organisers must attain a middle level of accreditation - Progress Towards Excellence - before the end of the season, and from 2017 it will be mandatory to reach the top level of accreditation - Achievement of Excellence - a minimum of four months before the event. Further information is available on request.

All personnel in the refuel area are now obliged to wear adequate protection against fire and, as part of the environmental certification, the ground must be protected with an environmental mat.

Should one of the rallies be unable to run in its entirety, Championship points will be awarded based on the established classification. Points will be awarded in accordance with the percentage of the scheduled length of special stages run; full points if more than 50%, half points if between 25-50% and no points if less than 25%.

There is no longer a requirement for the Power Stage to be between 10-15 kilometres in length. Organisers are encouraged to make a proposal to the FIA and WRC Promoter that will provide the best sporting challenge that also meets the requirements of live television.

It is clarified that a competition car may only be driven on four freely rotating wheels and tyres, and that any infringement could result in exclusion by the Stewards.

During shakedown, any false start will result in the competitor receiving a notional time of 10 minutes for that run. P1 drivers must still complete a minimum of three passes of the shakedown stage, but P2, P3, RGT and non-priority drivers are no longer obliged to participate.

Only P1 drivers will have an interval of at least two minutes on the start and re-start lists; all other drivers will start with an interval of at least one minute.

Cars unable to be driven under their own power from the Parc Fermé to the service area may now be pushed or towed by marshals or team personnel.

Extinguishing systems in compliance with FIA Standard 8865-2015 (Technical List n°52) are compulsory for cars of the RC1 class of the FIA World Rally Championship.

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