FIA - Rally World Updates, Jean Todt Re-elected FIA President & FIA Prize Giving Gala!

In purview of the upcoming season 2014 motorsport series, FIA HQ was busy with meetings in this week. Two important meets were in the interests of the rallying flavour. The first one, being the top level rallying championships' [WRC] minor changes in the season format.

We remember the last time the meeting was held, reportedly had the newly crowned World Champions leaving the meet unhappy. So maybe, this seemed like unanimously accepted. Below is the excerpts from the official news announcement by the federation.

FIA World Motor Sport Council - 4th December, 2013

FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP

The start order for both gravel and tarmac rallies has been amended as follows, in order to increase the show for fans and reduce the use of tactics:

Day 1: Provisional Championship classification order for P1 and P2 drivers
Day 2: Reverse provisional rally classification order for P1 and P2 drivers
Day 3: Reverse provisional rally classification order for P1 and P2 drivers

Cars having retired and restarting (Rally 2) will be placed the next day after the P1 and P2 drivers group.

In order to allow greater flexibility to contract different drivers, manufacturers will no longer be required to nominate one permanent driver for the season. Instead, manufacturers will be obliged to nominate one driver for a minimum of 10 Championship events.

To bring consistency to events and thereby aid the Promoter, rallies must now follow a fixed format. There will be a ceremonial start on Thursday, with the last stage run on Sunday at approximately 12:00 hrs for European events. The final stage is defined as the Power Stage, the length of which will be set at a minimum of 10 kilometres.

All competitors registered in the Championships – WRC, WRC 2, WRC 3 and Junior WRC - will be obliged to use a colour-coded windscreen sticker to promote and identify the category in which they are competing and scoring points.

It was agreed to rename all classes of eligible cars in order to harmonise the numbering with the other FIA Championships. Therefore, the smaller number will define the most powerful cars (RC1 being World Rally Cars).

Permanent competition numbers will no longer be allocated to P3 drivers competing in the support championships. Drivers wishing to request a permanent number for marketing or promotional purposes will however be able to do so. The restriction on the number of servicing personnel has also been removed and testing during the three weeks preceding an event is now permitted for P3 drivers.

The date for the 2014 Rally d’Italia has changed to 08 June.

RALLYING

In order to increase the presence of professional teams, new titles have been created in the FIA European Rally Championship; the FIA ERC Manufacturers’ Cup, the FIA ERC Manufacturers’ Cup for 2WD Cars, and the FIA ERC Manufacturers’ Cup for Production Cars. The best two cars of each manufacturer entered in the Championship will score points in the respective classifications. The existing team titles have been deleted.

Free Practice and Qualifying will be staged on all tarmac rallies, as well as gravel events, following the same regulations concerning the definition of the rally start order for the first day.

A Junior Championship will be created within the framework of the FIA European Rally Championship to create a genuine ladder between the ERC and WRC for young talent. Designed to be an accessible and cost-effective series for drivers under 25 competing in currently named R2 cars, the Championship will run over seven events with the best four results – including one gravel or snow rally – counting towards the title.

It is confirmed that the currently named R5 cars will not be eligible for points in the FIA African Rally Championship in 2014.

A new award for Teams has been created within the framework of the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship, increasing promotion and interest among teams and sponsors. To increase competitor participation, drivers must participate in a minimum of three rallies for the Asia and Pacific Cups.

The European Rally Cup has been renamed the European Rally Trophy (ERT) from 2014.

FIA WORLD CUP FOR CROSS COUNTRY RALLIES

If an opening Super Special Stage is run, a new system of determining the start order for the first leg has been introduced to give drivers the option of choosing tactical positions. The 10 fastest drivers will be able to choose from among the first 10 places, with the slowest driver selecting first and each subsequent driver choosing their position relative to those already chosen.

The scale of penalties imposed on competitors for speeding has been redefined in order to punish more heavily those competitors who consistently exceed speed limits.

The date for the 2014 Rallye OiLibya du Maroc has been moved to 09 October. Read complete report here.


FIA Annual General Assembly & Prize Giving Gala - 6th December, 2013

Today in the annual general assembly meet, Jean Todt was unanimously re-elected as the President of FIA for the second 4-year term, while C. Barbosa (Portugal) was elected as WRC commission President, and Robert. Reid (Great Britain) as Vice-President.
Read complete report here.

FIA Prize Giving Gala

Paris also hosted the Prize Giving Gala for the FIA series of events & championships of 2013 season's, in the evening after the Annual General Assembly.

Newly crowned WRC champs Sebastien Ogier & Julien Ingrassia, along with APRC's new champions Gaurav Gill & Glen Macneall joined to the hall of fame in their respective series.

Formula 1 champ, Sebastien Vettel received his third trophy, WTCC champ Yvan Muller his 4th, ERC champ Jan Kopecky and WRC2 champ Robert Kubica their first in Rally Championship, amongst a host of other champions.
Read more ...

Hurray!! Toyota getting back to WRC, with Yaris in 2016!?

Toyota treats the World of Rallying with the much awaited news of returning back to WRC in the year 2016. Although this has not come from the Toyota's HQ in Japan, the German Motorsport outfit Toyota Motorsport GmbH [TMG] has already begun the preparation of developing for the WRC line-up. It will start with the RRC car, a close proximity to the top-level specification.

In the coming Spring season, the first prototype has been scheduled for tests and the German outfit is expecting a green-signal for the official manufacturer entry.

The whole of motorsport world is preparing with the world engine, aka, 1.6 liter direct injection turbo charged engine. Same is going on with the Toyota for a while now, and the engine is already under bench testing at TMG, and also has partnered with Motorsport Italia for the development of the rally car.

Last year in August, Toyota had announced the Yaris Rally car program and the same car was active this year around the world, especially in APRC.

Finally, the official announcement is at the onus of Toyota, Japan for the final nod.
Read more ...

Fast & Furious Movie Series Star, Paul Walker [40] Killed in Tragic Car Crash

Paul Walker, the star of the 'Fast and Furious' movie series, was killed in a crash crash yesterday [Saturday, 30th November, 2013].

Walker died Saturday afternoon, Ame Van Iden told the press. His official facebook page updated, as below;
It is with a truly heavy heart that we must confirm that Paul Walker passed away today in a tragic car accident while attending a charity event for his organization Reach Out Worldwide. He was a passenger in a friend's car, in which both lost their lives. We appreciate your patience as we too are stunned and saddened beyond belief by this news. Thank you for keeping his family and friends in your prayers during this very difficult time. We will do our best to keep you apprised on where to send condolences.

Walker was in the area to attend a charity event for his organization Reach Out Worldwide.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's department said that deputies found a car engulfed in flames when they responded to a report of a collision in the community of Valencia. Two people who were found in the car were pronounced dead at the scene.

The Santa Clarita Signal reports a red Porsche crashed into a light pole and tree and burst into flames.

Walker was working on Fast & Furious 7 at the time of his death. He also starred in the suspense drama, Hours, which is set for release this month.
[excerpts from: theglobeandmail.com]

Rest in peace Paul Walker !

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