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GP Week : Issue 19
40 THE new World Rally Car formula is the most important revolution in World Championship rallying since the Millennium, and is to start in 2010, while another revolution, the rotation of events in the world championship calendar, has already kicked off. Reactions have been varied. Acceptance has been equalled matched by denial, pies are in the skies and wishful thinking proliferates – so maybe a resume of where we stand in the middle of 2008 will be timely because it is all going to happen, and very soon ... In relation to the calendar at this time, it is definite that both 2009 and 2010 are to comprise 12 events, and the identities of each dozen events remains unchanged since the system was first published by the FIA in June 2007. There are only two reservations. Firstly the dates assigned to the 2010 season are subject to possible variation and, in relation to the incoming events, their inclusion in the series is subject to satisfactory inspection while they still carry ‘candidate’ status. The policy about the calendars has been established by the World Council. There is a basket of 24 events and each will run as a world championship event every two years. First inspection of the calendars shows the obvious – that 2009 is very much aimed towards European rallies and gravel event,s and 2010 on ‘long haul’ or asphalt events. In 2009 we have no completely new countries in the series but rotation has already begun, so that some events like Norway are back again after their rotational gap- year absence. Cyprus, Poland and Australia are back after a longer absence. In 2010 we have Indonesia back again after several years, and Russia and Bulgaria are in the championship for the first time, all three in areas that have been used for regional or national rallies before. This situation takes us up to the end of 2010, and no policies have been agreed for 2011 and Brave new World Rally The WRC is facing its biggest transition in a long time, but what exactly is happening? Martin Holmes brakes down the new world order