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GP Week : Issue 29
World ranking for WRC? LAST week’s World Rally Championship Commission meeting saw a proposal that rallying should adopt a world ranking system, as in many other sports. Commission President Morrie Chandler explained that the current dual system of rankings, in which the WRC has a priority system according to the type of car being used on that event, and the Priority A and B system based on results and nominations used on other events, does nothing to identify the ability of the drivers concerned. “The present dual system is very confusing,”he said. “This idea is only a concept at the moment and the earliest it could come into force is 2010, but we would like something like this to happen. It would do a lot of emphasize who really is good at the sport, and encourage countries who can see that they do not.” Also under discussion were requests from various parties to increase the size of the world championship from 12 events to 14 in 2010. “Nobody seems happy with the calendar rotation system that has already been approved by the World Council, but the FIA’s decision to run 12 events had been made at their behest of the manufacturers,” added Chandler. “Now they are saying this was all a misunderstanding.” Progressing under wraps are negotiations with various parties, including the ISC, interested in acting as the official promoter of the World Rally Championship. A report on this is expected to be prepared for the forthcoming extraordinary World Motor Sport Council meeting in October. Following requests from VW to make rule changes New ‘factory’ team Mads Ostberg to allow their Scirocco car to be eligible for rally sport, the WRCC is going to recommend to the World Motor Sport Council not to allow changes to the World Rally Car dimensional rules at this time to accommodate an individual manufacturer. “We would be willing to recommend a change if this suited all the manufacturers, especially if this follows new trends in general car production,” said Chandler. “This would be unfair on manufacturers who have already built cars to the existing rules.” Nine drivers aiming for the stars ENTRY details released by the organisers of the Rally of Malaysia show nine drivers are aiming to win the Pirelli Star Driver award for the Asia-Pacific region. Two drivers are known to be teenagers, Kirsty Nelson (below) for New Zealand and Arjun Rao Aroor from India, while the list also includes 21-year old Hayden Paddon from New Zealand and Eli Evans from Australia. The Rally of Malaysia itself will be the penultimate round of the 2008 APRC. PRODRIVE has confirmed that the Norwegian Adapta rally team is to contest the 2009 World Championship for manufacturers with its own team. The team, which was formed by former rally driver and IT millionaire Morten Ostberg to run cars for his young son Mads, is now in its third year of privateer World Championship participation, and is to run Impreza WRC 2008 cars next year. The identity of a possible second driver in the team has not 16 been announced. “We have different ambitions,” said Ostberg Sr. “For 2009 we want to run two drivers, each with the same facilities, hoping each will do well. For 2010 and onwards, I would very much like to see Mads as a paid factory rally driver, as indeed will whoever will be running with us in 2009. “This is not just a Norwegian project. We have been speaking with a lot of drivers regarding the second car for 2090 and most of them are foreign drivers.” Kirsty Nelson