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GP Week : Issue 110
V oting members of the World Motor Sport Council are expected to receive the latest proposed calendar for the 2012 this week, but it is not yet known whether this will immediately define the list of events which will be included in the series. Earlier attempts to finalise the calendar stalled, as Citroen Racing’s director Olivier Quesnel confirmed: "Everyone knows that as manufacturers Citroen and Ford vote against the calendar. There were five overseas rallies and we thought it was a little bit too much, which has been our opinion for a few years now. We think we need 12 events, including seven traditional ones. For the others you can rotate events, one year Australia and one year New Zealand, Norway and Sweden, for example. Then we should have some new rallies in new markets like China, Russia and so on. “ The reasons why we do not like so many long haul rallies varies. For Citroen we have a specific problem because we don’t sell any cars in Mexico or in New Zealand, and few in Australia and Japan. I agree that if we want to be world championship we need to go overseas. New Zealand is a really nice rally. As an event itself Mexico is good, but I don’t think it is useful to have a rally in Japan at all. “I’ve been to Japan and there are no spectators, Japanese people are not very interested in rallying and there is no more new manufacturers coming there. “Regarding Abu Dhabi, you saw what happened with Formula 1. They say they can build new roads. New rallies can work well – for example we had a new event in France and everybody was pleased. The regulations say that before a new rally you must do it once before to make sure that everything is in order but that hasn’t happened at Abu Dhabi. Unknown at present is when the calendar will be settled. An FIA source explained: "The fax vote isn’t intended to be a take -it-or-leave-it situation. We don’t need a unanimous vote. We need to analyse the voting, look at the replies and see if there is a general consensus that the proposals look right or not. And then decide.” 2012 WRC Calendar coming soon ... Weekend of su rprises in Rallying ...