by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
GP Week : Issue 116
Before he retired from active rally driving in 2004 Carlos Sainz publicly complained that “the FIA makes changes for the sake of change”. This trend, encouraged by the championship’s Global Promoter, continues to this day and it is not just the FIA. Encouraged by the example of the leadership from the top, drivers, manufacturers, teams and even fans think there is an open door to demand change. It is turning out to be a mania, a malaise of the sport. These people all come to the sport voluntarily because they want to be there – but when they are there, they say they don’t like it and it needs changing. I am not happy about that. There is far more exciting stuff available than needless argument, far better stories for the media than reporting gratuitous ranting. It never used to be like that. Rules were respected and considered to be inviolate. Winning was a matter of adjusting to the rules, a bit like Sebastien Loeb did this year in Sardinia. The re-seeding system has been around for a very long time. Calculations about probable time loss for disadvantaged drivers are ages- old. Previous generations did not go running to the sporting authorities, they used their initiative instead. Flashback to Sanremo 1983. Here were examples of tactics in a positive sense. This was a mixed surface rally – some asphalt stages which favoured the rear-wheel-drive Lancia 037s, then gravel stages which favoured the four-wheel-drive Audi Quattros, finishing with asphalt stages again. With one more gravel loop of stages to go Markku Alen’s Lancia was still leading the Quattros but was at risk of losing so much time on the remaining gravel stages that he would never be able to recoup the loss on the final asphalt stages. It was time for initiative. Sardinia Rally Marketing manager Claudio Bortoletto was team manager for the Lancia Junior Team in those days and remembered it well: “ The Lancia Team set about using the Junior team drivers, many of whom had already retired from the event, to drive their rally car and so clean all the remaining gravel stages during the night before the rally arrived. This meant driving non stop from seven in the evening until six in the morning, so their tyres would clear away every piece of gravel lying on the surface of the roads! “ This was serious business. Abarth had already converted a truck, fitting the roller brushes from a car-wash facility, so the brushes swept the ground underneath as the truck passed. It was unbelievable, incredible. It was planned by team manager Gianfranco Silecchia, who was Road cleaning 1983 style The recent spate of GPWEEK readers’ emails proposing changes to the running order philosophy on gravel rallies isn’t new. As our Rally Editor explains, people were just more ingenious in the past! MArtin HolMes rallies editor opinion