Rally – 2012 Calendar Problems Remain

Think back to about this time last year and we were discussing the same thing for the WRC. What is the calendar going to be and when will it be released? Are we going to drop the silly rally rotation rule the WRC has? As we know with the FiA however, the same problems always crop up and are never resolved. So here we sit in 2011 and we are waiting for the 2012 calendar. The events and dates are set to be announced later this month or early next month, but it was a similar situation last year before the FiA tossed North Sport’s calendar back in their face. Because we would hate to have the promotional body actually set and promote events right?

Ford has come out openly this week and has been critical still of the FiA and its scheduling practices. One of the key points is a new enduro rally that is scheduled to run from Argentina into Uruguay. The main concern with the event is in the logistics. Ford argues that this event needs confirmed sooner rather than later due to budgets and logistics issues. When you look at an event like that, I agree it does need to be confirmed soon. I understand the FiA is busy and I have come to expect their sluggish responses to even the easiest of tasks (See Ogier issue in Mexico). They have to understand however, that with an event like this, accommodations and the transfer of equipment need to be ironed out ASAP. Last second issues may cause some teams problems with even competing. I like the idea of the endurance event, but lets be honest. Not all of the private entries will be able to make it. The FiA need to solve at the very least this issue.

The FiA are also still looking to expand their footprint all over the world in 2012. The teams have not complained about the chance of going to places like Russia, China, or even more rounds in South America. I am not in favor of expanding the market to locations such as these. I agree there are rally fans all over the world. Yes…I get it, but we cannot lose some of the classic venues. Places like Australia are under threat to be excluded from the championship and that is a shame. Australia houses some very passionate rally fans. They are also pushing a number of drivers into rally’s top flight. Why would we exclude them?

There is still no mention of a US round being added at this time. Regardless, at the end of the day, the FiA needs to fix the issue with the schedule and get these events ironed out. Overall the FiA does a reasonable job with the WRC. One only has to look at Formula 1 to see how bad that operation is run at times. This schedule and technical regulations issues need to be ironed out sooner rather than later.

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