Volkswagen WRC team boss Jost Capito has expressed his concern over the current WRC running order rules. He said that if the rule for 2017 does not go the right way, WRC Champion Sebastien Ogier may even think of quitting WRC.
Ogier has not won a rally since Rally Sweden in February. According to him, with the road order rule its impossible to win a gravel rally for the championship leader. As the current points leader, he must open the road for the first two days of the rally. To make it even tough, competitors starting under Rally2 rule will not be placed in front of start order for day two. Debates are going on over 2017 rule change. But FIA is keen to stick with the rule of championship leader to open the road on all three days. Ogier has not commented on how he would respond to such a rule. But Jost Capito fears that WRC may lose its champion.
On being asked about what Ogier would do if he is forced to start first on all three days of rally, Capito said, “I think he might retire. You would have to ask him, but as I know him I think he would retire. And maybe that would not be so bad for some…” But Capito believes that FIA will go through its decision over running order. It seems like the stance of governing body is softening, with WRC manager Jarmo Mahonen talking about finding the right way forward. Further Capito said, “I don’t think it will happen, so I don’t think about this. Seb is OK that this is the way it is this year and he goes for it this year and it will change next year.“
WRC promoter and the manufacturers have recently held a meeting in Munich to talk about running order rules. The outcome of this meeting will be discussed in the next WRC Commission meeting before making any official rule change at the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council in September.
Jost Capito who will be quitting Volkswagen and will be joining McLaren Formula 1 team next month said, “We all agree what we have now is wrong. But we are not agreed on the common way forward, there are lot of options to discuss in Commission. I won’t tell you my preferred way forward, we keep these discussions private, but anything and everything is better than what we have now.“
In spite of not winning since five rallies Ogier is leading the WRC points table. He has a 51 point lead. Jari-Matti Latvala, Hayden Paddon, Kris Meeke, Thierry Neuville and Andreas Mikkelsen are the five different winners from previous rallies.
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