According to Autosport.com, Plans to include new events into next year’s World Rally Championship have apparently been scrapped following a meeting between FIA president Jean Todt and series officials last week.
Its possibly due to the fact that, The FIA issued the five-page contract on May 28 and stipulated the agreement had to be signed and returned by close of business on Friday June 8. Failure to do so would result in the event not being included on the 2013 calendar. Events were not happy with this and none of them signed the contracted.
Next year’s World Rally Championship, which will be at the centre of Friday’s World Motor Sport Council meeting, is expected to be a repeat of this year’s calendar – save for the rotation of Rally Australia in place of Rally New Zealand.
Plans to introduce a WRC round in Brazil or South Africa have reportedly been shelved until 2014. Both countries are running candidate events in the second half of the season and questions had been raised over the sense in leaving a calendar slot open for one or the other rally so late in the year.
The meeting between Todt and WRC Commission president Jarmo Mahonen and WRC manager Michele Mouton delivered a calendar considerably more predictable than originally discussed.
The calendar is likely to be rubber-stamped by the WMSC, but the issue of the events not signing the FIA’s 2013 contract remains. Ten of the 13 2013 rounds have resisted pressure from the governing body to sign the agreement.
Despite reports that none of the rallies signed before the June 8 deadline, it appears some events have made an agreement with the governing body.
Further contract discussions will take place between the FIA and the rallies later this month, in an attempt to defuse a row over the £80,000 requested by the FIA for the production and distribution of television and the safety tracking and timing.
Sources are also reporting a softening of Mahonen’s stance on the geographical location of the rallies – which could mean a u-turn on rallies like Rally GB and Rally d’Italia, which could remain in their current home beyond this season.
The source said: “The FIA works with the ASN (the domestic governing body). I think this has been pointed out [within the FIA]. It’s the job of the promoter to discuss the precise location of events, not the sport’s regulator.”
An announcement on the identity of the promoter is expected from Friday’s (today’s) WMSC meeting.