WRC: 2017 control tire plan abandoned

2016-07-26 16:52:44

The FIA has quashed plans for a control tire in the 2017 World Rally Championship, but admitted it remains an option for after next year.

Earlier this month WRC Promoter confirmed discussions about a return to a single tire supply were ongoing. This proved controversial at a time when tire competition is stepping up in the WRC, with DMACK coming close to winning the last round in Poland with Ott Tanak. FIA rally director Jarmo Mahonen has since stepped in and canned any control tire plans for the 2017 season.

"It's the normal business of the promoter to investigate these things," said Mahonen, "but it can't happen next year."

The WRC last ran to single tire rules with Pirelli in 2010. While Michelin supplies all factory teams, DMACK and Pirelli also have a presence in the top class. Asked if a return to control tires could happen in 2018, Mahonen replied: "It's always a possibility. With the multi-supplier approach we have at the moment all of the brands are benefiting from promotion with the world championship and, of course, we like the competition in the series. This is important.

"On the other side, we remember when Pirelli was investing [in promoting the WRC] as the control tire supplier – there was a financial element to this.

"Beyond that financial side, having a control tire would obviously give us some sort of control over what the tire is and how much grip it offers. We have to discuss it some more, but it won't be for next season."

Michelin and DMACK are expected to meet with the promoter in Finland this week, where they will plead the case for ongoing competition.

"The view that we have is the same as Michelin, and that's very simple: a control tire is not the right way forward," said DMACK's Dick Cormack. "Michelin and DMACK want the same thing: we want competition. But what we need more than anything right now is some clarity on this whole issue.

"We have some significant investment coming and we've got big plans for the future, but we need to know what the future holds beyond 2018. And I can say right now that a control tire would hold no interest for us."


Originally on Autosport.com

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