Stobart driver Matthew Wilson has urged rally organizers to stop mixing stages with asphalt and gravel roads.
The Briton was frustrated at Rally New Zealand's decision to include longer stretches of asphalt road – particularly in the Franklin stage, where the first five miles were on sealed surfaces.
"I just don't get it," said Wilson. "I will defend Rally New Zealand right down the line, it's a great event on some of the best roads in the world. But those roads are gravel, why stick a chunk of tarmac in at the start? To make matters worse, the [asphalt] road ran alongside the gravel road we had used previously on this stage.
"To me, it just doesn't make any sense – it's spoiling the character of some great rallies. It's not like an event like Rally New Zealand needs to add to the spectacle, is it?"
Wilson said he was disappointed at Rally GB's decision to follow the current trend, running asphalt on the Saturday stages over the Epynt military ranges.
"We'll all be running the cars in gravel trim," he said, "so all you'll get is the car rolling around, high up on the suspension, on gravel tires. It doesn't really make sense to me."
Wilson advocated the move the Cyprus Rally made last season, when the Limssol-based event ran an entire day on asphalt.
"You can work with the car a little bit when you're doing a whole day on asphalt," said Wilson. "Cyprus was OK – it was interesting.
"For me, and I know this won't go down well from a cost perspective, but if we're going to run these split-format rallies, let's do it properly, like Sanremo used to be; changing the cars from gravel to asphalt specification overnight. That was a real challenge and a great event."