WRC format changes "will take time"
World Rally Championship commission president Morrie Chandler has admitted he does not expect to see any radical changes to the format of events in the first half of next season.
The latest World Motor Sport Council meeting ratified changes to the sporting regulations governing the format of world rallies and offering organizers the opportunity to run longer events, night stages and more varied itineraries. Despite that rule change, Chandler says it will take time for the alterations to filter in.
"The first half of the calendar, they've probably already got their events in place," said Chandler. "Talking to the organizers, they're enthused by what they've been given.
"I think the changes will come in progressively. For a start, they've got to get their heads around the changes and then they've got to plan it and they haven't even begun to think, ''Hang on, we can start Thursday afternoon, we can do two stages then, a couple more in the evening and then we can finish on Saturday or early on Sunday morning. Then we'll stop in the middle of that town and divide up the street and do this or that.'
"I think they'll pick up parts of it, but they won't all do it in the first year."
Chandler said the rule change had opened a new chapter for the WRC, offering the kind of variety in events only seen in days gone by.
"The whole thing is about variety," he added. "You've now got a different story on every event, because every event can do it differently. The whole thing is about trying to make things more open and make it, dare I say it, that the journalists have to actually come to the event rather than sitting writing it off the internet.
"We want to make it beneficial to go the events, with so much news stuff going on that they can't miss it. Even if they only have the money to go to this new event this year or that one next year, we need to make sure they're coming out to the rallies."