Tactics in the World Rally Championship will be a thing of the past following the Rally of Turkey stewards' decision warning crews not to bring the sport into disrepute. That's the view of WRC Commission president Morrie Chandler, who has pointed out that the wording of the stewards' bulletin issued yesterday means the stewards can investigate any scenario they feel brings the sport into disrepute.
There had been calls for the tactics to be banned, but there was no way for the FIA to rewrite a regulation in time for this week's fourth round of the series. Instead, the stewards of the meeting have underlined a rule already in place to stop the crews doing anything the stewards feel will harm the image of the event and the sport.
"That bulletin covers everything," said Chandler. "If you think about it, the bulletin covers the drivers slowing down in the stages – their actions would be prejudicial to motorsport.
"Those words are a warning sign, those words will stop them playing around. There doesn't need to be another regulation [to fix tactics], all this bulletin is saying is: 'Gentlemen, be aware, this rule exists and the stewards will act.'"
Ford of Europe senior motorsport manager Gerard Quinn is delighted with the clarity brought by the bulletin. He said: "It's quite clear that Ford wants to win on a level playing field rather than doing it with one arm tied behind our back.
"It's down to us now, and Ford has been quite clear in terms of what we want, this should hopefully make it clear to people that if you do something that's damaging to the sport then the penalties are there to be brought upon you by the stewards of the meeting."
On the Jordan Rally earlier this month, Quinn spoke out against what he saw as a tactical late departure from service on the final morning from Citroen Junior Team driver Sebastien Ogier, while the French team insists he was delayed by an electrical fault for five minutes.
Asked if he thought that brought the sport into disrepute, Quinn said: "To my mind, it was unacceptable and it was potentially damaging. The swift reaction from the teams – and I know we did a lot of internal soul searching – and what the FIA has done has ensured it hasn't gotten out of hand and we have certainly been proactive to make sure we protect the sport."