Drivers to meet with WRC Promoter over WRC’s future

Headed by Petter Solberg, drivers have got together to discuss what needs to be changed


It’s a long-overdue conversation. But the talking started in Italy last week. And it was started by one of the sport’s greatest communicators, triple FIA world champion Petter Solberg.

Through his work with the FIA Drivers’ Commission, Solberg initiated a much-needed exchange of views from the World Rally Championship’s highest profile drivers and co-drivers in Sardinia.

Nothing was off the table and the meeting ran on. And on. Emerging from the discussions, there was nothing but praise for the process.

Vice-president of the commission Solberg told DirtFish: “We are going to work on this internally with good communication and vision from the drivers. After I came into the Drivers’ Commission I wanted to listen to the crews in the WRC to get their feeling in general. After that I talked to Andrew [Wheatley] and we worked on the invite for this first official meeting.

“We discussed everything, it was a very open meeting where we gathered a lot of good feedback from both the WRC and invited WRC2 crews.

“Following the meeting, I’m preparing an email to ask all drivers and co-drivers to forward their opinion of where we are and their vision for the future. Together, we can improve the sport we all love, but communication, reaction and action is key here.”

The drivers reflected that positivity, with Hyundai’s Esapekka Lappi saying: “We had good ideas flying here and there around the room. Some of them which we might react, or people should react more quickly, some of them maybe less quickly, but yeah there was good ideas definitely.”

Elfyn Evans echoed those sentiments but emphasized the need to move forwards from that initial meeting.

“It was good,” said the Welshman. “We’ve not had anything like that before, so it’s good that at least Petter’s taken the initiative and put the effort in to have it.

“What’s really interesting, and I guess what’s really key about it, is what happens on the back of it. It’s all well and good having a positive meeting with a lot of let’s say positive idea, but it’s how we take it forward from here is the big question.

“I wouldn’t say I’ve got great ideas that I want to shout from the rooftops, but I’ve got a list of things, let’s say, I feel are pretty bad at the moment. So I think we should start by addressing those rather than reinventing the wheel.”

The discussion process continues with a virtual meeting on Wednesday, when all involved will discuss the future of the WRC with the World Rally Championship Promoter.

Words:David Evans