The FIA isn’t planning to make any changes to the format of WRC2 next season, despite calls from reigning champion Andreas Mikkelsen to tweak it.
Back in the summer, Mikkelsen told DirtFish that the FIA “should try to find a way that we all try to drive the same rallies” to avoid the situation that has arisen this year where Kajetan Kajetanowicz essentially planned his calendar around the events Mikkelsen wasn’t doing.
Emil Lindholm has since responded to Kajetanowicz’s challenge and the pair head into this week’s Rally Japan finale with a near equal chance of lifting this year’s title.
If neither driver scores well, Mikkelsen could still win a second WRC2 championship in as many years, but it’s clear he would prefer each driver fights each other on the same stages.
During a sit-down interview with select media, DirtFish asked FIA deputy president sport Robert Reid and rally manager Andrew Wheatley if they were concerned about the fact drivers weren’t really racing each other in WRC2.
“I think we’ve seen it in different categories over the years. When I started in the World Rally Championship, overall, that’s what it was like,” said Reid.
“Nobody else went to Safari other than Toyota. Nobody could win in different countries other than one of the people that’s competing. So yeah, I mean ideally you want to see them competing against each other but I think rally has always been a tactical sport – so there is an aspect of that.
“I don’t know, what’s the plan for the future?” he asked Wheatley.
Wheatley confirmed: “Same again.
“The thing that you’ve also got to bear in mind is we’ve had a very good WRC2 battle on every round of the championship.
“If we limited it to seven rallies or eight rallies which, commercially, is a lot for a private team to support, you would have a good battle on seven or eight rallies but nothing on the others.
“I think at the moment we have 92 drivers that have registered for WRC2 over the course of the season, which is phenomenal.
“Personally I’m not too concerned about it,” he added.
“We have a good battle in WRC2, we have lots of drivers who are able to be in the fight let’s say. And in WRC2 you have three clear categories.
“You have the manufacturer supported drivers who should be at the front – they’re not always at the front but they should be at the front. You have a really strong midfield, normally drivers with less experience or coming up through the ranks which again is being fought quite closely.
“And we also have the Masters, which again is providing more entries to the organizers and a really interesting battle over the course of the season.
“So I’m not too concerned at the moment as to where we are with WRC2.”