FIA vows to help privateers through COVID-19 pandemic

Rally chief Matton apologizes for lack of "strong information" so far

Rally Mexico WRC

FIA rally chief Yves Matton says there will be some form of help for the World Rally Championship’s private teams, and has apologized for the lack of “strong information” so far.

DirtFish understands there has been disquiet among the WRC privateers – who predominantly compete in the support classes – over whether there will be any provisions made to help them with the repercussions of the championship currently being paused amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The manufacturer teams have been involved in the regular stakeholder meetings about the situation.

The WRC has been halted since the early end to Rally México in March, with the following events in Argentina, Portugal and Sardinia all postponed for now and the Safari Rally in July expected to follow suit.

Matton said it was difficult for the FIA to give regular updates on when the rally calendar might resume or assistance for teams given that the global situation was ever-changing – especially because so much rested on how many rounds could actually take place in 2020.

“I would be really happy to communicate more, but especially in the federation it’s only valuable when it is the right and accurate information,” he told DirtFish.

“On a day-by-day basis we are trying to have information and we are working on a daily basis with the promoter and everybody to have events running this year and to try to start the championship as soon as possible.

“I cannot communicate things that are not accurate to the reality.

“Today I cannot tell you if we will be back in Kenya, Finland or Turkey – for sure it’s difficult to give accurate information.

“We will take into consideration the difficulties of the private teams and we will be reviewing WRC2/3 and Junior WRC once we have accurate information on the number of events we are able to have in the second half of the season.

“We know quite well we will have to do something to help them and I’m sorry [not] to give some strong information at the moment.”

DirtFish understands that any help the FIA is able to provide for private teams is likely to be logistical in nature.