Should WRC outlaw crossed tire choices?

It's become a popular strategy, but one of the DirtFish podcast panel is not a fan - hear their debate and plenty more WRC analysis here


“Can I say something outrageous guys?” asks George Donaldson.

Colin Clark is excited. “Go on George,” he urges.

In the latest edition of SPIN, The Rally Pod – hosted by Clark in the temporary absence of Lisa O’Sullivan – the team is discussing how crossed tires gave Sébastien Loeb a very different feeling aboard his M-Sport Ford Puma Rally1 than running the same kind of tire in each corner did.

Donaldson has something he wants to get off his chest.

“They’re always talking about how they represent the modern car and modern driving, it’s pretty well illegal in every single country in the world to run with different tires on the same axle. In a lot of countries it’s illegal for the car to run with different tires front to rear. It’s also incredibly unwise,” he says.

“I understand fully the benefit of running crossed tires but it’s not smart. There’s no situation it’s smart. It’s compensating for a ridiculous rule in WRC – set about for all the right reasons but it’s a ridiculous rule – limiting [tires].

“Can you imagine a Formula 1 race going out and they’re not allowed to change to wet tires when it starts to rain, and they just stop the race?” he continues. “If it gets a little too warm and you’re not allowed to change from super-softs, you’re just going to stop the race because it’s not manageable.

“We’re putting rally cars across stages with unsuitable tires. They used to do mid-stage tire changes on two-wheel-drive cars; Lancia did that, Toyota did it too – well I can’t remmeber if we ever did it but we were prepared to do it because there was a benefit.”

At this point David Evans has heard enough.

“George, can I say something similarly outrageous then?” he begins.

“You’re the one that’s raised the WRC mirroring the real world, so let’s take that to the extreme and why don’t we give them one tire for the event?”

“OK David why don’t we just limit them to the speed limit as well?” Donaldson responds.

“David you’ve taken it too far. Nice try, but I’m pushing straight back. Utter, utter nonsense. We’re trying to have a debate here and you’ve put rubbish in like that – it’s fabulous.”

Clark calls for a time-out to steer the debate back on track. To hear the rest, hit play for this week’s full episode of SPIN, The Rally Pod which also includes thoughts on whether the Dakar Rally helped Loeb win the Monte or not, and if Ott Tänak is a driver in trouble.