WRC has “to be more mindful” with calendar – Millener

Not returning to base between rallies is a logistical stress to be avoided in 2021

Gus Greensmith

M-Sport Ford World Rally Team principal Richard Millener has urged caution and consideration when planning the logistics for the 2021 World Rally Championship.

Millener was among the first to voice his concerns over a proposal to run Estonia, Turkey, and Ypres within three weeks – a plan he’s now confident would have brought the series to its knees.

“If that had have happened… well, I just don’t think it could or would have worked. We have to be more mindful of the people working in the championship,” Millener said to DirtFish.

“We have to be thinking about the truckies, the guys setting up the service park, the people working behind the scenes. It’s all well and good planning all these ideas, but we need to be careful that the teams can make it happen.

“That idea of Estonia-Turkey-Ypres would have been a nightmare. It was difficult enough for us not going home between Estonia and Turkey, we re-prepared the cars in Turkey.

“If we’d then not been able to go home after Turkey, it would have been really complicated – especially because we’d have been concerting the car from gravel to asphalt specification out on the road as well.”

Millener praised the efforts of the M-Sport Ford team in completing a tough schedule from Estonia to Turkey.

“We were fortunate that the FIA gave us permission to run Teemu’s [Sunninen] car with damage from Estonia in Turkey. We were looking at options, but trying to replace the roof after [Estonia] was not straightforward.

“Since the cars arrived back from Turkey, all three [cars] needed to go through the shell shop and paint shop.

“For three nights in succession, the paint shop worked through the night to have the car ready for eight o’clock the following morning. There’s been no margin for error and we have to be sensitive to these things when we’re looking into next season.”