Privateer rules boost

Private teams can enter new-era World Rally Cars in their own name from the start of next season.

Under FIA rules, non-works driver Mads Østberg was forced to enter his 2017-specification Ford Fiesta under the M-Sport World Rally Team banner rather than his own OneBet team name.

After a campaign by the Norwegian, the FIA World Motor Sport Council has voted to change the rules. Specific restrictions on testing, including a ban on pre-event work outside Europe, will continue to apply.

OneBet team head Morten Østberg welcomed the decision. “The WRC has listened to our requests and responded accordingly, which we are delighted about. We can now enter WRC events under our own team name,” he said.

Mads Østberg’s 2018 programme has yet to be finalised but father Morten said his WRC season would start at Rally Sweden (15 - 18 February). Which car the team will use has yet to be confirmed.

Other WMSC decisions included:

• There will no longer be mandatory rallies in WRC 2. The WRC’s principal support category will continue to feature all 13 rounds, with a driver counting the best six scores from seven nominated events.

• There will be no WRC Trophy title for older-specification World Rally Cars in 2018, although drivers of such cars will remain eligible for overall WRC points. Jourdan Serderidis won this season’s Trophy in a Citroën DS 3.

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