03 Dec 09
Motorsport's governing body, the FIA, is close to approving changes to next year's World Rally Championship structure to create a competition specifically for Super 2000 cars.
The FIA is proposing to split the 2010 Production Car World Rally Championship (P-WRC), currently open to both Super 2000 and Group N4 cars, into two separate competitions.
The move comes in response to competitors' concerns that the performance gap between Super 2000 and Group N4 cars has grown too large for the cars to compete together in the same category.
Next year the two classes are likely to get their own FIA titles. The P-WRC is expected to revert to its previous brief as a championship for drivers using only four-wheel drive production cars, also known as group N4, while a proposed Super 2000 Car World Rally Championship (S-WRC) would be open only to drivers and teams using Super 2000 cars.
The WRC Cup for Teams - a classification already approved by the FIA - is likely to be incorporated within the S-WRC and run alongside the drivers' championship.
The FIA's World Motor Sport Council will decide whether or not to approve the proposal at its next meeting on 11 December. But a press release issued today by the organisers of Rally New Zealand indicates the scheme will get the go-ahead.
The release revealed that New Zealand would be one of the qualifying rounds for the WRC Cup and S-WRC, and gave details of the 2010 calendar. "Competitors need to contest seven of the ten specified rounds, including two outside Europe, to be eligible to enter both the S-WRC and WRC Cup," said clerk of the course, Willard Martin.
If approved, next year's World Rally Championship will feature three support championships below the top-level World Rally Car (WRC) category; the S-WRC, P-WRC and the Junior World Rally Championship (J-WRC) - which remains open to drivers under the age of 28, driving two-wheel drive cars such as the Super 1600 and Group R vehicles.