New measures to contain costs will allow manufacturers to test 2015 cars alongside this year’s vehicles without using days from their annual test allocation.
Next year signifies the start of a new homologation cycle for World Rally Cars after teams last year agreed to extend the lifespan of current cars by 12 months to the end of 2014.
Teams have an annual allocation of 42 days testing for their current cars. The new plans mean they can extend a scheduled test to work on their 2015 cars without the extra days being counted as part of the allocation.
The proposals were agreed at the FIA World Motor Sport Council in Marrakech to help contain costs, saving manufacturers the expense of having to foot the bill for stand alone tests for their new cars.
Volkswagen, in particular, is well advanced with its 2015 car and is examining the possibility of entering non-championship rallies later in the season to provide competitive testing.
The WMSC also rubber stamped several proposals trialled during Rally de Portugal:
- Retired cars rejoining under Rally 2 rules will start first in the running order, ahead of P1 and P2 drivers, to avoid them enjoying better road conditions when starting further back.
- The minimum number of shakedown runs for P1 and P2 drivers has been reduced from four to two.
- Cars competing under Rally 2 rules will be able to score Power Stage points.
- The penalty for missing a super special stage has been reduced from 10 minutes to five minutes.