Friday | 02 Jan 2015

New for 2015: Farewell split times

Everybody breathe. After a rally-free December we are back in a live World Championship season - and one that promises to be an absolute belter.

Over the next week on we’ll tell you why we’re so excited about 2015 - and why you should be too. Up first: a timing revolution.

1: So long split times
In recent years, thanks to improvements in mobile data and timing systems, WRC drivers have been able to monitor their rivals’ speed during a live stage via a stream of data messages sent from their team. By receiving splits, which were taken from the official timing system, drivers could speed up or ease off if necessary - modifying their strategy on the go.

It was a handy tool, and far superior to the old system that involved team personnel lurking on the roadside with stopwatches and pit boards. But from 2015 the drivers will have to do without it. At its meeting in December, the FIA World Motor Sport Council decided that ‘from 2015, the transmission of performance data or information to or from a competing car, not in relation with safety, is forbidden during special stages to help promote greater competition.’

So, although the live split times will continue to be available to teams (and users) the drivers will have to rely on their intuition alone to judge their speed. And that’s going to make the familiar Sunday driver quote “I’m just keeping an eye on the pace of the guy behind” a thing of the past. And that’s great news.

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