Wednesday | 03 Dec 2014

Split times banned from 2015

WRC competitors will be banned from receiving split times in special stages from the start of 2015 to spice up competition.

The FIA World Motor Sport Council voted for the ban today (Wednesday) in Doha with big penalties, likely to include exclusion from the championship, for breaking the rules.

Split times are available via the championship’s results service and Teams quickly forward the information via text message, which appears on a screen in front of the co-driver.

Drivers use the data to manage time gaps to rivals. It allows them to decide whether to push harder if chasing a competitor ahead, or to measure their pace to preserve a stable margin over a driver behind.

The ban is intended to prevent teams from controlling their drivers so much and to preserve unpredictability.

Drivers must leave stage starts within 20sec

It also means, for example, times cannot be sent by text message via a third party away from the rally, or by a team member displaying information on a board in the stage, as happened before electronic transmission became the norm.

It also means drivers cannot be informed during a stage if a rival has retired or lost time.

Split times will remain available to teams and fans to view as normal.

Safety information, including notifying crews if a stage has been neutralised following an accident, will still be permitted.

The WMSC also confirmed that any car which does not leave a stage start within 20secs will be considered as retired from the leg, while only the highest-placed car in a team can score points in the WRC 2 and WRC 3 categories.

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