Monday | 20 Apr 2020

Matton optimistic after upbeat virus response

FIA rally director Yves Matton has been heartened and impressed by the positive response to the coronavirus pandemic from the FIA World Rally Championship manufacturer teams.

Like sport globally, the WRC is on hold during the Covid-19 outbreak, with the next three rounds in Argentina, Portugal and Sardinia postponed. Matton is confident the series can be back in the summer and is reporting positive discussions with WRC stakeholders.

“There is really good co-operation between the stakeholders,” said Matton. “We know this crisis will have a big impact on all of motorsport, but the stakeholders and manufacturers are really working closely knowing they have to think championship and not their own interest.”

While getting through the current coronavirus is the priority, Matton remains confident for the series’ future and the radical regulation change coming with the introduction of hybrid cars in 2022.

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“All of the manufacturers,” said Matton, “they all want to commit to 2022 and that’s the most important for the future. And maybe more than ever they are quite convinced for the future of the discipline and the sustainability of the WRC and the idea to have 20 [factory] cars at the start of each event.

“That gives me a lot of positivity and confidence for the future of the World Rally Championship that manufacturers still want to be committed to the WRC in different levels and not only as leading cars, but also involved with customer programmes.”

Throughout the WRC, all stakeholders are pleased with increased co-operation between parties.

Video: SpeedAgro Rally Argentina magazine clip

“Everybody is really open-minded on exchanging and trying to find the best solution for the future of the WRC,” said Matton.

“Everything is on the table and everything is being talked about right now. That’s good. It’s so important to keep all of the main players for the future.”