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Australian Rally Commission (ARCom) Chairman Garry Connelly has announced a number of major initiatives regarding rallying at all levels following a two-day meeting of the commission in Melbourne last weekend.

In a move to increase participation in more contemporary cars and further reduce the costs associated with competing in rallying, Connelly highlighted three items from a raft of changes.
The first involves the relaxing of technical regulations primarily concerning PRC (Production Rally Cars) built after 1986 to encourage competitors to use the later model versions if desired.
Furthermore, the regulations for two-wheel drive, gravel rally cars will become more closely aligned with those for tarmac rally cars, announced earlier this year.
"We will be releasing a discussion paper in the very near future for competitor comment on the proposed changes which include freedoms to inlet and exhaust systems, cylinder heads and the possibility of substitute 'family' engines," Connelly explained.
ARCom is also investigating the performance parity between a four-wheel-drive, turbocharged, FIA Group N car and the same vehicle running on pump fuel, standard boost pressure and no turbo restrictor.
Connelly confirmed that the performance of the two cars will be compared to gauge the viability of establishing a derivative class from Group N.
"We're looking at a category of car that essentially are full FIA spec Group N cars but will have their turbo restrictor removed and will run on commonly available pump fuel. We're tentatively referring to this category as Group N Plus and it will run in conjunction with the existing FIA Group N and Super 2000 regulations," Connelly explained.
"Again we're looking at loosening the regulations in this area to lower the cost to competitors. We believe that the performance between both cars will be very similar, but we'll be analysing the data from the test very closely to determine the feasibility."
The aim is to lower costs and increase the appeal and spectacle of the vehicles while maintaining the ability to return to FIA specification for international events.  Again, this would more closely align gravel rally car regulations with those for tarmac events.
ARCom has also directly involved the Chairs of each State Rally Panel in formulating and updating the strategic/business plan for rallying.
"This proved extremely productive," said Connelly.
"We received essential feedback on the critical issues in every state, culminating in each panel taking a key role in determining the future objectives of our sport.
"As a collective we have opportunities to really improve rallying Australia-wide while recognising the areas we need to address to best ensure our sport continues to thrive in the future."  
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