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On the Friday morning at round two of the World Rally Championship, Rally Sweden, there was the usual matter of the first running cars having to clean fresh snow off the stages. By the afternoon the topic of debate was the fast-changing effect of scattered extra snow covering the road. This was caused by the traditionally narrow tyres allowed on the historic cars, rather than the current WRC regulation wide tyres. This handicapped the first running cars to a far greater extent than in the morning. On Saturday the starting order debate changed course again, this time focused on the double-penalty effect. Front funning cars lost time on Day 1, meaning that they fell back in the classification, and on the second day when they were reseeded, they now had to run again in a less favourable position! Happily the conditions were not as extreme as before.

Later runners at Rally Sweden had far different road conditions to contend with. Photo: Holmes

The current running order system serves to balance out the performance of the drivers. Those who succeeded at Monte Carlo suffered in Sweden, and vice versa! The basic question remains the same. Is it better to have a system which helps the faster drivers extend their lead, or a system in which the slower drivers are given a chance to catch up? * Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
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