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Finland to test virtual chicanes on high speed rallies

Virtual chicanes may be one way of slowing down the incredibly fast World Rally Cars at Rally Finland.

Following increasing unrest at the current level of speeds in rallying, particularly on WRC events and the new more powerful World Rally Cars, motorsport authorities in Finland are investigating new systems of virtual chicanes on special stages.

Notwithstanding the FIA’s reluctance to adopt virtual chicane concepts proposed last year, the Finnish federation are proposing that organisers of their national championship rallies experiment with two alternative systems.

The first is to impose speed limits on short stretches of stages controlled by electronic methods. The second is to demand cars come to a complete stop at agreed points controlled by Judges of Fact, assisted by cameras.

Federation Secretary, Henrik Frank, confirmed the urgent need to find ways to overcome the inadequacies of existing chicane systems (costs, recceing, obstacles which move, and are damaged due to impact) and are keen to define suitable alternatives.

“The main aim is to reduce the time spent by cars on stages at top speed,” Frank said.

“It will be up to individual Finnish organisers to decide if they will participate in trials, but when it comes to our WRC event it will be up to the FIA to decide.”

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Martin Holmes is widely considered as world rallying's most experienced, and most respected journalist. Martin covers the WRC, ERC and all major rally championships around the world.

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