World Rally Champion Sebastien Ogier has entered the debate about the future calendar of the WRC, which currently shows no sign of changing, despite pressure from the FIA and the WRC Promoter to introduce new events.  

It is a problem highlighted by the recent cancellation of the long promised return to China.  

“I think we should have some new events, but also I think it is important to keep some history in the championship and include some historical events,” Ogier said.  

“(It’s) always difficult to say which events are the most important to keep, but there are some often mentioned events are Monte Carlo, Sweden, GB, Finland, Portugal, maybe I forgot some.  Events with a lot of history.  

“It is always a compromise to select the ones you keep between the new ones.  The trouble is I have not heard about new events which will come.”  

The debate centres around not only new events, but also the need for new stages on existing events.  The process of gaining experience of new stages has greatly changed since the days of unlimited practice before events.  

“Corsica this year sounds exciting because there are a lot of new sections.  We will all start with zero experience. That’s real rallying, I would say.  

“We are now living in the age of rally video.  It is the new way for young drivers to discover new stages.   I don’t know at which point they will be able to learn the stages by heart, but they learning a lot with this work.  

“Rallying has never really been like this before.  I like the idea of starting from zero and have to adapt to new conditions.  Like with the starting order debate, I like things which are fair for everyone,” Ogier said.
- Martin Holmes

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