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Rally Australia dropped from WRC

Rally Australia has been sensationally dropped from next year’s World Rally Championship, following a meeting of the World Motor Sport Council in Paris on July 5.

Australia, along with qualifying rounds in Cyprus and Turkey, has been dropped from next year’s championship in favour of events in Norway, Portugal and Ireland.

The changes to the calendar were just the tip of the iceberg though, with many other far-reaching changes being implemented for the 2007 season.

Other changes introduced were:

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  • As a cost saving measure, a limit on the number of engines, with a single specification per year, will be introduced from January 1, 2007. The number of engines, with detailed regulations, will be proposed at the next World Council meeting.
  • Applicable from 1 January 2007, the existing Super Rally rules will be replaced by a system of bonus points applied for each leg of a rally (1st = 3 points, 2nd = 2 points and 3rd = 1 point), to ensure the final classification applies only to competitors who complete the entire route. Detailed regulations will be proposed at the next World Council meeting.
  • From January 1, 2007, Priority 1 drivers can only test for the manufacturer for which they are designated and, as part of a long-term objective, the number of test days will be reduced by means of technical measures.
  • Remote servicing, under restricted conditions, will be permitted from January 1, 2007. Detailed regulations will be proposed at the next World Council meeting.
  • Drivers of Super 2000 cars taking part in the FIA Production Car World Rally Championship can score points for the Championship classification, as of January 1, 2007. Detailed regulations will be proposed at the next World Council meeting.
  • From the beginning of the 2008 season, all World Rally Car entrants will use tyres from a single supplier. Run-flat ‘foam’ will not be permitted. Tenders will be invited from tyre companies.
  • The introduction of Biofuel, at the earliest opportunity, is being studied by the FIA Technical Department.
  • From January 1, 2007, it will be forbidden for competition cars running on less than four wheels to be driven on liaison sections. Detailed regulations will be proposed at the next World Council meeting.

The World Motor Sport Council approved the 2007 FIA World Rally Championship calendar, which will continue to run to the existing January-December format.

The proposed 2007 WRC calendar is:

1. Monte Carlo Rally, Jan 19-21
2. Swedish Rally, Feb 9-11
3. Rally Norway, Feb 16-18
4. Rally Mexico, Mar 9-11
5. Rally of Portugal, Mar 30-Apr 1
6. Rally Argentina, May 4-6
7. Rally Sardinia (Italy), May 18-20
8. Acropolis Rally (Greece), Jun 1-3
9. Rally Finland, Aug 3-5
10. Rally Deutschland, Aug 17-19
11. Rally New Zealand, Aug 31-Sep 2
12. Tour de Corse, Oct 5-7
13. Catalunya Rally, Oct 12-14
14. Rally Japan, Oct 26-28
15. Rally Ireland, Nov 16-18
16. Rally GB, Nov 30-Dec 2

The World Rally Championship Commission will decide whether to add further events to the 2007 calendar and will make a proposal at the next World Council meeting.

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