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The number of tyres that crews can use in the FIA European Rally Championship will be restricted from round six onwards as part of continued efforts by ERC promoter Eurosport Events to reduce the cost of competing in the flagship competition.
A meeting of the FIA Rally Commission in Paris on 24 May agreed to a proposal by Eurosport Events to restrict tyre usage from next month’s GEKO Ypres Rally in Belgium. It means that a maximum of 20 tyres – plus four for any pre-event running such as shakedown or free practice and qualifying – are now permitted for use on ERC events.
The impact of the revised tyre regulations will be monitored until the end of the season to adjust the 2014 tyre regulations if necessary.
Furthermore, the practice of hand cutting tyres – to provide additional grip – for competitors using 18" tyres will be strictly forbidden unless in very exceptional weather conditions. Hand cutting tyres remains strictly forbidden for two-wheel drive cars, as per the 2013 ERC Sporting Regulations.
François Ribeiro, Motorsport Development Director, Eurosport Events, said: “The ERC tyre regulations were far too expensive. We want the ERC’s open tyre competition to remain, but we had to do something to drastically cut costs for the teams. With six new tyres allowed after each service park, we had a situation where teams were running 36 to 42 tyres for 250 kilometres of stages, which was economic nonsense given the endurance capability of new tyres. We have consulted with the teams, rally organisers and the tyre manufacturers and proposed a tyre restriction plan which the FIA Rally Commission has rubberstamped.”
The restriction on tyre use is in addition to Appendix V of the FIA’s Regional Rally Championship Sporting Regulations that came into effect from 1 May. They limit tyre compound choice to two different types and also specify the requirement for tyres to fit 18" wheels on Tarmac. However, tyre companies Pirelli and Yokohama have been granted waivers until 1 October to produce tyres that conform to the new requirements.
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