Elections Force India out of APRC 2014

Takale PodiumAfter the successfully running the Chikmaglur Rally in December 2013 as a qualification event and having received top marks for a well-run and challenging event, the FIA had scheduled India as an Asia Cup round in the 2014 FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship on 25-27th April.

Unfortunately with India’s National Elections due to be held by the end of May the April date is no longer viable and a new date required. Finding a slot in the already tight APRC schedule has proved too difficult, especially when June through August is the Monsoon period in that part of the world. The organisers have therefore, taken the decision to with-draw the event from the 2014 calendar and work towards 2015.

A joint statement was received from India Rally Commission Chairman Ashwin Pandit and Vicky Chandhok, President of the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI) confirming 2015 as the best option.

“After trying all permutations and combinations, we are left with no option but to stay out of calendar in 2014. We will be definitely be in for 2015 and will prefer a November date for Chikmagalur. Parliamentary elections due in April + May and then monsoon are the main reasons for staying out in 2014. We’d like to thank the APRC officials for their support and guidance as we build towards a great event in 2015”.

“We’re really disappointed we couldn’t find another date”, said APRC Co-ordinator Murray Brown. “India’s a huge part of our region and our Championship with two top drivers and MRF Tyres a major team sponsor, we really wanted this to work. They have a very efficient organising team and a challenging event in Chikmagalur, so we look forward to India being on the calendar for 2015”.

In another alteration to the 2014 APRC calendar the organisers of the Thailand Rally have requested that their event be run a week early than originally scheduled to coincide with the King’s birthday – new date 5-7th December.

The new 2014 APRC calendar as approved by the FIA is as follows:

11 – 13 April New Zealand APRC Pacific Cup Junior Cup
16- 18 May New Caledonia APRC Pacific Cup
20 – 22 June Australia APRC Pacific Cup Junior Cup
15 – 17 August Malaysia APRC Asia Cup Junior Cup
26 – 28 September Japan APRC Asia Cup Junior Cup
07 – 09 November China APRC Asia Cup
05 – 07 December Thailand Asia Cup

Event Changes for 2014

There are changes to the APRC 2014 event calendar, with a new date for Rally Thailand, and the dropping of Rally India for this year.

In an email to competitors and officials, APRC Coordinator Murray Brown indicated that Rally Thailand has been confirmed for 5-7 December, while Rally India has had to be removed from the calendar due a clash of dates with the Indian general election. The focus will now be on introducing the Indian round for the 2015 series.

The Asia Cup 2014 will now consist of four rallies only, with the best three results counting for the championship.

Brown also outlined regulation changes for the 2014 season:

“▪ There have been changes to the FIA vehicle classes as per Art 4.2 of the 2014 FIA RRSR. Please check these before completing any entry or registration forms
▪ APRC specific regulations under RRSR V4 has been amended as follows
▪ Art 4.3 has additional eligibility of vehicles. Of particular note is the eligibility of cars that comply with JAF RJ category and CAMS G2 category. Further information can be made available on request.
▪ Art 5.2. Asia Cup has been extended to include all four Asia rallies. Art 5.3 specifies that 3 or 4 rallies can be nominated for Asia Cup, with only the best 3 results counting for final classification.
▪ Art 5.4.3 has been changed to provide opportunities for teams to register for the Team Award without the need to nominate the specific drivers until before the close of entries for the rally concerned.
▪ Art 5.6 has been amended to clarify the registration requirements
▪ Art 13.3 has been amended to limit the amount of tarmac/concrete of each special stage. (this as a result of discussions with teams)
▪ The FIA has introduced strict new controls on tyres as per RRSR Art 60.1. These have been amended in V4 to better reflect what is appropriate for APRC.

Registration Form

▪ This is being worked on now and I expect the final copy to be available on the APRC website next week.
▪ Note that reduced registration fees are available until 28 February 2014.

Fuel Supplies

▪ In 2014 there will be a new fuel supplier for an FIA compliant fuel for those teams that wish to use it.
▪ The new supplier will be making the fuel available at a lower cost than in previous years, ex depot in Australia.
▪ There is also the possibility of shipping the fuel direct ex Europe to the event, therefore making the fuel price delivered to SP lower again.
▪ As always, this fuel supply will only be available as requested and on confirmed orders.
▪ Please contact me directly if you would like to know more.
▪ Orders for the first 2 events (New Zealand and New Caledonia) should be made by approx mid March.

Rally of Whangarei

▪ Plans for Rally of Whangarei are well under way. As previously advised, Rally Guide 1 is available on the event website www.rallywhangarei.co.nz
▪ Organizers have asked that I bring the following to your attention.
▪ Rally HQ and SP will be same as in previous years, located at the Quayside Town Basin
▪ Some new stages will be added to this years itinerary
▪ As always, accommodation in Whangarei is in demand. Please do not leave it too late to make your bookings for accommodation.
▪ Northtec will again be the location of the pre-event SP
▪ I am recommending that all teams containers be scheduled to arrive in Auckland no later than 1 April 2014.
▪ I am planning to schedule quarantine inspections for either Thursday 3 or Friday 4 April, (depending on number of containers involved) prior to moving containers to Whangarei
▪ As I confirm these details I will let all teams concerned know in advance.

Product Sponsor

▪ An important note that the APRC product supplier, Würth, will again be joining APRC for 2014.
▪ Details of the product support provided to registered teams will be available soon. If you have any inquiries on this, please contact Brian Young – brian@apsm.tv”