Pirelli Lobbies for Feeder Series in WRC

It's no secret to anyone that most World Rally Championship teams don't have a drivers' youth programme to provide them with talented young drivers at a certain point. Most of those teams spend tons of money guessing and trying several drivers until finally picking one that could actually do the job inside the WRC. Tire supplier Pirelli decided to put an end to this situation and urged the WRC officials to come up with a plan to constantly provide WRC teams with young rallying talents.

The first step in that direction was made by the Italian tire manufacturer itself, as Pirelli has already launched their famous Pirelli Star Driver program. Next year, 5 promising rally drivers will be attending 6 events in the WRC with equal cars and, therefore, equal chances of making themselves 'visible' for championship's 'big guns'.

“Why should we stop at this? If there were 20 of these equal cars, then we could have something similar to GP2 at F1 races. Rallying suffers because there is no single-car formula, so talent spotting is incredibly difficult for teams. And drivers with a budget struggle to know where to spend it to showcase their talents and put themselves in the shop window. This would solve all of those problems,” stated Pirelli's motorsport director Paul Hembery.

He even came up with a viable, reduced-cost solution to solving this problem by creating a feeder series like Formula One's GP2 Series and allowing several youngsters to participate in a reduced number of events throughout the WRC calendar.

“Running more of these cars would bring the costs down for the individual competitors and let more of the youngsters in. That's what we need. We could call it WRC2, run them on five or six rounds - some asphalt, some gravel and maybe one snow rally - and we would create that stepping stone into WRC. At the moment, Pirelli is making a big investment to find young drivers, which is fantastic, and it's going to help a great deal, but there's more that could be done from the sport itself,” concluded Hembery.
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