World Rally Championship 1983

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There were times during 1982 when criticism was levelled against the points allocation system used by FISA for the World Rally Championship, in particular the drivers’ series. The critics were loudest any before the Sanremo Rally, when Rohrl was leading the series ahead of Mouton even though she had three outright wins to her credit and he only one.

The system is that of the old Can-Am series, with twenty points to the winner, decreasing along an irregular progression to one point for tenth place. Perhaps the critics were right inasmuch as rather more reward should be given to event winners, and perhaps the time has come to adopt a new scale on the lines of 30, 22, 15, 10, 8, 6, 4, 3, 2, 1. It would certainly make drivers less prepared to drive for points rather than places if they know that the difference between first and fourth is 20 points rather than the present ten.

Another oddity exists in the makes’ series, where two separate allocations are made, one for overall positions and the other for places within groups. The two are then added in respect of each make leader within the first ten, and it can happen that a ninth placed car can score, say, two points and the tenth placed all of nine points.

Multiple places within the first ten by the same make are not rewarded at all, as only the leading car of each make is allowed to score. This could be changed by a bonus scheme for each car of a particular make to finish inside the first ten, or even by insisting that manufacturers’ points can only be allocated if at least two cars of that make are in the first ten.

It is by no means straightforward to arrive at a means of fair allocation which would put a greater premium on driving to win than on tactical points seeking, but we believe that FISA should certainly do this for the sake of reason and logic.

The 1983 series remains largely unaltered from last year, the only real change being the omission of the Brazil Rally which didn’t deserve to be there in the first place. Furthermore, in New Zealand there will be an event sponsor other than Motogard, that company having been taken over by the Australian concern Repco which apparently prefers no longer to back such events after experience with the last round-Australia Trial. A list of qualifying events, with their organisers’ addresses, is appended.

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