A few months ago, FISA’s rallies committee deliberated on the subject of qualifying events for the coming year’s World Rally Championship. A list was drawn up which included just 10 events, MonteCarlo, Portugal, Safari, Corsica, Acropolis, Argentina, New Zealand, 1000 Lakes, Sanremo and the RAC. The Swedish, Australian and Cataluna rallies had all, apparently, been dropped, at least for 1994.
Whether one agrees with that selection is one matter. Quite another is the fact that a choice was actually made early enough for teams, individual competitors and event organisers to make their plans, including the financially important job of forging links with sponsors. Hitherto, with the exception of the selection for 1993, no list was finalised until the preceding October at the earliest, a procrastination which made things unnecessarily difficult for all concerned.
But the choice was by no means final and we now understand that, once again, October will be the earliest that we can expect a definitive list of 1994 qualifying rounds to be made public. It is still on the cards, of course, that a pool of events will be drawn up and a number of qualifiers selected from that pool each year, on a rota system. It has also been said that some selected events may become permanent fixtures and retain their annual places in the championship.