The FIA World Rally Championship has introduced a number of new measures for the 2009 season, which aim to reduce costs whilst raising the sporting challenge and increasing media coverage.
To reduce costs, the maximum number of technicians/mechanics per team permitted to work on the cars in the main service park is now eight. Formerly it was 12. In the remote service zones, four mechanics/technicians are permitted to work on each car; these persons may be different at each location.
For Manufacturers and Manufacturer Teams the number of chassis for both testing and competing in registered events has been reduced from ten to eight.
The number of test days for a Manufacturer and Manufacturer Team has been reduced further and reflects the reduction in events on the calendar.
Before the start of the season, Manufacturers and Manufacturer Teams must nominate the linked events where they will use the same engine. A maximum of four engine links must be nominated.
To raise the sporting challenge and increase interest, organisers are permitted to run mixed surface events. One surface must however be used on two consecutive days.
To increase flexibility for the organisers and help take the event to a wider audience, the maximum total stage distance has been increased from 360 km to 400 km.
To further enhance safety, it is now mandatory for all drivers and co-drivers competing in FIA Championship events to wear FIA approved head restraints.
From 2009, co-drivers in the FIA Junior and Production Car World Rally Championships will be awarded a world title.
Should a rally counting towards any of the World Championships not be able to be run in its entirety, full points will be awarded based on the established classification.
A world ranking for rally drivers will be trialled during the 2009 season for potential introduction in 2010. Established weekly by the FIA, it will be based on the results achieved in all FIA Rally Championship events and FIA authorised Trophies, Challenges and Cups.
The FIA World Rally Championship Commission will further study other areas of cost management for introduction either during the year or for 2010.
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