FIA World Rally Championship

FIA Expected To Extend WRC Entry Deadline

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2011 Ford Fiesta WRC (Photo Credit: World Rally Pics)

2011 Ford Fiesta WRC (Photo Credit: World Rally Pics)

The FIA is expected to push back the deadline for entries to the World Rally Championship, due to Ford still not committing to the 2012 championship – according to Stobart Ford driver Mads Østberg.

“The entry deadline is expected to be postponed [to] December 22, as [Ford] have requested a delay because of many uncertainties,” he told Norwegian station TV2. “It seems that the FIA ​understood [Ford’s] request. It is clear that the Ford cars will [race] again next year.”

Mads’ father Morten Ã˜stberg was similarly confident of the M-Sport Fiestas running next season, but uncertainties remain over Ford’s commitment to the sport.

“M-Sport will not stop its programs in the World Rally Championship,” he stated. “Despite the uncertainties, we are ready.”

However, it seems Mads is most likely to end up in a customer car for next season, citing that he is “too inexperienced” to step up to the second factory seat, freed up after Mikko Hirvonen‘s departure to Citroen a few weeks ago.

M-Sport may also be in line to lose another large chunk of funding, amid rumours they will lose backing from the Abu Dhabi tourism board. However all parties concerned have so far been silent on the speculation surrounding the possible termination of the contract.

TV2 also reported that both Petter and Henning Solberg are in “final stage” negotiations for a works drive next season – however Petter nor Henning would not confirm with which team they were trying to complete a deal with.

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Alasdair Lindsay is a Regular Contributor to TCF and can be found on twitter at @AlasdairLindsay
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