Volkswagen’s slim chances of a 2017 World Rally Championship (WRC) campaign are now even slimmer after rival manufacturers refused to homologate its car.
The FIA held a meeting with Citroen, Hyundai, M-Sport and Toyota in Monte Carlo to discuss the potential for VW to homologate its 2017-specification Polo R WRCs for this season.
VW’s shock exit at the end of last season meant that the homologation progress wasn’t completed meaning that the Polo WRCs can not be entered into the championship.
There has been the potential for a private entry to run the cars- with Andreas Mikkelsen the most likely driver- but the homologation needs to be completed for this to happen.
However, for the progress to go ahead, Volkswagen needed approval from all teams, and to reassure their concerns over testing regulations, entry fees and the pairing of components.
However, the manufacturers were split on the issue and requested more information from VW before making a final decision.
“We need more information,” Citroen’s Team Principal Yves Matton said. “We need to know who drives, what rallies, what will be their constraints compared with our constraints.
“We need to be sure this brings something to the championship and not the opposite. Now it’s only one line: ‘to homologate the car to do some rallies. Maybe we need to review the rules to enter the championship, but we need to do this in a proper way and not in one 30-minute meeting.”
Hyundai team principal Michel Nandan, felt the manner of VW’s exit made the completion of the homologation progress unlikely.
“I have nothing against Volkswagen, but for me it’s a bit strange that this big decision came and then suddenly they need to homologate the car. If we start to give the waiver to everybody then it can be difficult. I think everybody should respect the rules: if you want to homologate the car, you have to enter the championship.
FIA rally director Jarmo Mahonen told Autosport: “The meeting was positive, the atmosphere was good – people raised their concerns and they have the right to do that. I will discuss this with Volkswagen and then we’re going to meet again.”