Official WRC thread

Hazardous

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And Ford will stick around at least until end of 2013, which is not exactly bad news either.

Also, I really dig the new livery. Reminds me of the early 2000s Focuses (Focii?) which had the blue-green-yellow BP liveries before the Abu Dhabi colours were added.

 

Ripplin

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Wow, I feel really bad for Kris. That's a real kick in the teeth... Very strange, and came out of nowhere, too.

I can understand getting a local expert for the Monte, as lots of teams have done and will continue to do that sort of thing, but then the article (which is not as straightforward as I'd like) makes it seem like he is going to be the third driver a lot throughout the season.
 

Zesty

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I'm very sad, disappointed and surprised at the Mini decision. But, I guess this just shows what a dire state this championship is in. Car manufacturers seem eager to join but recoil again when they realise just little exposure they get from it. Rumours are that BMW used the 2011 appearances to merely boost the profile of the Mini Countryman, and now that it's job is done.... I know that Prodrive actually have very little real financial backing from BMW and this drastic cost-saving measure has forced their hand, but it's still a very sad day for rallying in the UK. Meeke sidelined by circumstances yet again, same old story. :-(

I can only hope next year ends up being a more interesting season than it looks like it's going to be, or should we just congratulate Citroen in advance? :dunno:
 

jack_christie

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So while the WRC is in meltdown, Jean Todt is on holidays in Bali and Michele Mouton WRC Manager is in Munich.

From iRally: MELTDOWN IN WRC

Qatar, identified this morning as a possible saviour of threatened WRC global promoter North One Sport, has pulled out of negotiations tonight.

There has been no comment from the FIA, nor from North One Sport, nor from the Qataris, but some television personnel involved in covering the WRC have received an email from North One Television - which films the WRC and which used to own North One Sport - to say that Qatar has left the field, and thanking staff for all their work, support and friendship over the years.

It appears that North One Television cannot televise Monte Carlo.

The move plunges the WRC into immediate crisis.
At about 5pm Friday, the FIA dumped North One Sport as WRC Promotor and commerical rights holder.

Friday, 6 January 2012
Statement by North One Television over the WRC rights issue

This statement from North One Television CEO Neil Duncanson has appeared on the iRally application, which states some of the issues and the proposed resolution that North One Sport had put together to try to resolve the commercial rights issue in respect of running the 2012 FIA World Rally Championship.

Neil Duncanson, the CEO of North One Television, is putting the blame for the collapse of the last-minute bid to save WRC promoters North One Sport filmly on the shoulders of the FIA, the sport's governing body.

Duncanson, the former chairman of North One Sport, has been working closely with North One Sport management over recent weeks to try to find fresh investment.

Speaking to iRally tonight, he said the potential investors had told him they could not work with the FIA:

"When the Russians proved not to be the people we though they were, we went out with NOS to find someone else. We met with a raft of people, and found a very intelligent credible group in Qatar backed by a big investment bank."

"We put forward our proposal, the FIA went silent and gave us no feedback."

"Then after all the silence, they sent a letter to NOS including for example that we had failed to provide details of the VIP passes. At a time like this, it was like changing the street lighting in the middle of a war! The Qataris finally met with the FIA and then told us today they did not want to work with these people - meaning the FIA."

"We have called, sent texts and emails and no one at the FIA has replied to us, which after 11 years of working to promote the WRC I find it, well, very disappointing. I believe passionately in the WRC and still do, but this is a shabby way to treat us."

"As it is, we stand ready to provide the television at Monte Carlo, but it is in the hands of the FIA."
That left Eurosport as the only show in town
http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/96911

FIA says ex-World Rally promoter North One gave no assurances over investment
http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/96920

FIA World Rally Championship
08/01/2012
Last Friday the FIA served notice to terminate its contract with North One Sport, the Promoter of the FIA World Rally Championship. The FIA sought urgent unequivocal assurances from NOS that it could fulfil its contractual obligations and deliver the promotion of the upcoming Rally Monte Carlo and the Championship for 2012 and for the future. It is with regret and disappointment that no such assurance has been given to the FIA, and therefore today the FIA has been driven to terminate its contract with NOS. NOS has conspicuously failed to deliver its contractual obligations and is in fundamental breach of contract.

Following the recent unforeseen circumstances which led to Convers Sports Initiatives (CSI) the parent company being placed into administration in November 2011, the FIA has fully supported and co-operated with both NOS and the administrators of the parent company CSI in their efforts to secure a purchaser. Contrary to press speculation however, no firm offer to purchase NOS has been presented to the FIA during this period but only numerous non-binding expressions of interest subject to due diligence. The FIA has been notified of at least 7 expressions of interest, but none have come to fruition.

The FIA has given time and support to all the parties concerned to find the right solutions. Regrettably however, not only has NOS failed to perform in accordance with its contract, it has also been unable to secure the essential investment required to enable it to deliver the Championship.

This has placed the FIA in an unprecedented situation just 10 days before Rally Monte Carlo in that the FIA will now have to take urgent action to secure the staging of the Championship. The F?d?ration is now working tirelessly to ensure the WRC goes ahead as fully as planned to mitigate the consequences of the breach of NOS.

At the start of the 2012 season, the FIA wishes to take this opportunity to reassure all its stakeholders - the Automobile Club de Monaco and Rally Monte Carlo which makes a welcome return as the opening round of the Championship, the other vital commercial partners, Rally Organisers, the Manufacturers and Teams, and the vast loyal worldwide fan base - of its full on-going commitment to the World Rally Championship and its determination to see 2012 take place as planned.

The FIA has now launched urgent top level discussions with several partners and suppliers to guarantee the key organisational and promotional components of the Championships, including timing and tracking, TV production and distribution, as well as sponsorship servicing are put in place.

The FIA is fully confident that it will deliver a safe, successful and exciting 2012 season, adding that in the current context, and while there are still on-going discussions, it would not be appropriate for the F?d?ration to discuss these matters publicly until a final solution has been reached.
http://fia.com/en-GB/mediacentre/pressreleases/wrc/2012/Pages/wrc-nos-2012.aspx

About forty full time and 20 freelance jobs will be lost at North One Sport.

Colin Clark on twitter is one of the few updating people on the situation
https://twitter.com/voiceofrally

Keep the Guru in WRC (Julian Porter)
http://t.co/CVgw6XYJ

World Rally Radio afaik have no contract yet for 2012!

WRR on FB
http://www.facebook.com/WorldRallyRadio
 
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Hazardous

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I find it amusing how FIA is are almost globally considered 'the bad guys' in this whole mess and a great deal of fuss is made of Jean Todt being on holiday. And also how a big number of people seem to think this is the end of WRC. Again.

It's a shame that NOS has gone and left a lot of good people without jobs, but I assume the critical things are going to get sorted in time. I would be extremely surprised if FIA did not have a solid backup plan in place (probably one involving Eurosport) in case the deal to save NOS didn't materialize (despite this being FIA). It is going to be an interesting week...

World Rally Radio afaik have no contract yet for 2012!
I'm not sure how the contracts go with them anyway since they don't seem to be affected by this whole mess, at least for Monte Carlo. I would assume that they didn't have a contract to provide their service with North One Sport anyway, just an agreement that would ensure they have access to service park, stage ends and timing data. They should be able to get those settled by talking straight to the organizers. The big question is whether NOS was paying World Rally Radio for their services, and if they were, whether the new promoter is keen to do the same or whether alternative funding can be found. I don't expect the latter to be a problem since the key players know the importance of WRR (for example, Ford paid the bills for the radio a few years back, and Peugeot funded their involvement in IRC) and it's in their best interest to ensure that they are there.
 

argatoga

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I find it amusing how FIA is are almost globally considered 'the bad guys' in this whole mess and a great deal of fuss is made of Jean Todt being on holiday.
Whenever there is any substantial issue in an FIA managed sport I just blame Bernie Eccleston. :p
 

argatoga

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You do know that Mr. E has not had anything to do with WRC since late nineties, right? :lol:
I'll still blame him. Just assuming he is at fault means I'm right 60% of the time. :p
 

zeggawong

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I-Rally website now up - Best source of WRC info now?
http://www.irallylive.com/ir_home.htm

Hey don't hate on Julian "The Guru" Porter. You don't recognise his voice? He's been the man interviewing drivers at the ends of stages for the past 12 years and he also commentated along side Paul King on the live power stages last year.

WRC.com has started to update again!? Who would be doing that?
 
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Loz

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So WRC is on 2 TV channels here in the UK. Motors TV and Eurosport. Thing is, it's exactly the same footage with exactly the same commentator.It was on a bit later on Eurosport due to the Snooker, with was broadcast by the BBC on Eurosport.

Thing is though while the footage was ok, the commentator is terrible. Getting names wrong, distances and times all the time. Either the original commentators were employed by North One, or Eurosport could only get the current one because he was the only one available? Couldn't they have possible gotton MArtin Haven, or atleast Carlton Kirby?
 

Hazardous

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I actually got the same programme from three channels; Eurosport, Motors TV and our own MTV3 MAX. The production seems to work as it did before, the TV production company produces a 25(ish) minute highlights programme and the partner TV broadcasters are free to broadcast that as-is or, if they want to, edit it with their own material and / or commentary track. Last year Motors TV caught a lot of flak for making their own edit and commentary so I guess they've decided to go with the pre-edited stuff instead.

As for the commentary, I think it's done by Julian Porter. He's referred to as a 'rally guru' by the world rally radio, has spent the last few years doing stage end interviews in WRC and commentary in the IRC Rally Radio so he should be a pretty good choice for the job. I don't think he has any experience from TV stuff, though, so give him some time before condemning him too badly...
 

quasibinaer

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So WRC is on 2 TV channels here in the UK. Motors TV and Eurosport. Thing is, it's exactly the same footage with exactly the same commentator.It was on a bit later on Eurosport due to the Snooker, with was broadcast by the BBC on Eurosport.

Thing is though while the footage was ok, the commentator is terrible. Getting names wrong, distances and times all the time. Either the original commentators were employed by North One, or Eurosport could only get the current one because he was the only one available? Couldn't they have possible gotton MArtin Haven, or atleast Carlton Kirby?
We?re getting the same footage over here in Germany, albeit with a german commentary by Norbert Ockenga. He?s also doing the german Dakar commentary and a few other things. I liked the commentator North One had, but maybe I?ll grow on Ockenga, too. There?s one major advantage because of the change to Eurosport though: I can finally watch it on TV and don?t have to download everything. I guess we?ll be able to judge the overall quality after the monte.
 
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