Timing firm keen to resolve WRC row
World Rally Championship timing and tracking chief Simon de Banke is ready to help broker a deal between the events and the FIA in an attempt to avoid a developing crisis between the two parties.
There is disquiet among rally organisers after the FIA presented a single-year contract for 2013, and requested an extra €100,000 per event for the timing, tracking and television production. In previous years, the timing and tracking was provided for free by the promoter in return for the individual events handing over their television rights. Former promoter North One Sport also paid each event €25,000.
The timing and tracking in the WRC is provided by Stage One Technology and the firm's managing director De Banke is concerned at the rift between the rallies and the sport's governing body.
"The FIA's predicament is entirely understandable," said De Banke. "The money has to come from somewhere. The way forward now is to find a solution together which lessens the burden on the events. For our part, we're happy to consider stepping in to work something out."
He added: "We've been timing and safety-tracking the WRC for over 10 years, and we're all currently facing some challenging times. The FIA needs support this year, as do the events. Everyone, including us, has to compromise and stick together."
Despite these troubled times for the WRC, De Banke remains optimistic about the future.
"The World Rally Championship is at the foot of one of its most exciting periods in its history," he said. "We all need to remain pragmatic and work through these issues as a group.
"We'll be speaking with the events and FIA to establish the best way for us to help. If that means some investment from us in the short-term, then I certainly wouldn't rule that out."