FIA reiterates commitment to WRC


World Rally Championship manager Michele Mouton has underlined the FIA's commitment to the series and added that president Jean Todt is taking a personal interest in steering the sport out of its troubled period.

Todt was present on the opening round of the series in Monte Carlo, but was not in Sweden or Mexico despite the ongoing crisis. Mouton has allayed speculation that the WRC's crisis is not being given the FIA's full attention by the president.

Mouton said: "We have a president who really wants to move on the WRC, he's really behind us. It's not like he is saying: 'OK, try to find a solution for your championship.' Really, I am more than confident - he wants to know everything about this situation and he knows about this situation in detail, every day."

Mouton added that she is confident the worst of the crisis is now behind the WRC.

"I am always positive and I try to be positive," she said. "But really I am positive the worst is behind us. I was not like that in Monte Carlo and Sweden. I am not nervous at all now."

In the wake of further criticism of the FIA's plans for endurance style rallies, following world champion Sebastien Loeb's comments on AUTOSPORT yesterday, Mouton said the governing body's primary concern was for the series.

Mouton said: "I understand the feelings of everybody in the service park, I have spoken with the drivers, the WRC Teams and the private drivers and everybody. But the FIA's job is to look after the sport. Having said that, of course we want to carry these drivers and teams along with us, we want and need them in the championship, there is no point to the WRC with 20 cars.

"For two years," said Mouton, "I have only heard bad things about [now defunct promoter] North One [Sport], but this is what happens when you lose somebody. The conditions under which they had to work, it was not completely their fault [that they went into administration], but now we should take this as an opportunity to work from a new base and to move forward from here. This is why it's so important for me to have clear vision and that everybody is clear on what we want from now."

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