Jarmo Mahonen, FIA Rally Director, has issued a statement saying that manufacturers who participate in the WRC must make a long-term commitment.
Imagine you’re in charge of one of the most unique Motorsports in the world and folks just aren’t paying their dues. Not in terms of viewership, mind – but in terms of support from the very manufactuers who participate in the sport. Well, such is the daily wish of Jarmo Mahonen, the current FIA Rally Director who oversees the World Rally Championship.
Jarmo is sick of being burned by teams who pull out at the last second – first Subaru in 2008 and now Volkswagen in 2016. Mahonen has had enough, and now he wants guarantees.
“We know the new manufacturers aren’t so stupid that they put this investment into the WRC only to come for one year.
But they should commit to the championship for a longer term so we all can build something together.
This is possible if we really know they are there next year. It’s quite impossible at the moment.
We have lost out not having Volkswagen with us.” – Jarmo Mahonen
Though Volkswagen did leave the sport, Mahonen has drawn specific attention to the fact that their reasons for leaving were much different than that of Subaru’s:
It’s a great disappointment, but we had five manufacturers [before VW left] and that’s a signal we have done something right.
The important thing is that Volkswagen left for its own reason.
It’s not like when Subaru went in 2008 and said their departure was because there was no value in the championship. It’s quite different now.” – Jarmo Mahonen
The WRC does seem to be in a bit of a rocky place as of late, but hopefully the recent incident with Volkwagen doesn’t blemish other manufacturers from taking an interest in a Motorsport that has a greater following than Formula One.