The safety fuel tank rule will come into enforcement starting with the fifth round of Africa Rally Championship; the Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally due July 20-22.
During the World Motorsport Council meeting that was held in Paris last December, an agreement was reached on implementing the compulsory use of a safety fuel tank for all FIA events.
The rule was to be effected earlier; during the fourth round of the ARC in Zambia, however, a waiver was given by the FIA, but the waiver has now been lifted.
All crews wishing to score ARC points must have the FT3 safety fuel tank.
“FIA has made mandatory that all homologated rally cars with valid homologations to have a fuel safety starting with Uganda with no waiver,” reads part of the email sent to federations.
Only two crews; Manvir Baryan and Piero Cannobio both from Kenya have shown interest in the title chase.
Manvir will not be affected by the new rule since his R5 Skoda has the component. However, Connobio must abide to the rule before Pearl Rally to score points.
All others crews without the required tanks will be categorised under group S.
To assert the implementation of the rule, FIA donated ten fuel tanks to all federations.
“Ten tanks were to be supplied among different ASNs. It was up to the ASNs to identify crews likely to participate in some events.
“Several crews from different countries were registered. It’s only Uganda that responded late, only to get one slot that was left,” explained Surinder Thatthi the FIA president in charge of Africa.
However, non of the crews have received these tanks with just a week to the Pearl Rally.
With four ARC events already covered, one would doubt the FIA decision to implement the decision with three events left.
“We tried discussing with FIA about the timing of implementation but in vein. Since FIA makes the final decision, our work with the rally commissions is to implement what is decided on,” said Thatthi.