“Can I say something outrageous guys?” asks George Donaldson.
Colin Clark is excited. “Go ahead George,” he insists.
In SPIN’s latest edition, The Rally Pod – hosted by Clark in the temporary absence of Lisa O’Sullivan – the team explains how the cross-tyres gave Sébastien Loeb a very different feeling aboard his M-Sport Ford Puma Rally1 than running the same sort of tire in every corner did.
Donaldson has something he wants out of his chest.
“They always talk about how they represent the modern car and modern driving, it’s practically illegal in every country in the world to drive with different tires on the same axle. In many countries it’s illegal for the car to run with different tires front to back. It’s also incredibly reckless,” he says.
“I fully understand the benefit of using cross tyres, but it’s not smart. There’s no situation it’s smart. It’s compensating for a ridiculous rule in the WRC – established for all good reasons but it’s a ridiculous rule – limiting [tires].
“Can you imagine a Formula 1 race going on and they’re not allowed to change rain tires when it starts to rain, and they just stop the race?” he keeps on. “If it’s a bit too hot and you’re not allowed to change supersofts, you’ll just stop racing because it’s not manageable.
“We run rally cars through stages with unsuitable tyres. They used to change tires mid-ride on two-wheel drive cars; Lancia did it, Toyota did it too – well, I can’t remember if we ever did it, but we were willing to do it because there was an advantage.
At this point, David Evans has heard enough.
“George, can I say something so outrageous then?” It starts.
“You are the ones who have elevated the WRC to the image of the real world, so let’s take it to the extreme and why don’t we give them a tire for the event?”
“OK David, why not limit them to the speed limit as well?” Donaldson responds.
“David, you’ve gone too far. Nice try, but I push back right away. Completely, completely absurd. We’re trying to have a debate here and you put rubbish like this – it’s fabulous.
Clark asks for a time out to get the debate back on track. To hear the rest, start reading this week’s full episode of SPIN, The Rally Pod, which also includes thoughts on whether or not the Dakar Rally helped Loeb win the Monte, and whether Ott Tänak is a pilot in difficulty.