|“As with all legislation, the regulations were created by the Motor Sports Council, and the MSA merely administers and enforces them. The fuel regulations were examined again last year by the Motor Sports Council`s ‘Fuels Working Group`, which comprises fuel experts, championship representatives and technical experts. They concluded that a 100 Octane limit was the best choice of fuel (in relation to championship regulations that require the use of ‘pump fuel`) in order to satisfy the requirements of widespread availability and economic considerations. The limit of 100 Octane is in widespread use throughout Europe and indeed the rest of the world.
“The MSA last year set aside a budget to finance a random fuel testing programme to begin in 2007. Our plans were announced in July 2006 in order to give people plenty of notice that fuel-testing would occur to enforce the regulations. Unfortunately, it seems that some competitors chose to actively ignore this warning.
“The opposition among a certain section of the rallying community during the past week has been ill-informed and out of all proportion. We will certainly not allow a section of the sport to be held to ransom by a minority of vociferous individuals who think that by threats and financial leverage they can change the rules to satisfy their own ends.
“We have had a huge amount of support from the wider rallying community, particularly from the vast majority of competitors who abide by the regulations and consequently suffer a performance disadvantage compared to some of their rivals who may be running illegal fuel.
“The MSA, however, does have the ability to ask the Motor Sports Council to reconsider their decision if it believes that further consideration is in the best interests of the sport. The MSA will therefore hold its own investigation to examine this regulation and to decide whether the conclusion of the Council`s Fuels Working Group was correct. We will be undertaking this investigation within the next two weeks and hope to have concluded a report by the end of March.
“In the meantime, we would urge all competitors to adhere to the regulations as laid down in the Blue Book.”
Colin Hilton, MSA Chief Executive