The fact that the announcement was published on the first day of April does give rise to suspicions, but if this new rule pans out, it may turn out to be quite exciting (or comical), subject to the driving skills of the co-driver.
While the reference of ‘co-driver’ in WRC sounds as if he or she may be handy in driving, the duties of a co-driver has always been confined to drawing out the all-important pace notes and calling out the instructions as the driver gives it full beans over the special stages. Of course, the co-driver also helps out during emergency repairs and the spraying of champagne on the podium.
The report by wrc.com states that a ‘Swap Seat Special Stage’ rule would be introduced mandating drivers and co-drivers to change seats for one stage at future WRC rounds, and that it will be up to the driver and co-driver to decide which stage they wish to swap. If they choose to do it over the rally-closing Wolf Power Stage, bonus points gained will automatically be doubled.
It would be quite a prospect watching world champion Ott Tänak grapples with pace notes while co-driver Martin Järveoja takes over the Hyundai i20, or how Julien Ingrassia puts long-time partner Sébastien Ogier in a world of fear as he switches role with the six-time world champion. Or maybe WRC just having a laugh?