FIA rally director Matton leaves role on eve of 2022 Rally1 shift
Matton joined the FIA as rally director in 2018 and has been a key figure in the roll out of the WRC’s Rally1 hybrid regulations that will be introduced from next year.
An official statement confirming Matton’s departure is yet to be released by the FIA, who were unable to confirm nor deny the news when contacted by Motorsport.com. However, sources have confirmed to Motorsport.com’s Italian edition that Matton is no longer in his FIA post.
He was appointed as the FIA’s head of rallying by Jean Todt during the Frenchman’s tenure as FIA president, which came to an end last week. A former competitor, Matton had previously enjoyed two stints at team manager and team principal of Citroen’s factory WRC operation.
He left the French brand in 2008 to set up his own MY Racing team before returning to Citroen in 2012 taking over the team principal role from Olivier Quesnel.
Matton’s departure arrives in a matter of days after the FIA installed its new president Mohammed ben Sulayem following his election win last week.
Sulayem has already earmarked the WRC as a championship he wishes to improve, stating that “two and half manufacturers competing in the championship is not enough”.
One of the reasons the WRC adopted hybrid technology in its new set of regulations was to attract new manufacturers.
Toyota and Hyundai, who were already fielding factory efforts, have committed to the new rules alongside Ford, who has backed Rally1 in its role as a semi-works operation in partnership with British squad M-Sport.
Speaking to Motorsport.com in June, Matton admitted that it would be 2024 at the earliest before the WRC could possibly welcome a new brand to the championship
This year Matton did oversee the return of the iconic Acropolis and Safari rallies back to the WRC calendar and played a part in securing a 13-round schedule for the 2022 season.
Last month he was involved in the launch of the FIA’s new Global Rally Rankings programme, which aims to chart the progress of drivers and co-drivers at a national and international level
Matton’s immediate future is yet to resolved, although he has been linked to the vacant team principal role at Hyundai following the departure of Andrea Adamo, who left the role earlier this month citing personal reasons.
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