DECEMBER 29, 2001
Richards under pressure to prove rallying commitment
DAVID RICHARDS may have hit the headlines in his new role as BAR F1 team principal, but his decision to take over this role has dismayed some rally team chiefs who suspect he will not have sufficient time available to concentrate on his position as commercial rights holder for the World Rally Championship.
Ralliart Chairman Andrew Cowan has expressed his fears that International SportsWorld Communicators, Richards' TV rights holding company, will suffer as a result of its owner's inevitable focus on F1.
"I am concerned," said Cowan last week. "Put it this way; we put a lot of trust in ISC because he (Richards) was one of us and he was a strong character. I still believe that he was the guy to get the job done, but there are still a lot of doors that need knocking on. From that point of view, I'm disappointed.
"Rallying is in competition with F1 and the guy who is driving it is in F1. You can't wear two hats."
However Peugeot Sport's Corrado Provera took a more positive stance, despite admitting that the manufacturers had wanted assurances about Richards' continuing commitment to ISC. "For the time being we may trust him, because he has done quite a good job starting from nothing," he said.
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