2019 World Rally Championship

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2019 FIA World Rally Championship
Previous: 2018 Next: 2020
Support series:
FIA World Rally Championship-2 Pro
FIA World Rally Championship-2
FIA Junior World Rally Championship

The 2019 FIA World Rally Championship is due to be the forty-seventh season of the World Rally Championship, an auto racing championship recognised by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) as the highest class of international rallying. Teams and crews will compete in fourteen events for the World Rally Championships for Drivers, Co-drivers and Manufacturers. Crews are free to compete in cars complying with World Rally Car and Group R regulations; however, only Manufacturers competing with World Rally Cars homologated under regulations introduced in 2017 are eligible to score points in the Manufacturers' championship. The series will once again be supported by the World Rally Championship-2 category at every round and by the Junior World Rally Championship at selected events. The World Rally Championship-3 was discontinued.

Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia are the defending drivers' and co-drivers' champions after winning their sixth titles at the 2018 Rally Australia. Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT are the defending manufacturers' champions.[1]

Calendar[edit]

A map showing the locations of the rallies in the 2019 championship. Event headquarters are marked with a black dot.

The championship will be contested over fourteen rounds in Europe, the Middle East, North and South America and Australia.[2]

Round Dates Rally Rally headquarters Rally details
Start Finish Surface Stages Distance Notes
1 24 January 27 January Monaco Rallye Automobile Monte Carlo Gap, Hautes-Alpes Mixed 16 322.81 km [a]
2 14 February 17 February Sweden Rally Sweden Torsby, Värmland Snow 19 319.17 km
3 7 March 10 March Mexico Rally Guanajuato México León, Guanajuato Gravel 21 316.51 km
4 28 March 31 March France Tour de Corse Bastia, Haute-Corse Tarmac TBA TBA
5 25 April 28 April Argentina Rally Argentina TBA Gravel 18 349.48 km
6 9 May 12 May Chile Rally Chile Concepción, Biobío Gravel 17 325.70 km
7 30 May 2 June Portugal Rally de Portugal TBA Gravel TBA TBA
8 13 June 16 June Italy Rally Italia Sardegna TBA Gravel TBA TBA
9 1 August 4 August Finland Rally Finland Jyväskylä, Keski-Suomi Gravel TBA TBA
10 22 August 25 August Germany ADAC Rallye Deutschland TBA Tarmac TBA TBA [b]
11 12 September 15 September Turkey Rally of Turkey TBA Gravel TBA TBA
12 3 October 6 October United Kingdom Wales Rally GB TBA Gravel TBA TBA [b]
13 24 October 27 October Spain RACC Rally Catalunya de España TBA Mixed TBA TBA [b][c]
14 14 November 17 November Australia Rally Australia Coffs Harbour, New South Wales Gravel TBA TBA [b]
Source:[2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10]

Calendar expansion[edit]

Following the return of Rally Turkey to the championship in 2018, the FIA announced plans to expand the calendar to fourteen rounds in 2019 with the long-term objective of running sixteen championship events. Twelve prospective bids for events were put together,[11] including candidate events in New Zealand, Japan and Chile.[12] Prospective events in Kenya, Croatia, Canada and Estonia expressed interest in joining the calendar within five years.[13][14][15][16] The planned expansion put pressure on European rounds to maintain their position on the calendar as teams were unwilling to contest sixteen events immediately. The Tour de Corse and Rally Italia Sardegna proved to be unpopular among teams for the logistical difficulties of travelling to Corsica and Sardinia and low spectator attendance at the events.[11][17] Organisers of Rally Japan reached an agreement with the sport's promoter to host a rally in 2019, with the proposed event moving from Sapporo on the island of Hokkaido to Toyota City in Honshu.[18] However, plans to return to Japan were abandoned when the promoter came under pressure to retain the Tour de Corse.[19] The proposed events in Japan and Kenya will run candidate events in 2019 in a bid to join the championship in 2020.[3][20] The calendar published in October 2018 included Rally Chile as part of the expansion to fourteen rounds.[2] The event will be based in Concepción and run on gravel roads.[3] Rally Chile will be run back-to-back with Rally Argentina.

Route changes[edit]

The route of Rallye Monte Carlo will be shortened by 71.93 km (44.7 mi) compared to the 2018 route.[5] The route was revised after rule changes that were introduced for the 2019 championship limited the maximum distance of a route to 350 km (217.5 mi).[2] Organisers of the Tour de Corse announced plans for a new route, with up to three-quarters of the 2019 route being revised from the 2018 rally.[8]

Entries[edit]

The following teams and crews are under contract to compete in the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship. Citroën, Ford, Hyundai and Toyota are all represented by manufacturer teams and eligible to score points in the FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers.

Manufacturer Entrant Car Tyre Crew details
No. Driver name Co-driver name Rounds
Citroën France Citroën Total WRT Citroën C3 WRC M 1 France Sébastien Ogier France Julien Ingrassia 1–2
4 Finland Esapekka Lappi Finland Janne Ferm 1–2
Italy Mauro Miele Citroën DS3 WRC TBA 20 Italy Mauro Miele Italy Luca Beltrame 1
Ford United Kingdom M-Sport Ford WRT Ford Fiesta WRC M 3 Finland Teemu Suninen Finland Marko Salminen 1–2
7 Sweden Pontus Tidemand Norway Ola Fløene 1–2
33 United Kingdom Elfyn Evans United Kingdom Scott Martin 1–2
37 Italy Lorenzo Bertelli Italy Simone Scattolin 2
TBA United Kingdom Gus Greensmith[21] Flag of None.svg TBA TBA
Finland Janne Tuohino TBA 92 Finland Janne Tuohino Finland Mikko Markkula 2
Hyundai South Korea Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC M 6 Spain Dani Sordo[22] Spain Carlos del Barrio[23] TBA
11 Belgium Thierry Neuville Belgium Nicolas Gilsoul 1–2
19 France Sébastien Loeb Monaco Daniel Elena 1–2
89 Norway Andreas Mikkelsen Norway Anders Jæger-Synnevaag 1–2
Toyota Japan Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota Yaris WRC M 5 United Kingdom Kris Meeke United Kingdom Sebastian Marshall 1–2
8 Estonia Ott Tänak Estonia Martin Järveoja 1–2
10 Finland Jari-Matti Latvala Finland Miikka Anttila 1–2
Finland GRX Team TBA 68 Finland Marcus Grönholm Finland Timo Rautiainen 2
Source:[24][25][26][27][28]
Key
Ineligible to score manufacturer points

Team changes[edit]

Citroën will only enter two cars for the entire season. The team had two full-time entries in 2018, with a third car run on a part-time basis. Citroën cited a change in sponsorship arrangements as being the reason behind the decision to forgo a third car.[29] M-Sport Ford will also scale back to two full-time entries, with a third car entered on a round-by-round basis.[24] Malcolm Wilson stepped down from his role as M-Sport Ford's team principal to oversee the company's wider commercial operations. Richard Millener was appointed as his replacement.[30] Hyundai also replaced their team principal Michel Nandan with their customer racing manager Andrea Adamo.[31] Toyota expanded to four cars, adding an additional car on a part-time basis.[32] The fourth car will be run by Toyota's factory team, but entered under Marcus Grönholm's GRX Team banner.[32]

Crew changes[edit]

Sébastien Loeb will contest six rallies with Hyundai.

Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia left M-Sport Ford to return to Citroën. Ogier and Ingrassia had previously competed with the French manufacturer in 2011 before moving to Volkswagen Motorsport.[33] Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm also joined the team after two years with Toyota.[34] Craig Breen and Scott Martin left the team when Citroën announced that they would scale back their involvement in the championship to two full-time entries for Ogier and Lappi.[35] They were unable to secure seats for the start of the championship. Mads Østberg and Torstein Eriksen remained with the Citroën team, agreeing to a full-time factory campaign in the WRC-2 class in R5 version of the C3.[36] Teemu Suninen was promoted to a full-time drive with M-Sport Ford, effectively replacing Ogier.[37] Pontus Tidemand and Ola Fløene will contest selected rounds with M-Sport Ford.[38] Tidemand and Fløene will share the car with Gus Greensmith.[21]

Two-time World Drivers' and Co-drivers' Champions Marcus Grönholm and Timo Rautiainen will return to the championship for the first time since 2010, making one appearance with Toyota.[32] Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena signed a contract to contest six rounds with Hyundai, sharing an i20 with the crew of Dani Sordo and Carlos del Barrio.[39] Hayden Paddon was left without a drive for the season.[40] Paddon's co-driver Sebastian Marshall moved to Toyota.[41] He will partner Kris Meeke,[42] who returns to full-time competition after being fired by Citroën halfway through the 2018 championship.[43] Teemu Suninen also changed co-drivers, with Marko Salminen replacing Mikko Markkula.[44] Daniel Barritt split with Elfyn Evans to partner Takamoto Katsuta in the World Rally Championship-2;[45] Evans will instead be joined by Scott Martin.[46]

Rule changes[edit]

The maximum total distance of special stages per event will be reduced from 500 km (310.7 mi) to 350 km (217.5 mi).[2]

Drivers will be permitted to choose a permanent number, similar to the numbering systems used in Formula 1 and MotoGP.[2][10] Prior to the 2019 championship, the numbering system was based on championship standings from the previous year. The reigning world champion will still compete with the number 1.[47][48]

The number of test days will be reduced from 55, with teams permitted to test for 42 days per year.[2][10]

The championship's support categories will be restructured. The World Rally Championship-3 will be discontinued and a new class will be created within the World Rally Championship-2. The class, known as World Rally Championship-2 Pro, will be open to manufacturer-supported teams entering cars complying with Group R5 regulations.[10] Two-wheel drive cars and Group R2 and R3 cars will still be eligible to enter rallies.[10]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The Monte Carlo Rally will be run on a tarmac and snow surface.
  2. ^ a b c d Date subject to confirmation.[3]
  3. ^ The first leg of Rally Catalunya will run on gravel stages and the second and third legs on tarmac stages.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Van Leeuwen, Andrew (18 November 2018). "Rally Australia: Latvala wins as Ogier, Toyota claim WRC titles". autosport.com. Motorsport Network. Retrieved 18 November 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "FIA announces World Motor Sport Council decisions". fia.com. Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile. 12 October 2018. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d "Chile steps up to 2019 WRC". wrc.com. WRC Promoter GmbH. 12 October 2018. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  4. ^ "Season 2019 WRC". ewrc-results.com. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Rallye Monte-Carlo – Edition 2019". acm.mc. Automobile Club de Monaco. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  6. ^ "Rally Sweden fakta 2019" (PDF). rallytravels.com. Retrieved 13 October 2018.
  7. ^ "Rally Mexico homepage". Rally Guanajuato Mexico. Retrieved 13 October 2018.
  8. ^ a b Evans, David (12 October 2018). "Tour of Corsica announces 2019 World Rally Championship reprieve". autosport.com. Motorsport Network. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
  9. ^ "Visit Jyväskylä - Events > Neste Rally Finland". visitjyvaskyla.fi. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  10. ^ a b c d e Herrero, Daniel (13 October 2018). "Australia remains finale on 2019 WRC calendar". speedcafe.com. Speedcafe. Retrieved 13 October 2018.
  11. ^ a b Evans, David (4 July 2018). "Japan and Chile now both expected to host 2019 WRC rounds". autosport.com. Motorsport Network. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  12. ^ Howard, Tom (17 November 2017). "Rally Aus continues push for multi-year WRC deal". speedcafe.com. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  13. ^ Coch, Mat (9 February 2018). "Canada seeking to host WRC from 2023". speedcafe.com. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  14. ^ "FIA signs agreement for 'modern-era' Safari Rally". autosport.com. Motorsport Network. 22 June 2018. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  15. ^ "Urmo Aava: eesmärk on jõuda WRC sarja, mitte nendega konkureerida" [Urmo Aava: the goal is to reach WRC, not to be their rival] (in Estonian). Eesti Rahvusringhääling. 30 May 2018.
  16. ^ "Rally Estonia naaseb ja tahab murda 2021. aastaks MM-sarja" [Rally Estonia returns and wants to reach the World Championship by 2021] (in Estonian). Postimees. 1 November 2017.
  17. ^ Evans, David (14 June 2018). "WRC team pushing for Italy 2019 boycott over Sardinia route". motorsport.com. Motorsport Network. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  18. ^ Evans, David (22 August 2018). "Rally Japan gets go-ahead from WRC Promoter for 2019 event". autosport.com. Motorsport Network. Archived from the original on 23 August 2018.
  19. ^ Evans, David (11 October 2018). "Rally Japan's WRC return set to be abandoned at FIA council meeting". autosport.com. Motorsport Network. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  20. ^ Evans, David (12 October 2018). "2019 WRC calendar: 14-round schedule given green light by FIA WMSC". autosport.com. Motorsport Network. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  21. ^ a b Evans, David (9 January 2019). "M-Sport hands WRC2 driver Greensmith WRC chance". motorsport.com. Motorsport Network. Retrieved 9 January 2019.
  22. ^ Evans, David (6 December 2018). "Hyundai denies deal with Loeb for 2019 WRC programme already done". autosport.com. Motorsport Network. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  23. ^ "Dani Sordo correrá 10 rallies con Hyundai en 2019" [Dani Sordo comfirmed 10 rallies with Hyundai in 2019]. Sport (in Spanish). Grupo Zeta. 28 November 2017. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  24. ^ a b Herrero, Dan (22 December 2018). "M-Sport officially registers for 2019 WRC". speedcafe.com. Speedcafe. Retrieved 22 December 2018.
  25. ^ "Michelin signs new WRC agreement". wrc.com. WRC Promoter GmbH. 13 October 2016. Retrieved 9 December 2018. The French tyre company and WRC Promoter have agreed an extension of their current partnership under which Michelin will be Official Tyre of the WRC until the end of 2019.
  26. ^ "87. Rallye Automobile Monte-Carlo" (PDF). Retrieved 15 January 2019.
  27. ^ "Entry list Rallye Automobile de Monte Carlo 2019". Retrieved 15 January 2019.
  28. ^ "Rally Sweden 2019 Official Entry List" (PDF). rallysweden.com. Rally Sweden. 18 January 2019. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  29. ^ Evans, David (1 December 2018). "Sebastien Loeb won't get Citroen WRC outings in 2019". autosport.com. Motorsport Network. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  30. ^ "Wilson steps back". wrc.com. WRC Promoter GmbH. 22 December 2018. Retrieved 22 December 2018.
  31. ^ Evans, David (2 January 2019). "Hyundai splits with its World Rally team boss Nandan for 2019". autosport.com. Motorsport Network. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  32. ^ a b c Evans, David (15 January 2019). "Marcus Gronholm back to WRC for Rally Sweden with a Toyota". autosport.com. Motorsport Network. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
  33. ^ Evans, David (28 September 2018). "Sebastien Ogier picks Citroen for 2019 World Rally Championship". autosport.com. Motorsport Network. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  34. ^ "Esapekka Lappi Joins Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT". media.citroenracing.com. Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT. 17 October 2018. Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  35. ^ Herrero, Dan (2 December 2018). "No third car, no Loeb for Citroen in 2019 WRC". speedcafe.com. Speedcafe. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  36. ^ "Mads Østberg is ready for WRC2-Pro with C3 R5". madsostberg.no. 14 January 2019. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  37. ^ Evans, David (28 September 2018). "M-Sport won't rush decision over 2019 WRC plans after Ogier's exit". autosport.com. Motorsport Network. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  38. ^ Klien, Jamie (21 December 2018). "Tidemand gets two WRC rounds with M-Sport". motorsport.com. Motorsport Network. Retrieved 21 December 2018.
  39. ^ "Sebastien Loeb seals six-round 2019 WRC deal with Hyundai". autosport.com. Motorsport Network. 13 December 2018. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  40. ^ "Paddon left 'high and dry'". wrc.com. WRC Promoter GmbH. 14 December 2018. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  41. ^ Cozens, Jack (4 December 2018). "Toyota WRC team reveals Seb Marshall as Kris Meeke's co-driver". autosport.com. Motorsport Network. Retrieved 4 December 2018.
  42. ^ "TOYOTA GAZOO Racing confirms WRC driver line-up for 2019". toyotagazooracing.com. Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT. 17 October 2018. Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  43. ^ Evans, David (25 May 2018). "Citroen WRC team explains decision to axe 'not under control' Meeke". autosport.com. Motorsport Network. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  44. ^ "Rossi's Seventh Monza Success". wrc.com. WRC Promoter GmbH. 10 December 2018. Retrieved 11 December 2018. He finished 1min 07.2sec clear of Finn Suninen, who was partnered by new co-driver Marko Salminen for the first time.
  45. ^ "Toyota reveals 2019 programme for WRC protege Takamoto Katsuta". autosport.com. Motorsport Network. 19 December 2018. Retrieved 19 December 2018.
  46. ^ Evans, David (21 December 2018). "M-Sport goes ahead with 2019 World Rally Championship entry". autosport.com. Motorsport Network. Retrieved 21 December 2018.
  47. ^ "2019 Revamp for WRC 2". wrc.com. WRC Promoter GmbH. 15 October 2018. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  48. ^ Evans, David (12 January 2019). "WRC drivers' competition numbers revealed at Autosport International". autosport.com. Motorsport Network. Retrieved 12 January 2019.

External links[edit]