What is rally racing?
World Rally Championship (WRC) is known to be the most challenging motorsport championship in the world. This rallying series was established in 1973 and is organized by FIA on a yearly basis. This awesome sport is spread across 15 countries, accumulating more than 14 rallies with tracks ranging from rocky-mountains to snow-jammed thick forests.
The 2018 FIA world rally championship is the latest addition to the series, recognized as the best international rally. There are 13 events, starting in January with Monte Carlo Rally and ending in November with Rally Australia. (If you interested more about Monte Carlo Rally, you could check link). This addition has a lot to offer as Citroen, Hyundai, and Toyota competing to defeat the current world champions, M-sports Ford.
This dynamic sports event is divided into three categories: FIA WRC 2 (four-wheeled drivers), FIA WRC 3 (two-wheeled drivers) and FIA Junior WRC where upcoming stars can showcase their talent. If you are coming driver and want to show your skills, then this is a great opportunity for you.
WRC racing is a 13-day event comprising of two championships: driver and manufacturer’s world championship. Each rally is divided into sections, mostly between 15 and 25 stages which are run on closed roads against the clock. The WRC car is driven by the main driver and a co-driver. The co-driver consistently checks the pace and explains what is coming next. The drivers compete for one at a time and fight to complete all stages in minimum time.
The timing can be as low as 0.1 seconds. The transition between stages is through public roads following traffic regulations. The basic procedure is followed by most rallies. The first two days, rally drivers do the test/practice runs where they familiarize themselves and make pace notes about the routes, speed limit, and timing. This is known as ‘reconnaissance.’ Then comes the ‘shakedown’ part where drivers fight at top speeds of their WRC car. The competition is at its peak for three days.
As rallies can go for some days, there are preset service parks which drivers can visit for 10, 30 or 45 minutes. The time limit is strictly followed. If there are any violations, i.e., you arrive or leave late, then penalties are imposed. Same goes for check-points. After each competitive day, WRC cars are placed away from the service park, only in the reach of driver and co-driver.
Only they can perform work or repairs with on board tools. The team the completes all the stages in the shortest time wins the competition. The points awarded to top ten finishers are 25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1. Five bonus points are awarded to winners of the power stage. Only (2017+)-specifications rally cars are authorized to enter the 2018 WRC. Private drivers have to submit their entries through manufacturers.
Cost & Prize money
WRC rally cars cost around US$ 1 million as they are built around 1.6 liters four-cylinder tech and feature turbochargers, anti-lag systems, four-wheel-drive, sequential gearboxes, aerodynamic parts and other enhancements. Rally racing is a hobby and there usually no huge involved. Only some regular professionals get paid.