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The World Rally Championship (WRC) was created in 1973 by the International Automobile Federation (FIA). The title of world champion of constructor rallies was awarded as early as 1973. Both the drivers championship and the co-drivers championship were created in 1979.
14 ROUNDS IN THE WORLD
The FIA WRC 2019 season has been launched on January 24th in Monte Carlo. It will end on November 19th in Australia.
This year, a new event has integrated the championship: the rally of Chile.
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ALL TYPES OF TERRAIN
Round 1 : Rally Monte-Carlo (24 – 27 January)
From the Hautes-Alpes region to the hills above Nice, the world’s oldest rally is raced on the magnificent roads of the south of France. The main difficulty is the weather, which can be unpredictable at this time of year.
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Round 2 : Rally Sweden (14 – 17 February)
Although raced on icy ground, Rally Sweden is one of the fastest of the season thanks to the grip provided by studded tyres. While drivers can “lean” on walls of hardened snow, it is also easy to get stuck in them…
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Round 3 : Rally Mexico (7 – 10 March)
With numerous mountain roads and a fantastic atmosphere, Rally Mexico has over the years become a WRC classic.
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Round 4 : Tour de Corse (28 – 31 March)
In the calendar of the FIA WRC events since 2015, the Tour de Corse is a race mostly on asphalt. The rally makes us discover the beautiful landscapes of the “Island of beauty”.
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Round 5 : Rally Argentina (25 – 28 April)
Appreciated for its beautiful landscapes and the ambience created by the motorsport “aficionados”, Rally Argentina is the fifth leg in the FIA World Championship.
Round 6: Chile Rally (9 – 12 May)
With its main roads in the ground, this new WRC event has many surprises for us.
Round 7 : Rally Portugal (30 May – 2 June)
With plenty of gravel and a strong dose of spectacle, Rally de Portugal is without a doubt one of the most popular events of the season.
Round 8 : Rally Italia Sardegna (13 – 16 June)
The fast and narrow roads, lined with shrubs, trees and stones, leave absolutely no room for error on the part of drivers racing in Sardinia.
Round 9 : Rally Finland (1 – 4 August)
Fast and highly technical, the emblematic Rally Finland is one of the year’s most difficult, where no co-driver errors are tolerated.
Round 10 : Rally Deutschland (22 – 25 August)
Seen as the most difficult asphalt race of the end of the season, Rally Deutschland and its unpredictable weather conditions make choosing the right tyres a tough task.
Round 11 : Rally Turkey (12 – 15 September)
At the edge of the Mediterranean Sea and on the mountain roads, the WRC competitors will face the “rough” ground of the rally mainly in gravel.
Round 12 : Wales Rally GB (3 – 6 October)
Wales Rally GB is generally a cold, wet and foggy event, which makes it a consistently fascinating spectacle.
Round 13 : Rally RACC – Rally de Espana (24 – 27 October)
With two days on asphalt and one day of specials on gravel, Rally de España is a singular event that imposes a particular driving style on the teams.
Round 14 : Rally Australia (14 – 17 November)
Rally Australia is clearly the most “exotic” of the season, holding plenty of surprises for the drivers. It is the last round of the 2019 season.
HOW DOES A WRC RALLY WORK?
The main difference between the races in the World Rally Championship is the type of terrain. Depending on the country, events are organised on gravel, asphalt or snow.
Apart from this difference, each rally is organised in the same fashion, as follows:
. Tuesday and Wednesday: the first two days are dedicated to “reccies” and give the teams time to draw up their notes and assess the route.
. Thursday: the “shakedown”, a session of tests in real-life conditions before the race begins.
. Friday, Saturday and Sunday: the race itself, with a succession of 15 to 25 specials pitting the drivers against one another.
A “special” refers to a segment of the route (closed to traffic) that the drivers complete one by one in as fast a time as possible. Drivers are timed to a tenth of a second.
To help the driver, the co-driver reads his notes, drawn up during the reccies, in particular informing the driver of route conditions.
Between the specials and when heading to the assistance park, the cars in competition use roads open to traffic and as such have to respect the highway code.
Access to the assistance park is strictly regulated (times, mechanic assistance times, etc.). If repairs or adjustments to the vehicles are required outside the assistance park, only drivers and co-drivers are authorised to carry them out, and may only use equipment stored on board their vehicle.
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