What's new for WRC in 2023?

FIA announced recently three major changes to the structure of World Rally Championship for this season which are related to WRC2 class, the testing days and the morning services.

More specifically, WRC2 Junior becomes WRC2 Challenger as the criteria switches focus on competitor experience rather than age whereas WRC2 Masters for drivers 50 or over in Rally2 cars expands to also allow Rally3, Rally4, Rally5 and RGT cars, therefore the name has changed to WRC Masters. In the view of reducing the financial costs and promoting the sustainability, WRC teams have now only 21 from 28 days of testing which means that each driver have only seven days from the whole year to prepare himself for a rally. In addition to these, In the interests of reducing the hours that volunteer officials must be in duty, morning service on gravel events is removed from the itinerary meaning that the Rally1 cars can be fixed only at night services after the end of each rally day. This measure will be a challenge for the drivers who may face some problems with their Rally1 cars on the morning loops. Last but not least, the morning services on tarmac events will be included to the itinerary.

The 2023 season of World Rally Championship is about to start in one day from now with Rallye Monte Carlo. There are big changes to the line-ups as Ott Tanak joined M-Sport Ford while Pierre-Louis Loubet will be the teammate of the first one after signing a full contract for the first time in his career. Craig Breen returned to Hyundai Motorsport with a partial programme as he will share the third i20N Rally1 with Dani Sordo while Esapekka Lappi and Thierry Neuville will compete in all rallies with the Korean car. Toyota retained Elfyn Evans and Kalle Rovanpera in its line-up while Sebastien Ogier and Takamoto Katsuta will take part alternately in WRC this year apart from Rallye Monte Carlo where the team will bring four cars. 

Photo Credits: Hyundai

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