2017 World Rally Championship-2
|2017 FIA World Rally Championship-2|
World Rally Championship
World Rally Championship-3
Junior World Rally Championship
The 2017 FIA World Rally Championship-2 is the fifth season of the World Rally Championship-2, an auto racing championship recognised by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile, running in support of the World Rally Championship. It was created when the Group R class of rally car was introduced in 2013. The Championship is open to cars complying with R4, R5, and Super 2000 regulations. Esapekka Lappi did not return to defend his 2016 title as left Škoda Motorsport for the top WRC category to become third driver of Toyota GAZOO Racing. However Škoda Motorsport retained the title thanks to Pontus Tidemand who won the championship after Rallye Deutschland.
- 1 Calendar
- 2 Teams and drivers
- 3 Regulation changes
- 4 Season report
- 5 Results and standings
- 6 Notes
- 7 References
- 8 External links
|Round||Dates||Rally name||Rally headquarters||Rally details|
|1||19 January||22 January||Monte Carlo Rally||Gap, Hautes-Alpes||Mixed[N 1]||15[N 2]||355.96 km|
|2||9 February||12 February||Rally Sweden||Torsby, Värmland||Snow||17[N 3]||305.83 km|
|3||9 March||12 March||Rally Mexico||León, Guanajuato||Gravel||17[N 4]||231.25 km|
|4||7 April||9 April||Tour de Corse||Bastia, Haute-Corse||Tarmac||10||316.76 km|
|5||27 April||30 April||Rally Argentina||Villa Carlos Paz, Córdoba||Gravel||18||356.49 km|
|6||18 May||21 May||Rally de Portugal||Matosinhos, Porto||Gravel||19||349.17 km|
|7||8 June||11 June||Rally Italia Sardegna||Alghero, Sardinia||Gravel||19||312.66 km|
|8||29 June||2 July||Rally Poland||Mikołajki, Warmia-Masuria||Gravel||22[N 5]||338.34 km|
|9||27 July||30 July||Rally Finland||Jyväskylä, Keski-Suomi||Gravel||25||315.62 km|
|10||17 August||20 August||Rallye Deutschland||Saarbrücken, Saarland||Tarmac||21||309.17 km|
|11||6 October||8 October||Rally Catalunya||Salou, Tarragona||Mixed[N 6]||19||312.02 km|
|12||26 October||29 October||Wales Rally GB||Deeside, Flintshire||Gravel||20||306.13 km|
|13||17 November||19 November||Rally Australia||Coffs Harbour, New South Wales||Gravel||19[N 7]||287.68 km|
The FIA re-organised the calendar for the 2017 season to include a greater variation in surfaces between events, bringing the Tour de Corse forward from October to April. The decision was made after concerns were expressed about the 2016 calendar, which originally contained six consecutive gravel events followed by four tarmac rallies.
The Rally of China was removed from the calendar. The event had been included on the 2016 calendar before storm damage to the proposed route forced its cancellation. The round was removed from the 2017 calendar to give event organisers more time to prepare for a future bid to rejoin the calendar. Similarly, the FIA put the Rallies of Argentina and Poland on notice regarding safety concerns, threatening to rescind their World Championship status for the 2017 season unless safety standards were improved in 2016, with drivers citing a lack of safety marshalls and expressing concerns over spectators getting too close to the cars as the main areas to be addressed. Both events were subsequently included on the calendar.
The Rallies of Sweden and Germany changed their headquarters. The Rally of Sweden stayed within Värmland County, but relocated from Karlstad to Torsby. The Rally of Germany moved from Trier in Rhineland-Palatine to Saarbrücken in the neighbouring state of Saarland.
The Rallye Monte-Carlo introduced a heavily revised itinerary, with eighty-five percent of the route used in 2016 being revised for the 2017 event, which saw the competitive distance increase from 337.59 km to 382.65 km and included the Col de Turini as part of the Power Stage. Rally Sweden adjusted its route to remove the emphasis on purpose-built stages that had filled out the event itinerary in previous years. The new route raised the average speed of the rally and introduced more competitive mileage in Hedmark County in neighbouring Norway.
Rally Mexico also featured route revisions, with the eighty-kilometre Guanajuato stage—the longest in the championship in 2016—removed from the schedule; however, the addition of new stages and further changes to existing ones meant that the overall competitive distance of the 2017 rally was only six kilometres shorter than the route used in the 2016 event. The rally started in Mexico City with a spectator-friendly stage before moving to its traditional headquarters in León. The Tour de Corse shortened its route by seventy-four kilometres, from 390.92 km in 2016 down to 316.76 km in 2017, with most of the changes coming from shortening each of the individual stages used in 2016. Rally Portugal shortened its route by twenty kilometres, reintroducing stages that had not been used for several years and reconfiguring stages from the 2016 event. Rally Poland also revised its route, introducing a series of brand-new stages close to the Russian border. The changes saw the crews compete on a wider ranges of surfaces—including tarmac and cobblestones—within individual stages, although the rally was still officially classified as a gravel surface event.
Following the cancellation of stages in Rally Sweden when the front-running cars exceeded the maximum average speed mandated by the FIA, Rally Finland was forced to revise its route to find ways of keeping the average stage speed down—with some estimates predicting that the 2017 generation of cars could exceed 140 km/h (87.0 mph)—to avoid stage cancellations. This was achieved by installing artificial chicanes into all but two of the stages, which proved to be controversial as drivers complained that they were too narrow and thus had the potential to damage cars, and were poorly-positioned with little regulatory oversight from rally organisers. With Rallye Deutschland moving to a new headquarters, the rally routed was revised. The vineyard and military proving ground stages in the Baumholder region were retained, but the final leg of the route was changed to introduce high-speed stages based on country lanes.
Rally Catalunya introduced several new and returning stages to its route, focusing on the tarmac legs of the event. Organisers of the Wales Rally GB retained the event route used in 2016, but revised the itinerary to increase its difficulty, with the route featuring earlier start times, later finishes and the reintroduction of night stages. Rally Australia underwent route revisions, introducing a new loop of stages north of the rally headquarters in Coffs Harbour. The new stages were designed to be faster and more technical than in previous events.
Teams and driversEdit
- The format of the series will change to include three events nominated by the FIA that will be compulsory for all crews competing for points. This represents a change from previous years, where competitors were free to enter as many rounds of the championship as they wished, nominating individual rounds to count as their points-scoring events. The change was introduced to address concerns over the potential for an anticlimactic championship, where the championship could be resolved without the leading crews directly competing against one another. The Rallies of Portugal, Germany and Great Britain are the compulsory events for 2017.
The championship started with Andreas Mikkelsen, in a one-off outing with Škoda Motorsport after losing his WRC drive because of the Volkswagen Motorsport withdrawal from the sport, winning the Rallye Automobile Monte-Carlo by more than 3 minutes from teammate Jan Kopecký. Mikkelsen won 10 out of 15 stages, and led from start to end. The podium was completed by Monte veteran and previous winner Bryan Bouffier. Eric Camilli finished fourth in his first outing with the M-Sport World Rally Team after being demoted from the team's WRC drivers line up.
Ole Christian Veiby was the early leader of the Rally Sweden, winning the first two stages of the rally, but a push by Pontus Tidemand in which he won five of the remaining six stages of the leg 1, made him the Leader of the rally, a position he would maintain for the rest of the legs. Tidemand's victory give Škoda Motorsport the second victory of the season in a row. The Podium was completed by M-Sport World Rally Team's Teemu Suninen and Veiby.
Rally Mexico was a two-way fight between Camilli and Tidemand. By the end of Leg 2, Tidemand was on top by just 2 seconds. Nevertheless, Camilli choose wet tires for the last leg, and could not match the times of Tidemand, thus the Sweden won his second rally in a row, and give Škoda Motorsport the third out of three win in the season. The podium was completed by local and former Production World Rally Champion Benito Guerra.
Andreas Mikkelsen returned to the Škoda Motorsport's team for the Tour de Corse, and dominated the event, leading from start to finish. Teemu Suninen finished second, taking the position after his teammate Eric Camilli hit trouble in the first leg. The podium was completed by local Yohan Rossel. Mikkelsen's win was his second in as many outings.
Pontus Tidemand won the Rally Argentina by more than 10 minutes from local Juan Carlos Alonso to continue Škoda Motorsport's winning streak. Tidemand found a trouble-free weekend in one of the roughest events of the year were only five WRC-2 Crews finished the event. Benito Guerra completed the podium.
Mikkelsen returned for the Rally de Portugal and looked set to take another dominant win, only to roll his car on the very last stage of the rally whilst holding a 3 minute lead. This subsequently handed Tidemand his fourth win from six rallies, with the podium being completed by Teemu Suninen and reigning Junior WRC champion Simone Tempestini.
Results and standingsEdit
|Round||Event name||Winning driver||Winning co-driver||Winning entry||Winning car||Winning time||Report|
|1||Rallye Monte Carlo||Andreas Mikkelsen||Anders Jæger||Škoda Motorsport||Škoda Fabia R5||4:09:36.3||Report|
|2||Rally Sweden||Pontus Tidemand||Jonas Andersson||Škoda Motorsport||Škoda Fabia R5||2:45:14.7||Report|
|3||Rally Mexico||Pontus Tidemand||Jonas Andersson||Škoda Motorsport||Škoda Fabia R5||3:32:56.5||Report|
|4||Tour de Corse||Andreas Mikkelsen||Anders Jæger||Škoda Motorsport||Škoda Fabia R5||3:31:04.1||Report|
|5||Rally Argentina||Pontus Tidemand||Jonas Andersson||Škoda Motorsport||Škoda Fabia R5||3:55:42.7||Report|
|6||Rally de Portugal||Pontus Tidemand||Jonas Andersson||Škoda Motorsport||Škoda Fabia R5||3:54:17.6||Report|
|7||Rally Italia Sardegna||Jan Kopecký||Pavel Dresler||Škoda Motorsport II||Škoda Fabia R5||3:36:36.5||Report|
|8||Rally Poland||Ole Christian Veiby||Stig Rune Skjærmoen||Printsport||Škoda Fabia R5||2:53:39.3||Report|
|9||Rally Finland||Jari Huttunen||Antti Linnaketo||Printsport||Škoda Fabia R5||2:39:30.9||Report|
|10||Rallye Deutschland||Eric Camilli||Benjamin Veillas||M-Sport World Rally Team||Ford Fiesta R5||3:08:16.0||Report|
|11||Rally Catalunya||Teemu Suninen||Mikko Markkula||M-Sport World Rally Team||Ford Fiesta R5||3:09:43.8||Report|
|12||Wales Rally GB||Pontus Tidemand||Jonas Andersson||Škoda Motorsport||Škoda Fabia R5||3:07:12.2||Report|
|13||Rally Australia||Kalle Rovanperä||Jonne Halttunen||Kalle Rovanperä||Ford Fiesta R5||Report|
FIA World Rally Championship-2 for DriversEdit
Points are awarded to the top ten classified finishers.
FIA World Rally Championship-2 for Co-DriversEdit
FIA World Rally Championship-2 for TeamsEdit
- Rallye Monte Carlo was run on a tarmac and snow surface.
- Rallye Monte Carlo was shortened when the first stage was cancelled due to a fatal accident involving a spectator. The sixteenth stage was later cancelled owing to overcrowding of spectators.
- Rally Sweden was shortened when the second pass over the Knon stage was cancelled on the advice of the FIA as the leading drivers exceeded the maximum average stage speed of 130 km/h (80.8 mph) during the first run through the stage.
- Rally Mexico had its route shortened when a highway accident prevented the cars being transported to León in time for the start of the first stages.
- The sixth stage of Rally Poland was cancelled after heavy rains in the region created large puddles of standing water on the stage which was subsequently deemed too dangerous.
- Rally Catalunya was run on a tarmac and gravel surface.
- Rally Australia had its route shortened after a bridge in the Newry stage was found to be damaged, making the second pass over the stage impossible to complete. The penultimate stage, Pilbara Reverse 2, was also cancelled after heavy rain made conditions unsafe.
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