2019 World Rally Championship
|2019 FIA World Rally Championship|
FIA World Rally Championship-2 Pro
FIA World Rally Championship-2
FIA Junior World Rally Championship
The 2019 FIA World Rally Championship is 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.
With two more rounds to go, Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja lead the drivers' and co-drivers' championships by twenty-eight points ahead of defending champions Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia. Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul are third, a further thirteen points behind. In the manufacturers' championship, Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT holds an eight-point lead over Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT.
- 1 Calendar
- 2 Entries
- 3 Rule changes
- 4 Season report
- 5 Results and standings
- 6 Notes
- 7 References
- 8 External links
|Round||Dates||Rally||Rally headquarters||Rally details|
|1||24 January||27 January||Rallye Automobile Monte Carlo||Gap, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur||Mixed[a]||15[b]||302.77 km|
|2||14 February||17 February||Rally Sweden||Torsby, Värmland||Snow||19||316.80 km|
|3||7 March||10 March||Rally Guanajuato México||León, Guanajuato||Gravel||21||316.51 km|
|4||28 March||31 March||Tour de Corse||Bastia, Corsica||Tarmac||14||347.51 km|
|5||25 April||28 April||Rally Argentina||Villa Carlos Paz, Córdoba||Gravel||18||349.48 km|
|6||9 May||12 May||Rally Chile||Talcahuano, Biobío||Gravel||16||304.81 km|
|7||30 May||2 June||Rally de Portugal||Matosinhos, Porto||Gravel||20||306.97 km|
|8||13 June||16 June||Rally Italia Sardegna||Alghero, Sardinia||Gravel||19||313.44 km|
|9||1 August||4 August||Rally Finland||Jyväskylä, Central Finland||Gravel||23||307.22 km|
|10||22 August||25 August||ADAC Rallye Deutschland||Bostalsee, Saarland||Tarmac||19||343.95 km|
|11||12 September||15 September||Rally of Turkey||Marmaris, Muğla||Gravel||17||318.77 km|
|12||3 October||6 October||Wales Rally GB||Llandudno, Conwy||Gravel||22||312.75 km|
|13||24 October||27 October||RACC Rally Catalunya de España||Salou, Catalonia||Mixed[c]||17||325.08 km|
|14||14 November||17 November||Rally Australia||Coffs Harbour, New South Wales||Gravel||25||324.65 km|
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, including candidate events in New Zealand, Japan and Chile. Prospective events in Kenya, Croatia, Canada and Estonia expressed interest in joining the calendar within five years.
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. 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. However, plans to return to Japan were abandoned when the promoter came under pressure to retain the Tour de Corse.
The proposed events in Japan and Kenya will run candidate events in 2019 in a bid to join the championship in 2020. The calendar published in October 2018 included Rally Chile as part of the expansion to fourteen rounds. The event will be based in Concepción and run on gravel roads..
The route of Rallye Monte Carlo was shortened by 71.93 km (44.7 mi) compared to the 2018 route. 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). 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.
The following teams and crews are competing 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.
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. M-Sport Ford will also scale back to two full-time entries, with a third car entered on a round-by-round basis. 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. Hyundai also replaced their team principal Michel Nandan with their customer racing manager Andrea Adamo. Toyota expanded to four cars, adding an additional car on a part-time basis. The fourth car will be run by Toyota's factory team, but entered under Marcus Grönholm's GRX Team banner.
Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia left M-Sport Ford returned to Citroën. Ogier and Ingrassia had previously competed with the French manufacturer in 2011 before moving to Volkswagen Motorsport. Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm also joined the team after two years with Toyota. 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. They were unable to secure seats for the start of the championship, but Breen represented Hyundai to compete in Finland and Wales. 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. Later, they got an opportunity to drive a third Citroën C3 WRC in Australia. Teemu Suninen was promoted to a full-time drive with M-Sport Ford, effectively replacing Ogier. Pontus Tidemand and Ola Fløene will contest selected rounds with M-Sport Ford. Tidemand and Fløene will share the third car with Gus Greensmith.
Two-time World Drivers' and Co-drivers' Champions Marcus Grönholm and Timo Rautiainen returned to the championship for the first time since 2010, making one-off appearance with Toyota. 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. Hayden Paddon was set to enter the Rally Finland with M-Sport Ford after he left without a drive for the season, but a heavy crash during testing forced M-Sport to delay his returning plan to Australia. Paddon's co-driver Sebastian Marshall moved to Toyota. He partnered Kris Meeke, who returned to full-time competition after being fired by Citroën halfway through the 2018 championship. Meeke's former co-driver Paul Nagle is due to cooperate with Crag Breen in Finland. Teemu Suninen also changed co-drivers, with Marko Salminen replacing Mikko Markkula. However, they ended their partnership before Sardegna as Jarmo Lehtinen took over Salminen's position. Daniel Barritt split with Elfyn Evans to partner Takamoto Katsuta in the World Rally Championship-2; Evans instead was joined by Scott Martin. Katsuta and Barritt were later entered into Rallye Deutschland in a fourth Toyota.
Drivers were permitted to choose a permanent number, similar to the numbering systems used in Formula 1, MotoGP and DTM. Prior to the 2019 championship, the numbering system was based on championship standings from the previous year. The reigning world champion still competed with the number 1.
The championship's support categories were restructured. The World Rally Championship-3 was discontinued and a new class was created within the World Rally Championship-2. The class, known as World Rally Championship-2 Pro, is open to manufacturer-supported teams entering cars complying with Group R5 regulations. Two-wheel drive cars and Group R2 and R3 cars are still eligible to enter rallies.
Rallye Automobile Monte CarloEdit
The first round of the 2019 World Rally Championship saw another epic battle between the three rivals Sébastien Ogier, who started his new Citroën career this season, Thierry Neuville and Ott Tänak. The Estonian took an early lead during the first two night stages, but a puncture on Friday forced him to stop, which cost him two minutes to replace. Neuville then took a short-lived lead althrough he missed a junction at the same stage and lost around 20 seconds. However, Ogier hammered home his advantage on the following stage and ended the day by only 2.0 seconds. On Saturday and Sunday, Ogier and Neuville were neck and neck whereas Tänak started to chase time. He set four out of four fastest stage times at leg 2 and pulled himself back to fifth overall after Andreas Mikkelsen, Elfyn Evans and Esapekka Lappi retired from the rally due to lost wheel, off-road and suspension damage respectively. Having overtaken teammate Jari-Matti Latvala and nine-time world champion Sébastien Loeb, Tänak eventually finished at the podium, behind Ogier, who won the rally for the six straight years, and a 4.3-second-behind Neuville. From fourth to tenth were Loeb, Latvala, a returned Kris Meeke, who put his fifth power stage victory in his pocket, new championship WRC-2 Pro winner Gus Greensmith, WRC-2 winner Yoann Bonato, Stéphane Sarrazin and Adrien Fourmaux.
Coming into the only snow event in the calendar, Sébastien Ogier was first on the road. However, a small mistake caused him stuck in the snowbank and there were no spectators to push him out. As a result, Rally2 for the defending world champion. On the final stage of the first leg, Jari-Matti Latvala also went wide over a crest. By choosing to run under the Rally2 regulation, he reduced his time loss to just ten minutes. Teemu Suninen surprisingly put himself on top at the end of Friday, leading from Ott Tänak by 2 seconds but that surprise did not sustain to Saturday. Beaching his Fiesta in the morning loop dropped him down to eighth. Worse still, in the afternoon loop, he hit a tree and damaged his roll cage, which forced the young Finn to retire from the leg. Tänak then took over the rally and comfortably dominated to win his first snow rally in his career with his ninth power stage victory to take maximum points and go into the lead of the championship for the first time in his career. Although Esapekka Lappi almost rolled on Friday, he still successfully finished ahead of Thierry Neuville, who made a few mistakes at this weekend, by three seconds. Andreas Mikkelsen, who once occupied the second place, completed the rally in fourth in the end after a lucky escape from the snowbank on Saturday. From fifth to tenth were Elfyn Evans, Kris Meeke, nine-time world champion Sébastien Loeb, localman Pontus Tidemand, WRC-2 winner Ole Christian Veiby and rally veteran Janne Tuohino.
Rally Guanajuato MéxicoEdit
The high-altitude terrain of Rally Mexico provided difficult conditions for the drivers. Teemu Suninen was forced to retire from the rally when he went off the road only a few kilometers into the second stage. Andreas Mikkelsen led the rally until he hit a rock and damaged his suspension. Teammate Dani Sordo, who was the first time in a World Rally Car this season, suffered a electrical issue as he was fighting for the win. Jari-Matti Latvala was running in fourth before retiring with alternator failure. Esapekka Lappi got stuck and had to run under Rally2 regulation. Kris Meeke had a flat tyre and damaged his suspension, which dropped him from the lead down to fifth place. Although Sébastien Ogier had a puncture on the opening stage of leg 2, a red flag caused by his teammate Lappi's off saved his rally and eventually won the event with a power stage victory. Ott Tänak, who was first on the road on the first day, finished second, with Elfyn Evans rounding out of the podium. Thierry Neuville completed the rally in fourth after Friday's puncture, with Meeke in fifth. From sixth to tenth were WRC-2 winner Benito Guerra, eighteen-year-old rising star Marco Bulacia Wilkinson, Latvala, Sordo and local driver Ricardo Triviño.
Tour de CorseEdit
At Corsica, Elfyn Evans set amazing pace at the entire weekend and led the rally, as championship leader Ott Tänak suffered a puncture on Saturday. However, a front-right puncture in the ultimate power stage dropped the Brit down to third. Several more punctures also happened on Toyota duo Kris Meeke, who won another power stage, and Jari-Matti Latvala. In the end, it was Thierry Neuville that won the rally for the second time as well as his first season victory. With the victory, the Belgian moved two places to the top spot in the championship. So were their team, Hyundai. Defending world champion Sébastien Ogier finished ahead of Evans in second despite an early spin, following by tarmac expert Dani Sordo in fourth. Teemu Suninen completed the event in fifth and managed to stay ahead of championship contender Tänak in fifth after a trouble-free weekend, only 6.2 seconds behind Sordo. Esapekka Lappi, who was lack of paceat the whole weekend, finished in seventh. Nine-time world champion Sébastien Loeb finished the rally in eighth after a suspension damage on the very first stage, with Meeke and Latvala completing the top ten. This is the first time of the season that top ten were all covered by World Rally Cars.
Heavy rain hit Córdoba in the days leading up to the rally, making the road conditions very difficult. Thierry Neuville led at the end of the first leg after Ott Tänak spun on the last stage of the leg, which was later stopped due to an accident for Esapekka Lappi. The Estonian attempted to regain the time on the second leg, but he was forced to stop with a broken alternator. Elfyn Evans also retired during the day after hitting a rock and rolling his Fiesta. Sébastien Ogier lost time in the morning loop with a power steering failure, dropping him to fourth place behind Kris Meeke. Neuville was untroubled throughout the final day to claim a second Argentina win, whilst teammate Andreas Mikkelsen took advantage of other drivers' problems to finish second, his best result for Hyundai. Meeke lost out on third place to Ogier after a final stage puncture, the Citroën driver also winning the power stage. Jari-Matti Latvala had a quiet run to finish fifth, ahead of Dani Sordo, Teemu Suninen and the recovering Tänak. Leading WRC-2 drivers Mads Østberg and Pedro Heller completed the points finishers.
The head story of the brand new event was the huge crash of Thierry Neuville. The Belgian crashed violently after a right-hand blind crest, badly damaging his i20. Neuville's accident opened up the championship situation. With a second-place finish, defending world champion Sébastien Ogier regained the top spot with a ten-point lead ahead of Ott Tänak, who eventually won the rally together with the power stage. Following Tänak and Ogier, nine-time world champion Sébastien Loeb took his first podium this season in Hyundai. M-Sport Ford duos Elfyn Evans and Teemu Suninen completed in fourth and fifth respectively after a trouble-free weekend. From sixth to ninth were Esapekka Lappi, Andreas Mikkelsen, Pro winner Kalle Rovanperä and Mads Østberg. Kris Meeke originally finished in eighth after a roll on Saturday, but he received a ten-second time penalty for removing his damaged windscreen in a time control, which dropped him down to the tenth place. Jari-Matti Latvala recovered to eleventh after he hit a rock in the final test and broke his Toyota's driveshaft on Saturday.
Rally de PortugalEdit
Rally de Portugal saw lots of dramas this year. Nine-time world champion Sébastien Loeb and teammate Dani Sordo both suffered fuel system issue in the opening day. They dropped dramatically in the overall standing, which meant their only mission was to help their teammate Thierry Neuville — Both of them checked into stages late to play a double dose of tactics. Loeb also damaged his i20's suspension after hitting a bank in the power stage, while Gus Greensmith's WRC debut ended up with a crash in the same test. Esapekka Lappi was running fifth until he hit a bank and broke the rear left suspension in the final day. Jari-Matti Latvala retired from Saturday due to a damper issue, but he recovered to seventh in the final standings. Teammate Ott Tänak overcame the same issue and another brake problem and won his third rally of the season. Neuville and defending world champion Sébastien Ogier were the only two drivers to have a trouble-free weekend, rounding out of the podium. Teemu Suninen also suffered brake failure on Friday, but he carried on to claim the fourth spot. Teammate Elfyn Evans, who lost almost four minutes on the same day when his Fiesta stopped with an electrical problem, completed the rally in fifth. Pro winner Kalle Rovanperä snatched sixth despite an early puncture, with teammate Jan Kopecký in eighth. Pierre-Louis Loubet and Emil Bergkvist finished the event in ninth and tenth respectively to take their first career points in the World Rally Championship.
Rally Italia SardegnaEdit
In Sardinia, Ott Tänak suffered a coaster-style pain. Because championship leader Sébastien Ogier retired from the first leg, Tänak became the road-opener, which affected greatly on his stage times. However, with a better road position on Saturday, the Estonian immediately blew away everyone until his Yaris' power steering failed in the ultimate power stage and dropped down to fifth, which sent a huge gift to Dani Sordo, who snatched his second career victory. However, fifth position was enough to elevate Tänak to the lead of the drivers' championship. Teammate Jari-Matti Latvala had two big moments on Friday. The Finn rolled his Yaris when he led the rally and went off the road later in the afternoon. Teemu Suninen finished a career-high second place with new co-driver Jarmo Lehtinen. Andreas Mikkelsen surpassed Elfyn Evans in the final power stage, separating by only 0.9 second. The Norwegian won his first power stage since 2015 Rally Catalunya as well. Thierry Neuville completed the rally in sixth after a troublesome weekend, following by Esapekka Lappi. Kris Meeke completed the event in the eighth spot after Saturday's puncture, with WRC-2 Pro duos Kalle Rovanperä and Jan Kopecký completed the leaderboard.
After the summer break, the World Rally Championship came to the fastest rally on the calendar. Before the rally began, Elfyn Evans withdrew from the rally due to a back injury. Hayden Paddon was scheduled to come back in a third Ford Fiesta WRC, but a heavy crash during testing forced M-Sport Ford to abandon his returning plan. When the event started, championship leader Ott Tänak was first on the road, but sweeping the road did not slow him down. Eventually, he successfully defended the rally with a power stage win to extend his championship lead to twenty-two points. It was the redemption weekend for tornado Tänak, who won his 200th stage victory during the event as well. Esapekka Lappi found his form back after struggling a lot in the first half of the season, finishing second overall in his home rally. Three-time winner Jari-Matti Latvala was leading the rally, but a driving error punctured his rear-left tyre in a right-hand corner, which dropped him down to third. Teammate Kris Meeke also ran wide at the same corner, but he damaged his rear-left suspension and was unable to continue. Although the Northern Irishman rejoined the rally on the final day, he still stopped again as he hit a rock. Following Meeke's retirement, there was an epic battle for the fourth place including defending world Sébastien Ogier, Andreas Mikkelsen and Craig Breen, who returned to championship in a third Hyundai. By virtue of was consistently fast performance, Mikkelsen stood out the other two, with Ogier in fifth. Breen was given a team order that let his championship contender teammate Thierry Neuville by on the leaderboard to take sixth. Teemu Suninen completed the rally following Breen in eighth after struggling to find pace during the weekend, with WRC-2 Pro youngster Kalle Rovanperä and WRC-2 class winner Nikolay Gryazin rounding out of the top ten. Gus Greensmith was the driver who replaced Paddon, but his rally was ended during SS20 after crashing into a tree.
ADAC Rallye DeutschlandEdit
"Cool like a cucumber" is what to describe the championship leader Ott Tänak, who got a hat-trick win on the German tarmac, although he did not push in the power stage due to brakes issue. However, Tänak's win was not so easy as there was an epic battle between him and title rival Thierry Neuville. The Belgian was running second overall, trailing Tänak by seconds, until a puncture in the longest Panzerplatte stage dropped him down, whilst reigning champion Sébastien Ogier suffered the same problem during the second pass through the same test. Following Neuville's and Ogier's drama, Kris Meeke and Jari-Matti Latvala elevated to second and third respectively to make Toyota finish 1-2-3 at the end of the rally. The last 1-2-3 finish was created by Volkswagen here back to 2015, when Sébastien Ogier, Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen covered out of the podium. Dani Sordo suffered a transmission issue on Friday afternnon, which stuck his Hyundai's gearbox in first. The Spaniard finished the rally in fourth before swapping places with teammate Neuville. Esapekka Lappi originally finished sixth, following by seventh-place Andreas Mikkelsen and eighth-spot teammate Ogier. However, the Finn did the same thing as what Sordo did to give the defending world champion an extra two points at the cost of letting Mikkelsen by as well. Gus Greensmith finished ninth despite breaking a driveshaft on Friday morning, with Japanese driver Takamoto Katsuta, who made his World Rally Car debut in a fourth Yaris, completed the top ten. Teemu Suninen retired from Friday due to mechanical failure, but he scored four bonus points from the power stage after rejoining the rally on Saturday.
Marmaris Rally of TurkeyEdit
Rally Turkey was full of dramas last year, and so was this year. The "rockstorm" caused several punctures, and none of the Toyota drivers, nor Dani Sordo stayed away from tyre troubles. Thierry Neuville elevated himself to third on Friday after a masterful drive in the second pass of the Çetibeli stage, but the Belgian went off the road due to poor visibility on Saturday. Ott Tänak took full five power stage bonus points after retiring from Saturday because of electrical failure. Following two championship contenders in nightmares, defending world champion Sébastien Ogier caught the chance. The six-time world champion eventually took his first Turkey victory to slash the gap between championship leader Tänak from forty points to seventeen points. Teammate Esapekka Lappi finished second to give Citroën an 1-2 finish for the first time since 2015, when Kris Meeke and Mads Østberg outshone everybody else in Argentina. Andreas Mikkelsen finished third to take his third podium of the season. Teemu Suninen completed the rally in fourth after a consistent weekend, following by Sordo and Jari-Matti Latvala. Meeke finished the event in seventh, although he went off the road in the afternoon loop of the second leg. Neuville and Pontus Tidemand finished the rally in eighth and ninth respectively. The final scoring spot could be covered by WRC-2 winner Kajetan Kajetanowicz, but a broken driveshaft meant him miss the opportunity to score his first WRC point. The Polish driver lost the place to Gus Greensmith, who won the WRC-2 Pro category despite rolling his Fiesta R5.
Wales Rally GBEdit
The coming of the Hurricane Lorenzo meant Wales Rally GB would run under wet conditions this year. The typical muddy road surface caught out serveral drivers. Esapekka Lappi went off the road and retired from Friday. Jari-Matti Latvala carshed heavily on Friday, his Yaris coming to rest on its side against a tree and unable to go further. Teammate Ott Tänak suffered an engine issue during the opening stage of the rally, but he caught these time back and successfully won his sixth rally of the season with a power stage victory, extending his championship lead to twenty-eight points. Chamionship rivals Thierry Neuville and Sébastien Ogier rounded out of the podium. Early leader Kris Meeke finished fourth after a consistent weekend. Elfyn Evans returned to the championship after he missed three rounds due to back injury. Althrough he suffered a puncture in the first leg, he still came back strongly and overtook Andreas Mikkelsen to snatch the fifth spot. Teemu Suninen failed to restart on Sunday after damaging his car during a crash on Saturday, which left the seventh place to teammate Pontus Tidemand. Craig Breen rolled his i20 on Saturday morning, but he carried on to finish eighth after losing five minutes as it only cost cosmetic damage. Kalle Rovanperä finished the rally in ninth and won the 2019 WRC-2 Pro championship, with Petter Solberg completed the leaderboard in tenth. The 2003 World Champion won the WRC-2 class, ending his 20-year-long career in satisfactory.
Results and standingsEdit
Points were awarded to the top ten classified finishers in each event. In the manufacturers' championship, teams were eligible to nominate three crews to score points, but these points were only awarded to the top two classified finishers representing a manufacturer and driving a 2017-specification World Rally Car. There were also five bonus points awarded to the winners of the Power stage, four points for second place, three for third, two for fourth and one for fifth. Power Stage points were only awarded in the drivers' and co-drivers' championships.
FIA World Rally Championship for DriversEdit
FIA World Rally Championship for Co-DriversEdit
FIA World Rally Championship for ManufacturersEdit
- The Monte Carlo Rally was run on a tarmac and snow surface.
- The third stage of the rally was cancelled on safety grounds when spectator areas became overcrowded.
- The first leg of Rally Catalunya will run on gravel stages and the second and third legs on tarmac stages.
- Elfyn Evans and Scott Martin were entered into Rally Finland, but were withdrawn before the event due to an injury sustained by Evans.
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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.
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