2019 World Rally Championship-2 Pro
|2019 FIA World Rally Championship-2|
FIA World Rally Championship
FIA World Rally Championship-2
FIA Junior World Rally Championship
The 2019 FIA World Rally Championship-2 Pro was the first season of the World Rally Championship-2 Pro, an auto racing championship for rally cars that is recognised by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile as the second-highest tier of international rallying. The category was created in 2019 and open to cars entered by manufacturers and complying with Group R5 regulations. The World Rally Championship-2 was open to privately-entered cars.
|Round||Dates||Rally||Rally headquarters||Rally details|
|1||24 January||27 January||Rallye Automobile Monte Carlo||Gap, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur||Mixed[a]||16[b]||323.83 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[c]||347.50 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[d]||311.47 km|
|8||13 June||16 June||Rally Italia Sardegna||Alghero, Sardinia||Gravel||19||310.52 km|
|9||1 August||4 August||Rally Finland||Jyväskylä, Central Finland||Gravel||23||307.58 km|
|10||22 August||25 August||ADAC Rallye Deutschland||Bostalsee, Saarland||Tarmac||19||344.04 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[e]||312.75 km|
|13||24 October||27 October||RACC Rally Catalunya de España||Salou, Catalonia||Mixed[f]||17||325.56 km|
|14||14 November||17 November||Rally Australia||Coffs Harbour, New South Wales||Gravel||Cancelled[g]|
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 ran candidate events in 2019 in a bid to join the championship in 2020. Both were successful in secure a place on the 2020 calendar. The calendar published in October 2018 included Rally Chile as part of the expansion to fourteen rounds. The event was based in Concepción and ran on gravel roads.
The route of Rallye Monte Carlo was shortened by 70.91 km (44.1 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. Rally de Portugal was also shortened by 46.72 km (29.0 mi) compared to the 2018 route.
|Driver name||Co-driver name||Rounds|
|Citroën||Citroën Total||Citroën C3 R5||M||Mads Østberg||Torstein Eriksen||2, 5–7, 10, 12–13|
|Ford||M-Sport Ford WRT||Ford Fiesta R5||M||Gus Greensmith||Elliott Edmondson||1–2, 5–6, 8|
|Łukasz Pieniążek||Kamil Heller||2–4|
|Ford Fiesta R5 Mk. II||Eric Camilli||Benjamin Veillas||9–10|
|Gus Greensmith||Elliott Edmondson||11–13|
|Hayden Paddon||John Kennard||12|
|Škoda||Škoda Motorsport||Škoda Fabia R5||M||Kalle Rovanperä||Jonne Halttunen||1–2, 4, 6|
|Marco Bulacia Wilkinson[h]||Fabian Cretu[h]||5–6|
|P||Eerik Pietarinen||Juhana Raitanen||2|
|Škoda Fabia R5 Evo||M||Kalle Rovanperä||Jonne Halttunen||7–13|
|Jan Kopecký||Pavel Dresler||7–8, 10–11|
|P||Eerik Pietarinen||Juhana Raitanen||9|
Škoda Motorsport scaled back their involvement in the championship to a single two-car team. The team retained defending drivers' champion Jan Kopecký and Kalle Rovanperä, while 2017 champions Pontus Tidemand and Jonas Andersson left the team. Tidemand later joined WRC team M-Sport Ford on a part-time basis, while Andersson remained in the World Rally Championship-2, partnering Ole Christian Veiby. M-Sport Ford WRT will also enter two cars, one for Polish driver Łukasz Pieniążek and the other for Gus Greensmith and Elliott Edmondson. Greensmith will also make his World Rally Car début with M-Sport Ford WRT. Reigning two-time French Rally champion Yoann Bonato, who competed for privateer Citroën team CHL Sport Auto in 2018, was entered by the factory Citroën team for Monte Carlo, before Citroën withdrew their entry from the rally, leaving Bonato to run as a WRC-2 entrant. After driving for Citroën's WRC team in 2018, Mads Østberg moved to the WRC-2 in 2019, staying with Citroën's factory team in a different C3 R5, in conjunction with DG Sport. Although not a member of Škoda's factory roster, 2018 Finnish Rally Champion Eerik Pietarinen was nominated to score points for Škoda alongside factory driver Kalle Rovanperä at Rally Sweden. Škoda would repeat this practice with 18-year-old Bolivian driver Marco Bulacia Wilkinson, who is set to participate in the pro-class in the South American double-header in Argentina and Chile, joining Rovanperä on the latter rally.
Results and standingsEdit
Points were awarded to the top ten classified finishers in each event.
- 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 third stage of the rally was cancelled due to the weather.
- The 14th and the 15th stage of the rally was cancelled.
- The 20th stage of the rally was cancelled due to insufficient safety cover.
- The first leg of Rally Catalunya will run on gravel stages and the second and third legs on tarmac stages.
- Rally Australia was cancelled due to a bushfire emergency in Northern New South Wales.
- The crew of Marco Bulacia Wilkinson and Fabian Cretu was run wholly independently from Škoda Motorsport in Argentina and Chile, but were nominated to score points for them in the Pro class.
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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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- "Rally Turkey Marmaris 2019 Entry List" (PDF). rallyturkey.com. Rally of Turkey. 16 August 2019. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
- "Wales Rally GB 2019 Entry List" (PDF). walesrallygb.com. Wales Rally GB. 11 September 2019. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
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- "M-Sport Ford Confirm Greensmith and Pieniazek for WRC-2 Pro". M-Sport.co.uk. 10 January 2019. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
- Evans, David (9 January 2019). "M-Sport hands WRC2 driver Greensmith WRC chance". motorsport.com. Motorsport Network. Retrieved 9 January 2019.
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