As we enter a new season of the FIA World Rally Championship there is a variety of changes within the regulations for 2015.
The main changes include the running order of competitors and a ban on the transmission of performance data during stages, but the FIA have released a full round up of rule changes for 2015 which can be seen here:
- The running order will be in Championship order for Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, P1 and P2 crews will run in reverse rally classification order. P1 and P2 drivers who have retired will restart the subsequent day/s at the front of this group.
- Rallies will continue to be organised over two and half days, from Friday to Sunday, with a minimum of 300 kilometres of special stages. A ceremonial start or super special stage can be organised on Thursday.
- The transmission of performance data or information to or from a competing car, not in relation with safety, is forbidden during special stages to help promote greater competition.
- Priority 1 and 2 drivers will be obliged to do a minimum of three passages through the shakedown stage in order to provide greater media and promotional opportunities. Accordingly, the number of tyres used during shakedown will not form part of the total allocation for the event.
- In order to give greater opportunity to teams entering just one car in the WRC 2 and WRC 3 Championships for Teams, only the best placed car in a team will be taken into account for points.
- The WRC 3 Champion titles for Teams, Drivers and Co-Drivers will be awarded to the team, driver and co-driver who have scored the highest number of points from six of the first seven rallies which they have entered to score points.
- An FIA RGT Cup has been created for drivers and co-drivers and the five-round calendar includes two WRC events; Rallye Monte Carlo and Rallye Deutschland. A specific Priority status will be assigned to the eligible drivers in the Cup events, enabling them to be seeded amongst the P3 drivers during the WRC and ERC Cup events.
- Cars homologated or approved by an ASN of the organising country will be permitted to take part in WRC events outside Europe, without eligibility to score Championship points.
- In order to give more of an advantage to crews contesting all the stages, a seven-minute penalty, instead of five minutes, will be applied for a missed special stage or super special stage. However, the 10-minute penalty for missing the last stage of a day remains applicable.
- It is clarified that a car which has not started from the start line within 20 seconds will be considered as retired and will be able to restart under Rally 2 on the subsequent day.
- Rally 2 cars will be permitted to score points in the Power Stage.
- A WRC Team will be permitted a one-day test for each competition it nominates.
- Current Group N4 cars will be renamed as R4, in order to integrate them into the rally pyramid. This applies to all cars in the category worldwide.
- In order to give flexibility to non-priority drivers, it is proposed that these drivers may continue to use the previously homologated specifications of asphalt tyres for one additional year.
- A ‘Meet the Crews’ session will now also take place after shakedown.