As the 2015 FIA World Rally Championship prepares for its final bow on Wales Rally GB attention is already turning to next season as the 2016 championship has been confirmed. The season will be competed over fourteen rounds over a variety of road surfaces and includes some shake-ups and additions.
The championship will begin with a pre-season event in which celebrities from the worlds of sport and entertainment will kick-start the season at a high profile opening in Monaco immediately ahead of the start of Rallye Monte-Carlo on January 22. The championship rounds remain the same as the 2015 series from rounds two to round nine with crews competing on a number of surfaces across Sweden, Mexico, Argentina, Portugal, Italy, Poland, Finland and Germany.
China hosts round ten as it returns to the series for the first time since 1999. The all-asphalt event will commence on September 9 and will be based in the Huairou district just 70km from central Beijing. Wales Rally GB is also making a move and will no longer host the final round of the championship. Instead the British event will run as the penultimate round and kicks off on October 28. Australia will host the last round of the series and runs November 18-20. It will be followed by a glamorous and high-profile gala finale to the season in Sydney.
WRC Promoter managing director Oliver Ciesla said the new calendar provides a lot of variety to an exciting championship, “It brings an enticing blend of the WRC’s heritage, in the form of classic and long-standing events such as Sweden, Argentina and Finland, with a new and exciting challenge on asphalt roads in China,” he said. “WRC Promoter has signed a multi-year agreement with Letv Sports to promote the event alongside the Federation of Automobile Sports of China. Letv today is one of the world’s largest acquirers of sports rights and WRC joins a portfolio which also includes Formula 1 and the English Premier League.”
2016 FIA World Rally Championship Calendar
|1.||Monte-Carlo*||22 – 24 January|
|2.||Sweden||12 – 14 February|
|3.||Mexico||4 – 6 March|
|4.||Argentina||22 – 24 April|
|5.||Portugal||20 – 22 May|
|6.||Italy||10 – 12 June|
|7.||Poland||1 – 3 July|
|8.||Finland||29 – 31 July|
|9.||Germany||19 – 21 August|
|10.||China**||9 – 11 September|
|11.||France*||30 September – 2 October|
|12.||Spain||14 – 16 October|
|13.||Great Britain||28 – 30 October|
|14.||Australia||18 – 20 November|
* Inclusion remains subject to formalisation of contracts with FIA and WRC Promoter
** Inclusion remains subject to fulfilment of FIA requirements after candidate event