FIA WRC top tier opened up for privateers

by Vince Pettit

Following the final meeting of the World Motor Sports Council for 2017 in Paris yesterday, it has been confirmed that private teams or individuals will be able to enter 2017 specification World Rally Cars on FIA World Rally Championship events without having any ties with manufacturers.

This season entries had to be affiliated with M-Sport, Hyundai, Citroen, or Toyota to enter in the top tier but this has been opened up for the 2018; while this move should see more entries in the leading class, entries will still be  subject to the approval of the FIA Rally Department, and specific restrictions on testing will apply.

In the WRC 2 championship, the mandatory rallies have been dropped for the new season, meaning that the series will be contested over seven event, with six scores counting towards the title.

DMACK, Michelin and Pirelli have been confirmed as the nominated tyre suppliers for the new season, although drivers entered with R5 machinery that are not registered in the FIA WRC 2 Championship are able to choose their own tyre brands, reducing costs for local drivers.

While 2016 WRC specification cars will still remain eligible to enter the championship, the WRC Trophy has been dropped for 2018.

2018 FIA World Rally Championship Calendar

26‐28 January 2018 – Rally of Monte Carlo
16‐18 February 2018 – Rally of Sweden
09‐11 March 2018 – Rally of Mexico
06‐08 April 2018 – Rally of France‐Tour de Corse
27‐29 April 2018 – Rally of Argentina
18‐20 May 2018 – Rally of Portugal
08‐10 June 2018 – Rally of Italy
27‐29 July 2018 – Rally of Finland
17‐19 August 2018 – Rally of Germany
14‐16 September 2018 – Rally of Turkey
05‐07 October 2018 – Rally of Great‐Britain
26‐28 October 2018 – Rally of Spain
16‐18 November 2018 – Rally of Australia

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