| 21-27 april
||Ypres Rally Belgium
||Nya Zeeland *
|* Subject to contract
22-05-19 WRC rally legends
toast championships 50 golden years
World champions spanning six decades kicked off the FIA World Rally Championships
50th season celebrations in style on Wednesday at a star-studded gala in Portugal.
Title-winning drivers, co-drivers and team managers created the biggest ever
gathering of WRC champions in Matosinhos. The event launched five days of
celebrations at Vodafone Rally de Portugal (19 - 22 May) during the first
gravel fixture of the sports innovative hybrid era.
Nine-time champion Sébastien Loeb (FRA) and eight-time winner Sébastien
Ogier (FRA) took a break from preparations for round four of the 2022 series
to attend the gala, which recalled some of the most memorable moments across
They were joined by Walter Röhrl (DEU), Marcus Grönholm and Ari
Vatanen (both FIN), Miki Biasion (ITA), Carlos Sainz (ESP), Petter Solberg
(NOR) and Ott Tänak (EST). Between them they have amassed 28 titles.
Robert Reid, Derek Ringer and David Richards (all GBR), Luis Moya (ESP), Christian
Geistdörfer (DEU), Tiziano Siviero (ITA), Timo Rautiainen (FIN) and Martin
Järveoja (EST) represented the champion co-drivers.
Michèle Mouton (FRA) and Fabrizia Pons (ITA), the only female pairing
to win a WRC event outright, were present, along with WRC Ladies Cup
winners Louise-Aitken-Walker (GBR) and Isolde Holderied (DEU), their co-driver
Tina Thörner (SWE), and Christine Driano (FRA).
The gala, attended by 250 guests, was held in the rallys Exponor headquarters.
Portugal was a host country in 1973s inaugural WRC season and this years
event marks the championships 619th round.
The celebrations continue over the weekend with almost 30 classic cars charting
the WRCs history on display. They include an Alpine A110, the model
which won the first WRC round at Rallye Monte-Carlo. They will also take part
in demonstration runs at special stages.
The gala was organised by championship commercial rights holder WRC Promoter
and motorsports governing body, the FIA.
It was a truly special occasion, said WRC Promoter managing director
Jona Siebel. We were honoured by the presence of title winners from
all six decades of the WRCs history for an evening of celebration, joyous
memories and good old-fashioned fun.
The festivities continue for the next four days and it will be pure
nostalgia to watch some amazing title-winning cars driving special stages
ahead of todays superstars fighting for tenths of a second.
FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem was an enthusiastic guest. There
are so many memories and it is such a special moment to be here among your
own family, he said.
It is an immense pleasure to be present at Rally de Portugal and celebrate
the champions, alongside WRC Promoter and all the partners and friends of
the sport. I would like to extend my gratitude to Automóvel Club de
Portugals president, Carlos Barbosa, for hosting the festivities as
part of the rally event.
22-05-19 Solbergs sponsorer
Planen var att Oliver Solberg skulle stå över Rally Portugal. Istället
gick 20-åringens sponsorer in och såg till att Oliver står
på startlinjen i helgens VM-tävling.
Inför säsongen fick Oliver besked om att "dela" en bil
med spanjoren Daniel Sordo i värstingklassen. Efter att ha kört
säsongens tre första VM-tävlingarna i Monaco, Sverige och Kroatien,
är det nu Sordos tur på portugisiskt grus.
För att Oliver inte ska missa mycket viktig erfarenhet genom att stå
över en VM-tävling, gick sponsorerna Monster Energy, HTB Racing
och Schaktmiljö samman och hyrde en Hyundai i20 N Rally2-bil till det
- Jag är evigt tacksam mot mina sponsorer som ger mig den här chansen.
I rally betyder erfarenhet av de olika tävlingarna så mycket, och
nu ser de till att jag inte missar den här möjligheten i Portugal,
säger Oliver Solberg.
Han kommer att tävla i den näst högsta klassen tillsammans
med bland andra Andreas Mikkelsen, Teemu Suninen och ett rekordstort startfält
som innehåller många förare i världsklass.
- Jag kan inte säga annat än att det var lite tråkigt att
lämna över "nycklarna" till värstingbilen i20 N Rally1
till Dani Sordo. Samtidigt är det enligt plan och som det ska vara i
år. Rally2 skiljer sig mycket
från Rally1-bilen. Men det är bra för mig att få erfarenhet
av olika bilar i så många tävlingar som möjligt.
Rally Portugal är säsongens första grusrally.
- Det är alltid svårt att veta vad det är för grepp vi
kan förvänta oss. Eftersom vi är nära Atlantkusten kan
vädret förändras både snabbt och drastiskt. Dessutom
kommer vi att tävla på en mängd olika vägytor med damm,
lera och stenar. Vi vet att detta är ett ganska tekniskt rally, och både
däckval och noter kommer att vara viktiga.
Solbergs mål är att skaffa erfarenhet och genomföra tävlingen.
Samtidigt vill han slåss om topplaceringar både på specialsträckorna
samt totalt i Rally2-klassen. Tävlingen är det första den här
säsongen där Oliver Solberg kan dra nytta av sina egna noter från
fjolåret (5:e plats).
Det råder ingen tvekan om att vi hade bra erfarenhet förra
året. Nu måste vi bygga vidare på det, säger Solberg.
Rally Portugal drar igång med en kort sträcka på torsdagskvällen
och avslutas efter 21 specialsträckor på söndag eftermiddag.
22-05-18 Legends Loeb and Ogier
renew rivalry at Rally de Portugal
French duo back in action at opening gravel fixture. Rallying superstars Sébastiens
Loeb and Ogier face-off for the second course of their FIA World Rally Championship
season rivalry at Vodafone Rally de Portugal (19 - 22 May).
The sports two most successful drivers are reunited in battle after
serving up a tasty dish at Januarys season-opening Rallye Monte-Carlo.
Loeb became the oldest event winner in history at 47 after snatching victory
in an epic tussle.
Three rounds further down the road, they return from competing in other disciplines
to add extra spice to the opening gravel fixture of both the season and the
WRCs hybrid era.
Loeb has the harder task. The nine-time champion is an early starter in Fridays
opening leg and with conditions set to remain dry, grip will be low for those
at the front on roads coated in slippery sand.
I am fourth on the road and road cleaning is always a challenge in this
kind of rally if its dry, said the M-Sport Ford Puma driver.
I dont really know what to expect there so we need to do a good
first day, and for the rest we will see where we are. Only one day of testing
isnt a lot when its the first time you are driving a car on gravel,
but at the end I was happy with the feeling I had.
Eight-time champion Ogier is chasing a record sixth victory in the country
where he scored his first WRC win 12 years ago. He is helped by a start position
four places behind his fellow Frenchman.
Portugal is a special place for me, admitted the Toyota Gazoo
Racing driver. It will be something different for me to not be starting
near the front and hopefully that can be a bit of an advantage if it doesnt
The biggest challenge will be getting back in the rhythm straightaway
after only one test day on gravel. But at the same time, these cars are new
for everyone on gravel.
Ogier is joined in GR Yaris cars by championship leader Kalle Rövanperä,
2021 Portugal winner Elfyn Evans, who starts one place behind Ogier, and Takamoto
Rovanperä has won two of the opening three rounds, including a thrilling
last-gasp success last time out in Croatia. He tops the standings by 29 points
but is disadvantaged by opening the roads on dirt for the first time.
Loeb is part of a five-car M-Sport Ford entry, the biggest from a team in
the hybrid generation. He is joined by Craig Breen, third in the points, Adrien
Fourmaux, Gus Greensmith and Pierre-Louis Loubet.
Dani Sordo replaces Oliver Solberg at Hyundai Motorsport for his 2022 debut.
The Spaniard is joined in i20 N cars by Ott Tänak and Thierry Neuville,
podium finishers in Croatia.
The rally is based in the coastal city of Matosinhos. After Thursday nights
start in Coimbra, competitors face 21 speed tests covering 338.34km in north
and central Portugal. It finishes on Sunday afternoon after a finale over
the iconic roads of Fafe.
The rally marks the centrepiece of the WRCs 50th season celebrations.
The biggest ever gathering of champion drivers and co-drivers will attend
and almost 30 classic cars will parade through several stages.
22-05-10 WRC rally greats celebrate
50 golden championship years
· FIA World Rally Championship salutes glorious half century
· Vodafone Rally de Portugal to host 50th season festivities
· Legendary names to attend largest ever gathering of WRC champions
· Historic cars to parade through famous special stages
The biggest ever gathering of FIA World Rally champions will celebrate the
series half-century at a star-studded festival in Portugal next week.
Title-winning drivers, co-drivers and team managers will honour the WRCs
50th season in Matosinhos during five days of celebrations at Vodafone Rally
de Portugal (19 - 22 May), this years fourth round.
A host of historic cars will be displayed in the Exponor service park and
fans will have a rare chance to see many in demonstration runs through special
stages on all four rally days.
Champion drivers due to attend are Sébastien Loeb, Sébastien
Ogier, Walter Röhrl, Ari Vatanen, Miki Biasion, Carlos Sainz, Marcus
Grönholm, Petter Solberg and Ott Tänak. Between them they have amassed
FIA deputy president for sport Robert Reid, Luis Moya, Christian Geistdörfer,
Tiziano Siviero, Timo Rautiainen, Derek Ringer, David Richards and Martin
Järveoja are among the co-drivers due to appear.
The list is boosted by WRC Ladies Cup winners Louise-Aitken-Walker and
Isolde Holderied, their co-driver Tina Thörner, and Christine Driano.
Michèle Mouton and Fabrizia Pons, the only female pairing to win a
WRC event outright, will also be present.
Other guests include FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem, WRC Promoter managing
director Jona Siebel and Carlos Barbosa, president of rally organiser Automóvel
Club de Portugal.
Nearly 30 classic cars will chart the WRCs history. They include an
Alpine A110, the model which won the first WRC round at Rallye Monte-Carlo
in the hands of Jean-Claude Andruet.
Also participating are fire-breathing Group B monsters including Audi Quattro
S1, A1 and A2 models and a Lancia Delta S4. Other favourites include a Lancia
Stratos, Ford Escort RS1800 and Opel Ascona 400, alongside the more recent
Toyota Corolla and Hyundai i20.
Many are provided by the Slowly Sideways group, the organisation headed by
WRC photographer Reinhard Klein.
The WRC was launched in 1973 and 35 countries have staged rounds since. Portugal
was a host in the inaugural season and this years event marks the championships
The celebrations kick off with a gala dinner in the service park on Wednesday
18 May. More than 200 WRC luminaries will attend.
On Thursday afternoon, historic cars will be displayed in the start city of
Coimbra. Demonstration runs will take place through the evenings super
special stage. Further displays and parades will take place at Lousada on
Friday evening and Saturday nights Porto-Foz street stage.
Röhrl will head a group of cars driven through Sundays fabled Fafe
stage between the two competitive passes. Fafe graced Portugals fixture
in 1973 and the Pedra Sentada jump is among the championships most popular
The celebration is organised by championship commercial rights holder WRC
Promoter and motorsports governing body, the FIA.
Everyone has their own memories of the thrills, spills and excitement
from the WRC and this is a marvellous one-off opportunity for those who have
helped make the championship so special, said WRC Promoter managing
director Jona Siebel.
The list of WRC greats coming to Portugal, both human and mechanical,
is mouth-watering and a reminder of what a wonderful sport we have the great
fortune to be involved in.
But this is also for the fans. The sights and sounds of great cars from
yesteryear being driven through the stages will evoke spine-tingling memories
from those watching roadside.
FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem said: Since its inaugural season
in 1973, the FIA World Rally Championship has delivered spectacular action
for global audiences. It has featured the most iconic cars, historic locations
and legendary drivers and co-drivers who have secured a special place in the
annals of motorsport.
The FIA has continuously driven evolution in a sporting and technical
sense: this year is no exception as the WRC ushers in hybrid technology, sustainable
fuel and advanced safety measures.
As the championship enters its 50th year, its time to reflect
on those remarkable accomplishments, celebrate past and present champions
and look ahead to a bright future. I look forward to the upcoming festivities
at Rally de Portugal, where the legends will be reunited.
22-04-24 Kalle Rovanperä
grabs last-gasp Croatia Rally victory
Finnish championship leader snatches victory from Ott Tänak
on the final stage. Kalle Rovanperä snatched an extraordinary Croatia
Rally victory on Sunday afternoon as a downpour turned the event on its head
in the final kilometres.
The Finn led from the start of the three-day rally in the hills around Zagreb
in his Toyota GR Yaris, only for a storm in the penultimate speed test to
wipe out his hard-earned advantage.
A resurgent Ott Tänak, whose gamble on softer Pirelli tyres gave his
Hyundai i20 N a performance edge on the streaming asphalt, grabbed a 1.4sec
The pendulum swung back towards Rovanperä as drier roads in the closing
Wolf Power Stage offered hope, but the odds remained firmly in Tänak's
favour as mud and dirt littered the final 14.09km.
Rovanperä threw caution to the wind and remarkably overturned the deficit
to claim back-to-back FIA World Rally Championship wins by 4.3sec. Victory
extended his points lead to 29 after three rounds of the 13-event season.
He had dominated the early stages of the event and was almost 90sec clear
until falling into Tänak's clutches following a puncture on Saturday
morning. He then rebuilt his lead to half a minute until the deluge set up
a breathtaking finale.
"I was sure we could not be so fast with these tyres, but it's amazing,"
smiled Rovanperä. "We pushed really hard and I think we deserve
it this weekend. For sure, it was the toughest win of my career."
It was a disappointing outcome for Tänak, whose victory drought dates
back to February 2021. "I didn't take any risks, but Kalle obviously
did a good drive," he said. "We were fighting for the win, but only
because of clever decisions and tyre choices."
The Estonian finished 2min 16.7sec clear of team-mate Thierry Neuville. The
Belgian overhauled Craig Breen on the final morning to claim a podium despite
a torrid weekend that would have forced many to give up.
He and co-driver Martijn Wydaeghe were on the point of collapse after pushing
their car for 800 metres into service on Friday, after stopping with alternator
Time penalties and speeding fines knocked them further back and they almost
gave up a podium in sight of the finish after hitting a bank and almost rolling.
Breen survived an overshoot and a spin to take fourth in a Ford Puma. The
Irishman fended off a closing Elfyn Evans, whose fifth place marked a first
points finish of the year for the GR Yaris driver. Japan's Takamoto Katsuta
was a distant sixth in another Yaris.
The series switches to gravel for the first time in 2022 at Vodafone Rally
de Portugal. The fourth round is based at Matosinhos on May 1922.
Final positions after Sunday
1. K Rovanperä / J Halttunen FIN Toyota GR Yaris 2h 48m 21.5s
2. O Tänak / M Järveoja EST Hyundai i20 +4.3sec
3. T Neuville / M Wydaeghe BEL Hyundai i20 +2min 21.0sec
4. C Breen / P Nagle IRL Ford Puma +3min 7.3sec
5. E Evans / S Martin GBR Toyota GR Yaris +3min 46.0sec
22-04-24 Oliver Solberg bröt
Efter att ha kämpat bland de fem bästa och imponerat första
dagen av sin debut i Rally Kroatien fick Oliver Solberg bryta tävlingen
på toppnivå. Brännskador baktill på bilen kunde inte
repareras i tid för körning på söndagen.
20-åringen fick sladd på lördagens första (nionde av
tävlingens) specialsträckor och körde av vägen. Situationen
blev allvarligare när det extremt heta avgassystemet satte eld på
växtligheten i vägkanten och skadade bilen så mycket att det
Dagen gick definitivt inte enligt planerna. Jag "tappade"
bakändan på bilen och körde av vägen. De heta avgassystemet
orsakade en brand bak i bilen. Därmed fick vi stoppa för dagen,
sa Oliver Solberg. Skadorna visade sig vara så omfattande att det inte
gick att reparera bilen i tid för mer körning.
Det här var inte vad vi ville ha från vårt första
besök i Kroatien. Visst är det en del av sporten, men ändå
är jag väldigt ledsen för teamet, för mig själv och
Elliott efter en bra första dag. Men vi har lärt oss mycket, och
vi kommer tillbaka starkare, sa 20-åringen.
Nästa VM-tävling i rally kommer att äga rum i Portugal 19-22
22-04-23 Croatia Rally leader
Rovanperä under pressure from Tänak
Estonian puts on a charge to reduce the Finn's lead to under 20 seconds. Kalle
Rovanperäs commanding Croatia Rally lead came under threat from
Ott Tänak during Saturday's absorbing second leg.
FIA World Rally Championship leader Rovanperä began the second day of
three in the hills near Zagreb with a seemingly impregnable lead of almost
90sec over the Estonian in his Toyota GR Yaris.
He ended with that advantage slashed to just 19.9sec after a puncture and
Tänak's persistence set up an exciting Sunday finale.
Tänak had already trimmed Rovanperäs lead when the Finn punctured
his front left tyre on the morning's penultimate speed test amid heavy rain
and thick fog at the Platak ski resort above the Adriatic coast.
The pair were the only frontrunners who had the advantage of Pirelli's wet
weather tyres on all four corners of their cars. While Tänak pushed on
through the gloom to win the stage in his Hyundai i20 N, Rovanperä conceded
Tänak sniffed the opportunity of a first victory for more than a year
and nibbled back more time, despite an afternoon gearchange problem. But Rovanperä
sent a clear message in the final test, setting fastest time to regain 5.1sec.
"This is my reply," said a defiant Rovanperä. "It was
a good stage, full speed, but we still have a difficult day to come tomorrow."
Tänak admitted the Platak test was an eye opener: "In these conditions
you don't care about the time, youre just happy to make it through.
It was like a different place in the world. This afternoon I didnt have
a good feeling to really push to the limits."
While conditions on the other stages were drier than yesterday, the weather
deteriorated in Platak and the afternoon's repeat pass was cancelled.
Craig Breen and Thierry Neuville were blanketed by 4.9sec for the final podium
place, almost a minute behind Tänak. Breen overshot a hairpin in his
Ford Puma, while Neuville's torrid weekend took yet more twists.
He received a one-minute penalty overnight for speeding on Friday, which relegated
him from second to fourth. His i20 N had to be pushed into service this morning
and another 10sec penalty came for leaving a minute late.
Neuville clawed back almost 40sec from Breen to end hot on the Irishmans
heels and 49.9sec clear of Elfyn Evans. The Welshman won the opening test
in a GR Yaris, but was reluctant to take risks when on course for his first
points finish of the year.
Takamoto Katsuta rounded off the top six. The Japanese pilot dropped time
with a puncture and an overshoot and was almost 3m 40s adrift of Evans.
Oliver Solberg crashed his i20 N out of fifth in the opening stage, which
was cancelled as rescue vehicles attended a fire at the rear of the car.
Sunday's finale journeys north of Zagreb and features two technical stages
that are driven twice for a total of 54.48km. The closing test forms the live
TV Wolf Power Stage, with bonus points on offer to the fastest crews.
Leading positions after Saturday
1. K Rovanperä / J Halttunen FIN Toyota GR Yaris 2hr 14min 54.5sec
2. O Tänak / M Järveoja EST Hyundai i20 +19.9sec
3. C Breen / P Nagle IRL Ford Puma +1min 13.4sec
4. T Neuville / M Wydaeghe BEL Hyundai i20 +1min 18.3sec
5. E Evans / S Martin GBR Toyota GR Yaris +2min 06.2sec
6. T Katsuta / A Johnston GBR Toyota GR Yaris +5min 47.7sec
The official Home of World Rallying: wrc.com
22-04-23 Masterful Kalle Rovanperä
untouchable on Friday in Croatia
Kalle Rovanperä demolished his opponents in Friday's treacherous opening
day of the Croatia Rally to build a convincing lead of more than a minute.
Despite rain, mud and mist in the hills west of capital Zagreb, he won six
of the eight asphalt speed tests in a Toyota GR Yaris to head a resilient
Thierry Neuville by 1m 4s.
FIA World Rally Championship leader Rovanperä thrived in the tricky conditions.
He won three of the morning's four special stages to lead by 47.5sec and stretched
it during an equally dominant afternoon.
Having missed valuable experience when he crashed in the opening kilometres
of Croatia's WRC debut 12 months ago, the Finn expected to be at a disadvantage.
But first in the start order helped, as conditions progressively worsened
as each car dragged mud onto the road.
"It was probably one of my best days in a rally car," Rovanperä
enthused. "It's always nice to have a lead, but it's also difficult to
have a big lead like this. Tomorrow is a long day, so I still need to drive
fast to keep concentrated."
Neuville endured a topsy-turvy day. The Belgian completed the opening quartet
of tests 12.5sec adrift, but a broken alternator belt in his Hyundai i20 N's
engine twice stopped the car en route to service.
Neuville and co-driver Martijn Wydaeghe pushed the car the final 800m. The
exhausted pair fell to the floor as they arrived four minutes late and a 40sec
penalty demoted them to fourth.
A spirited afternoon, including fastest time in the final stage, propelled
them back to second.
They had 19.3sec in hand over team-mate Ott Tänak. The Estonian's low
start position hindered him, along with a penultimate stage puncture, but
he was content with third.
Despite overshooting a corner and narrowly missing a water hydrant, Craig
Breen was fourth on his first time aboard a Ford Puma in the wet. The Irishman
overnighted 11.9sec back.
Oliver Solberg was delayed by a spin and was fortunate to survive an impact
in a water-filled corner en route to fifth in his i20 N. He was more than
a minute adrift of Breen and 10.6sec clear of Elfyn Evans, who denied Rovanperä
a clean sweep of morning stage wins.
That was the Welshman's only joy, as two punctures on his GR Yaris cost valuable
In worse trouble was Esapekka Lappi, who retired his GR Yaris in the first
stage after clipping a boulder and wrecking the front right corner.
Aside from Breen's efforts, it was a disappointing day for M-Sport Ford. Adrien
Fourmaux went out after sliding his Puma through a hedge into a roadside garden,
while both Pierre-Louis Loubet and Gus Greensmith exited when three punctures
left them with no more usuable tyres onboard.
Saturday's second leg follows a similar format. Four stages are driven morning
and afternoon in the same territory, except for the penultimate test of each
loop, which heads further west towards the Adriatic coast city of Rijeka.
The eight stages cover 116.98km.
Leading positions after Friday
1. K Rovanperä / J Halttunen FIN Toyota GR Yaris 1hr 15min 35.5sec
2. T Neuville / M Wydaeghe BEL Hyundai i20 +1min 4.0sec
3. O Tänak / M Järveoja EST Hyundai i20 +1min 23.3sec
4. C Breen / P Nagle IRL Ford Puma +1min 35.2sec
5. O Solberg / E Edmondson SWE Hyundai i20 +2min 38.5sec
6. E Evans / S Martin GBR Toyota GR Yaris +2min 49.1sec
22-04-21 Första mötet
med Kroatien för Oliver Solberg
Oliver Solberg får sitt första möte med Kroatien bakom
ratten i Hyundaifabrikens tredje bil i rally-VM i helgen. Därmed fortsätter
fabriksföraräventyret för 20-åringen. Efter imponerande
körning i både Monte-Carlo och svenska Umeå tidigare i år,
är unge Solberg fortfarande med i sportens toppnivå i säsongens
I Monaco fick han bryta sista dagen på grund av avgasförgiftning,
men Oliver Solberg gjorde det väldigt bra med en sjätteplats hemma
i Sverige för drygt 50 dagar sedan.
Rallyt på kroatisk asfalt blir unge Solbergs sjunde någonsin på
toppnivå i VM. Bästa resultat är femteplatsen från Rally
Monza i Italien i november.
I den här tävlingen blir mitt jobb att köra stabilt
och komma i mål. Vägarna är mycket svåra, och shakedown
(testvägen innan tävlingen) är den tuffaste jag har sett. Tävlingen
bjuder på olika typer av asfalt, hopp och smala partier med många
kurvor som ska skäras. Tillsammans gör det rallyt väldigt svårt,
säger Oliver Solberg.
Den enda tillåtna testdagen innan tävlingen var inte helt optimal
då regn och snö ledde till dåliga vägar. Men 20-åringen
ger sig ut i sitt första race på asfalt i en Rally1-bil utan press
Jag är väldigt spänd, men jag ser mest av allt fram
emot att komma igång. Målet är att följa den plan och
strategi som teamet har för mig. De jobbar "flat out" för
att förbättra bilen, säger han.
Rally Kroatien har funnits sedan 1974, men kördes först som en VM-tävling
förra året - då med Sebastien Ogier som vinnare när
han var på väg mot sin åttonde världsmästartitel.
Han deltar inte i år. VM-ledaren efter två tävlingar är
finske Kalle Rovanperä, som har en ledning på 14 poäng mot
Hyundai-föraren Thierry Neuville.
Rallyt startar på fredag morgon och avslutas efter 20 specialsträckor
(292 kilometer) på söndag eftermiddag. SVT sänder delar av
tävlingen (SS12, SS16, SS18 och SS20).
22-04-20 Tough fight awaits
WRC leader Rovanperä in Croatia
Toyota driver looking to banish memories of 2021 crash at all-asphalt round.
Kalle Rovanperä starts on the back foot this weekend as he defends an
early-season FIA World Rally Championship lead in Croatia at the event that
marked his low point of 2021.
The Toyota Gazoo Racing driver holds a 14-point advantage ahead of the Zagreb-based
Croatia Rally (21 - 24 April), round three of the year and the first pure
asphalt fixture of the new hybrid-powered era.
Twelve months ago the 21-year-old Finn was in a similar position at Croatias
maiden WRC appearance, but the youngest driver ever to lead the series crashed
out after just a handful of kilometres.
Rovanperä admits his lack of knowledge of the complex low-grip speed
tests in the hills around the capital puts him at a disadvantage. But he is
up for the fight.
Everybody has now one more year of experience there so I think its
going to be a bit difficult for us, he explained. But we have
been in that situation also before and we just try to manage that the best
Its going to be more tricky for me this year. [Last year] it was
a new event for everybody and it seems that it was quite a tricky one. Everybody
said the stages were quite difficult with the grip. Watching the videos, it
seems the grip was changing all the time.
This second edition has a lot to live up to. Last year was a thriller with
Sébastien Ogier snatching victory from Toyota team-mate Elfyn Evans
when the Welshman slid onto the grass at the final corner. The 0.6s winning
margin was the third-closest WRC finish ever.
Evans and Esapekka Lappi join Rovanperä in GR Yaris cars, with Takamoto
Katsuta driving a fourth version for the Japanese manufacturers second
Gus Greensmith is M-Sport Fords frontrunner in a Puma. The Briton, who
lies fourth in the standings, is joined by Craig Breen and Adrien Fourmaux,
who scored an impressive fifth place last year at his top-level debut.
A fourth Puma will be in the hands of 2019 WRC2 champion Pierre-Louis Loubet
for the first time.
Hyundai Motorsport fields the same line-up for the third consecutive rally.
Thierry Neuville is Rovanperäs closest challenger in the points
after finishing second on the previous round in Sweden.
The Belgian is joined in i20 N Rally1 cars by Oliver Solberg and Ott Tänak,
who is hoping for a big upturn after a disappointing start to the season.
The rally starts in Zagreb on Thursday evening ahead of three days of competition
on asphalt which varies from smooth to badly broken and features many tricky
crests and jumps. The 20 stages cover 291.84km.
22-04-19 Sébastien Loeb
returns to M-Sport for Rally de Portugal
French all-time great set to pilot Ford Puma Hybrid again in May. Nine-time
World Rally Champion, Sébastien Loeb, will once again compete behind
the wheel of a M-Sport Ford Puma Hybrid Rally1 at Rally de Portugal in May.
Here is all you need to know:
- After a stunning debut with the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team at Rallye
Monte Carlo in January, M-Sport have announced that Loeb and co-driver Isabelle
Galmiche will re-join the team to complete a five-car Puma Hybrid Rally1 line-up
- Loeb returned to the FIA World Rally Championship in January and claimed
a total of six stage wins throughout the event as he battled against eight-time
champion Sébastien Ogier, before taking overall victory at the 2022
seasons opening event.
- After securing further success in multiple disciplines around the globe
since his first win of 2022, Loeb will take to the famous Porto gravel stages
assisted by Galmiche, the first woman to record an overall event victory in
WRC since 1997.
- With nine WRC championships and 80 rally wins, Loeb is considered to be
the disciplines Greatest of All Time, and one of the best drivers in
motorsport history, period and at 48, he shows no signs of slowing
down. Already in 2022, he leads the FIA World Rally Raid Championship having
finished runner-up at the Dakar Rally at the wheel of the BRX Hunter T1+.
In all, Loebs race programme for 2022 includes driving in the WRC, Dakar,
the FIA World Rally Raid Championship, Extreme E and DTM.
- Rallye de Portugal marks a landmark occasion for the M-Sport Ford World
Rally team, which will become the first manufacturer to ever field five Rally1
cars at the same event.
- Loebs return coincides with the 50th anniversary celebrations of the
FIA World Rally Championship. A variety of activities are planned throughout
the rally weekend as rallying celebrates 50 years of epic action on the most
challenging stages and surfaces in the world.
- The Frenchmans history with the event started back in 2007, where
he claimed a victory on his debut in Portugal after winning 11 of 18 stages.
He went on to win the event again in 2009, then collecting a further two podium
finishes and a grand total of 32 stage wins to add to his record-breaking
- Loeb said: "Driving the Puma is one of my favourite rally memories;
winning Monte Carlo after such a long time was incredible. The team worked
really well, with a quick fix to the difficulties we faced at shakedown, allowing
us to claim our 80th rally win. From my first test with this car, I immediately
had a very good feeling and I enjoy driving with so much power with the hybrid
system. Its a great car, a great team and we celebrated an incredible
- Portugal was an empty space in my calendar and its a gravel
rally, I have competed on this version of the rally in 2019 so I have a base
of pacenotes from some of the stages. That was one of the reasons for choosing
Portugal, the other was I wanted to do a gravel rally; I like driving on gravel
so it was a very straightforward choice.
- Rich Millener, M-Sport Team Principal, said: The memories of Monte
Carlo still live strong in my mind, and I am sure this is the same for all
the team. Personally, to have another chance to work with Seb and Isabelle
is a dream come true. The fact that they want to come and drive with us again
is something incredibly special for the team and reflects all of the hard
work being put in by everybody back home.
- "It is also really important to give special thanks to Ford and Red
Bull who have been pivotal in securing the pairing for this event another
example of how our partners are working together to give us the strongest
line-up possible for the events in the WRC this season. I am genuinely excited
to see what happens on the legendary Portugal stages, and I know the fans
will be very excited to see this news and I look forward to seeing their support
over the event weekend!
- Malcolm Wilson, Managing Director of M-Sport, said: This has been
made possible by our great partners at Ford and Red Bull, and Im really
looking forward to seeing how Seb and the Puma Hybrid Rally1 perform on the
first real gravel event of the year. Its great to have such a strong
line-up of drivers and Im very proud that our team is going to be the
first to run five top-level cars at a WRC event. If anything, this shows just
how appealing these rally1 cars, and Puma in particular, are to drivers and
we hope to continue to push the limits of the sport. I am also hoping this
popularity of the rally1 cars will lead us to seeing more customers cars competing
on events around the world.
22-02-18 Belgium added to
2022 FIA World Rally Championship
Ypres Rally Belgium makes second WRC appearance after 2021 debut
· Asphalt fixture scheduled for 18 - 21 August
· Four-day encounter fills outstanding TBC date in calendar
Ypres Rally Belgium will host an FIA World Rally Championship round for a
second consecutive season after being added to the 2022 calendar today (Friday).
Last year Belgium became the 35th nation to stage a WRC round since the series
started in 1973. It will return when Ypres, in the north-western Flanders
region, hosts round nine of the 13-rally series on 18 - 21 August.
The challenging asphalt event fills the date left outstanding when the 2022
fixture list was announced last October.
Ypres was first held in 1965 and is known as one of Europes toughest
rallies. Narrow farm roads, littered with tight junctions and lined by drainage
ditches, ensure there is no room for error.
Home hero Thierry Neuville won last years encounter after leading for
virtually the entire distance.
The rally will feature three days of competition with an atmospheric service
park in Ypres historic Grote Markt.
A Thursday afternoon start ceremony there will precede the shakedown
the final opportunity for drivers to fine-tune their cars. Full days of competition
on Friday and Saturday will lead into Sundays finale, culminating with
the lunchtime Wolf Power Stage.
Jona Siebel, managing director of WRC Promoter, which owns the WRCs
commercial rights, was delighted to welcome back Ypres Rally Belgium.
Belgium brought something quite different to last years WRC due
to its tricky special stages and fast-paced format, which meant there was
little time for anyone to pause for breath, he said.
The Ypres region whole-heartedly throws itself into rally week. Theres
a great buzz out on the stages and were sure that will be replicated
in the town itself this time round when fans will be allowed in the beautiful
Grote Markt service park.
The final slot in the calendar came down to a choice between Ypres Rally Belgium
and Barum Czech Rally Zlin, which was hoping to bring the WRC to the Czech
Republic for the first time.
We were hugely impressed with the professionalism and plans from the
organising team in Zlin, Siebel added. The rally remains a key
event in the FIA European Rally Championship and the door remains open to
their WRC ambitions. We look forward to continue working with them.
FIA WRC category manager Andrew Wheatley said: Ypres Rally Belgium stepped
in last season in exceptional circumstances and managed to deliver a strong
and innovative event, which showcased the DNA of Belgian rally.
The Royal Automobile Club Belgium, together with local organiser Club
Superstage, demonstrated commitment and professionalism to put on a top-class
WRC round and Im glad the event will return to the calendar in August.
In a rally nation like Belgium, this will be positive news for teams, competitors
Alain Penasse, president of rally organiser Club Superstage, added: We
are very happy to be able to bring the FIA ??World Rally Championship to Ypres
again. It is a reward for the efforts that the whole club, all volunteers,
our partners and local authorities put in last year to make that first edition
The rally will feature a strong co-operation between official WRC lubricant
partner Wolf Lubricants and event sponsor Ardeca Lubricants. Both companies
are centred in Belgium.
Yves Decat, global marketing director of Wolf Lubricants said: As a
Belgian-based exclusive lubricant partner of the FIA World Rally Championship,
we are continuously looking for additional ways to increase the presence and
reach of this breathtaking sport.
We are excited to support the return of Ypres Rally Belgium in the calendar
for 2022 by joining forces with the rallys main partner, Ardeca Lubricants.
22-01-23 Record-breaking Loeb
snatches dramatic Rallye Monte-Carlo win
Frenchman edges out Ogier with schoolteacher co-driver Galmiche. Sébastien
Loeb became the oldest winner of an FIA World Rally Championship round after
grabbing a remarkable Rallye Monte-Carlo victory from the under the nose of
old foe Sébastien Ogier on Sunday.
The 47-year-old Frenchman trailed Ogier by almost half a minute heading into
the penultimate speed test of the four-day event in the French Alps.
But when Ogier limped to the finish with a front left puncture, Loeb reclaimed
a lead he had conceded to his compatriot on Saturday. He stayed calm through
the final test to seal his eighth Monte-Carlo success in a Ford Puma by 10.5sec.
Loeb, starting his first WRC event for more than a year, was competing for
the British M-Sport Ford squad in a one-off appearance. He joins Ogier at
the top of the Monte-Carlo roll of honour with eight wins.
His victory means he has topped the WRC podium in three different decades.
Co-driver Isabelle Galmiche, a 50-year-old schoolteacher who was making her
first top-tier start, became the first female winner of a WRC fixture since
"I didn't expect so much when I came here," Loeb admitted. "It
was a great fight, Ogier was really fast and I struggled a bit yesterday and
even this morning."
The duel between the most successful drivers in the sport's history proved
a fitting start to the new hybrid-powered era in the championship's 50th season.
Ogier led initially after Thursday's short opening night in his Toyota GR
Yaris, but a run of four consecutive fastest times on Friday put Loeb ahead.
He failed to find the same pace on Saturday and Ogier moved back in front
before Sunday's breathtaking finale.
Craig Breen finished almost 90sec further back in third in another Puma, giving
the British-based M-Sport Ford squad an early lead in the manufacturers' championship.
Kalle Rovanperä languished outside the top 10 after the opening night,
but after set-up changes improved the balance of his GR Yaris, he soared up
the order to secure fourth.
Despite losing time with engine issues on Saturday, Gus Greensmith claimed
fifth in another Puma after winning his first special stage at WRC level.
Thierry Neuville was sixth in a Hyundai i20 N after a lacklustre weekend for
the Korean manufacturer.
The Belgian fought problems all rally, including a broken damper which punched
through his bonnet on Saturday. Team-mates Ott Tänak and Oliver Solberg
Elfyn Evans, championship runner-up in 2021, was on the edge of the fight
for victory until he beached his GR Yaris on a bank and remained stranded
there for 20 minutes. The Welshman ended 21st.
The championship switches to Scandinavia next month for the only pure winter
round of the season. Rally Sweden takes place in Umeå on February 24-27
1. S Loeb / I Galmiche FRA Ford Puma 3hr 00min 32.8sec
2. S Ogier / B Veillas FRA Toyota GR Yaris +10.5sec
3. C Breen / P Nagle IRL Ford Puma +1min 39.8sec
4. K Rovanperä / J Halttunen FIN Toyota GR Yaris +2min 16.2sec
5. G Greensmith / J Andersson GBR Ford Puma +6min 33.4sec
6. T Neuville / M Wydaeghe BEL Hyundai i20 +7min 42.6sec
FIA World Rally Drivers' Championship (after round 1 of 13)
1. S Loeb 27pts
2. S Ogier 19
3. K Rovanperä 17
1. M-Sport Ford 42pts
2. Toyota Gazoo 39
3. Hyundai Shell Mobis 13
The official Home of World Rallying: wrc.com
22-01-23 Toppfart innan Solberg
drog sig ur
Oliver Solberg visade toppfart innan han i samråd med sitt Hyundai-team
valde att dra sig ur Rally Monte-Carlo på söndagen på grund
av ett avgasläckage tidigare under tävlingen.
På tävlingens 13:e specialsträcka satte Oliver tredje bästa
tid, endast slagen av Kalle Rovanperä och Sebastien Ogier. Men han var
snabbare än den bästa rallyföraren genom tiderna, Sebastien
Loeb, som vann säsongsinledningen i Monte-Carlo före Sebastien Ogier
och Craig Breen.
- Vi hade litet hopp om att kunna genomföra tävlingen när sista
dagen startade. Vi låg så långt efter i tid att det enda
målet var att få så mycket erfarenhet som möjligt för
bilen, teamet och oss själva. Vi hade den sjunde bästa tiden på
den 14:e specialsträckan, men efter den sträckan kom vi överens
med teamet om att dra oss ur resten av tävlingen. Formen var inte riktigt
bra efter de senaste dagarnas händelser, sa Oliver Solberg.
Det första världsmästerskapet i rally med hybridbilar någonsin
startade något dämpat för Solberg, som vid de första
specialsträckorna som kördes i mörker på torsdagskvällen
inte hörde sin kartläsare Elliott Edmondson på grund av problem
med det interna kommunikationssystemet.
Lördagen började inte mycket bättre då ett läckage
på avgassystemet fyllde kupén med avgaser, vilket skulle visa
sig vara avgörande för hela tävlingen. En avkörning på
tävlingens 10:e sträcka ledde till att Solberg tappade över
en halvtimme och på söndagen valde duon i samråd med teamet
att dra sig ur tävlingen när tre specialsträckor återstod.
- Helgen var lång och jobbig, men jag är väldigt nöjd
med det jobb vi
har gjort. Även om det har varit svårt fick vi några bra
etapp- och mellantider. Vi tar med oss ??det positiva från det. Stort
tack till teamet för långa dagar och många timmar och stor
insats. Tillsammans ska vi jobba för att förbättra oss inför
nästa tävling, sa Oliver Solberg.
Nästa VM-tävling körs i Umeå om en månad.
22-01-22 Sharp-eyed Ogier
wins Loeb mind games
Frenchman on verge of record-breaking ninth Rallye Monte-Carlo victory. Sébastien
Ogier sits on the cusp of a record-breaking ninth Rallye Monte-Carlo victory
after outwitting Sébastien Loeb in the snow and ice of the French Alps
Ogier headed to the closing speed test over the Col de Fontbelle with 5.0sec
in hand over his fellow Frenchman after reclaiming the lead earlier in the
With 5km of wintry roads at the top of the pass, Loeb laid out his cards by
bravely fitting his Ford Puma with Pirelli's soft compound asphalt rubber.
He hoped to benefit on the dry sections before minimising the time loss on
Ogier had already decided to mix two soft tyres and two snow tyres on his
Toyota GR Yaris, but on seeing Loeb's selection, he made a last-gasp switch
to the same combination. He then outpaced Loeb by 16.1sec to reach the final
overnight halt with a 21.1sec lead.
"I was planning to go with the snow tyres because that was the safest
option but I saw that Séb was going for slicks so I swapped at the
last minute before the start," Ogier explained. "It was tricky to
drive in places."
Loeb could not reproduce the pace that carried him to four fastest times yesterday.
"Now the gap is a bit far," he admitted. "We tried but Ogier
saw it and changed at the last minute. It was really tricky with the slicks
and very easy to make a mistake but we're here."
After a day of breathless drama, Craig Breen was third in another Puma. The
Irishman was 64.9sec adrift of Loeb, but a clean run enabled him to climb
After a dismal opening two days, Kalle Rovanperä found a more balanced
set-up for his GR Yaris and soared from ninth to fourth. He ended 37.8sec
behind Breen after winning the final two stages.
Gus Greensmith was fifth despite a puncture and an engine problem which cost
time in the stages as well as a three-minute penalty as he replaced his Puma's
spark plugs. Having slipped to ninth, he recovered well as his rivals fell
by the wayside.
Thierry Neuville fought against a broken front damper in his Hyundai i20 N,
which punched through the bonnet at one point. He dropped several minutes
and ended almost eight minutes off the lead in sixth.
Elfyn Evans was third until he slid off the road, leaving his GR Yaris perched
on the edge of a steep drop. He conceded 20 minutes.
Ott Tänak retired his i20 N in the first climb up the Col de Fontbelle
after nosing into a bank and damaging his car's radiator, while team-mate
Oliver Solberg dropped 35 minutes after locking his brakes and sliding down
Takamoto Katsuta's fifth place disappeared when he found a ditch on the col
and dropped off the leaderboard.
Sunday's finale comprises two tests in the Alpes-Maritimes region driven twice
without service before the finish in Monaco's Casino Square. The last stage
forms the Wolf Power Stage with bonus points available for the fastest drivers.
The four tests add up to 67.26km.
Leading positions after Saturday
1. S Ogier / B Veillas FRA Toyota GR Yaris 2hr 19min 43.1sec
2. S Loeb / I Galmiche FRA Ford Puma +21.1sec
3. C Breen / P Nagle IRL Ford Puma +1min 26.0sec
4. K Rovanperä / J Halttunen FIN Toyota GR Yaris +2min 03.8sec
5. G Greensmith / J Andersson GBR Ford Puma +6min 33.8sec
6. T Neuville / M Wydaeghe BEL Hyundai i20 +7min 44.1sec
The official Home of World Rallying: wrc.com
22-01-21 Veteran Loeb Turns
Back Clock to Lead Rallye Monte-Carlo on Friday
Frenchman returns from Dakar Rally quest to lead old rival Ogier and Evans.
Sébastien Loeb became the oldest driver to lead an FIA World Rally
Championship round after a sensational return to dominate Rallye Monte-Carlo
As he approaches his 48th birthday, the Frenchman won four of the six French
Alps speed tests to lead the first rally of the WRC's innovative new hybrid
era by 9.9sec in M-Sport's Ford Puma.
The Monaco-based event is Loeb's first WRC outing for more than a year and,
currently, a one-off appearance with the British squad.
Loeb was second after Thursday night's short opening leg behind old foe Sébastien
Ogier. He charged by his fellow countryman in the last of the morning's three
special stages and preserved his advantage in the afternoon, despite a small
"The first four stages were really great, then we had a little hybrid
problem," he explained. "In the last stage I made a good drive,
but maybe it was freezing a bit more. We had some little ice coming out at
the end of the stage, so it was a bit tricky.
"I was really surprised when I was doing the best time in yesterday's
shakedown in the first pass. Usually in shakedown I'm not great, but with
this car I was immediately in the rhythm. It's not a big gap, but I'm happy
to be leading after the first full day."
Ogier dropped to third behind Toyota GR Yaris team-mate Elfyn Evans after
a cautious approach on frosty roads in this morning's final stage, but fastest
time on the afternoon repeat promoted him back to second.
A wary run in the same test cost Evans valuable seconds. The Welshman ended
12.1sec adrift of his colleague after a frustrating day learning the intricacies
of driving with the hybrid system for the first time in competition.
Thierry Neuville topped an intense battle for fourth in a Hyundai i20 N. His
day improved after an eye-opening first stage in which he described the balance
as 'a nightmare'. "I've never been so scared while driving," he
The Belgian stiffened his car's settings and ended 8.9sec clear of team-mate
Ott Tänak, with Craig Breen dropping 2.5sec behind the Estonian in the
final stage in another Puma.
Team-mate Gus Greensmith celebrated his first WRC stage win en route to seventh.
But for a minor problem with the hybrid system, the Briton would have been
snapping on Neuville's heels.
Adrien Fourmaux was fourth overnight, but the Frenchman crashed his Puma down
a ravine in the opening test. He and co-driver Alex Coria escaped injury,
a testament to the new enhanced safety cell chassis introduced this year.
Saturday's action switches west for five stages near Digne-les-Bains. Three
morning tests precede a tyre change in the town before the latter two are
repeated. The day features two climbs of the mythical Col de Fontbelle, likely
to feature several kilometres of snow and ice at the summit.
Leading positions after Friday
1. S Loeb / I Galmiche FRA Ford Puma 1hr 22min 49.0sec
2. S Ogier / B Veillas FRA Toyota GR Yaris +9.9sec
3. E Evans / S Martin GBR Toyota GR Yaris +22.0sec
4. T Neuville / M Wydaeghe BEL Hyundai i20 +47.8sec
5. O Tänak / M Järveoja EST Hyundai i20 +56.7sec
6. C Breen / P Nagle IRL Ford Puma +59.2sec
The official Home of World Rallying: wrc.com
22-01-21 Ogier and Loeb in
Sébastien Ogier outgunned arch-rival Sébastien Loeb as the two
Rallye Monte-Carlo masters went head-to-head in a spectacular opening night
of the FIA World Rally Championship season on Thursday.
Ogier, an eight-time winner in the French Alps, opened the series pioneering
new hybrid-powered era by winning both speed tests in his Toyota GR Yaris
to build a 6.7sec lead.
Snapping on his heels was seven-time Monte winner Loeb. In his first WRC drive
for more than a year, the French master finished second in both stages in
M-Sport Fords Puma.
It was hard to imagine a more daunting opening to the sports new generation.
Two stages on winding roads in darkness, including the crossing of the iconic
Col de Turini, with frost settling on the asphalt and drivers yet to learn
the mix of electric and combustion engine power in competition.
It didnt feel so great in the first stage, there was a lot of
humidity and frost in places, explained Ogier. It was a little
better in the second one. We are just trying little things in the car and
we are happy to be through.
Loeb was the first of three pouncing Pumas in the top five and his performance
turned the clock back to memories of his last Monte victory in 2013.
We had a good start in the first one, but it was very tricky on the
top with some white parts and ice, he smiled. I didnt want
to make a mistake on the ice so I was a bit too careful. The second one was
hard on the tyres. I overheated them before the middle of the stage and struggled
to keep the car in the right position.
Elfyn Evans, championship runner-up in 2021, was third in another GR Yaris,
the Welshman struggling to acclimatise to the additional hybrid power. He
was third in both stages and returned to the overnight halt in Monaco 11.2sec
off the lead.
Puma pilots Adrien Fourmaux and Gus Greensmith were fourth and fifth and separated
by 4.0sec after rousing opening night drives. Just 6.6sec back was Thierry
Neuvilles Hyundai i20 N. The Belgian gambled on tyre choice but struggled
with overheating rubber and brake issues.
Craig Breen in seventh headed a downbeat Ott Tänak, whose long
list of woes included engine and hydraulic troubles in his i20 N.
Takamoto Katsuta was ninth in another GR Yaris, with Oliver Solberg completing
the leaderboard despite a spin at the top of the Turini. He also endured intercom
problems meaning he could not hear co-driver Elliott Edmondsons pace
Friday heads further north for two loops of three stages in the Mercantour
National Park covering 97.86km. As if the challenge of the Alps was not enough
for the first full day of hybrid action, there is no service from leaving
Monaco in the morning until returning at night. Drivers must make do with
a tyre change only in Puget-Théniers between loops.
1. S Ogier / B Veillas FRA Toyota GR Yaris 25min 48.4sec
2. S Loeb / I Galmiche FRA Ford Puma +6.7sec
3. E Evans / S Martin GBR Toyota GR Yaris +11.2sec
4. A Fourmaux / A Coria FRA Ford Puma +17.9sec
5. G Greensmith / J Andersson GBR Ford Puma +21.9sec
6. T Neuville / M Wydaeghe BEL Hyundai i20 +28.5sec
The official Home of World Rallying: wrc.com
22-01-19 WRCs pioneering
hybrid era breaks cover at Rallye Monte-Carlo
It's a fresh start for the WRC stars as new season begins in Monaco. The curtain
is raised on a ground-breaking new FIA World Rally Championship era at this
weeks Rallye Monte-Carlo as hybrid-powered cars launch the series into
an exciting future.
Innovative new Rally1 cars blend a 100kW electric motor with a 1.6-litre turbocharged
engine as the WRC celebrates its 50th season with new regulations to drive
the championship towards a more sustainable future.
Energy regeneration from the plug-in hybrid system, a 100 percent hydrocarbon
fossil-free fuel and sustainable energy supplies are key to the WRCs
commitment to a greener outlook.
The new cars pack a punch. Peak performance will soar above 500hp on the mountain
roads in the French Alps, while two Monte masters return to renew rivalries
as the door opens on the new generation.
Sébastien Ogier, who clinched his eighth crown last year before stepping
back to a part-programme, goes head-to-head with fellow Frenchman and arch-rival
Sébastien Loeb, whose nine titles make him the sports most successful
driver. Ogier has eight Monte victories compared to Loebs seven.
Ogier drives Toyota Gazoo Racings GR Yaris with new co-driver Benjamin
Im at the beginning of a different stage in my career and, as
Im not taking part in the full championship, the feeling is a little
bit different to usual for me at this time of the year. But Im still
a competitor and I still want to win, he said.
I know the team has been working very hard to be ready with this new
generation of car and big steps have been made in every test. Its quite
a big change and its an exciting challenge to try and adapt to that.
Theres more uncertainty than ever going into this rally.
Loeb hopes to pounce in his first WRC drive in more than a year in M-Sport
Fords Puma. He starts less than a week after finishing second in Saudi
Arabias desert at the Dakar Rally.
He is partnered by Isabelle Galmiche following the retirement of Daniel Elena,
with whom Loeb has tackled every one of his previous 180 WRC starts.
Its a radical change of scenery after spending three weeks on
the Dakar Rally! quipped Loeb, who squeezed in a brief test at the start
of the week.
For this rally, I will certainly be less prepared than the other drivers,
but the feeling with the Puma Rally1 was immediately very good and everything
just came together, he said.
Manufacturers champions Toyota also field 2021 drivers runner-up
Elfyn Evans and Kalle Rovanperä. Takamoto Katsuta steers a fourth GR
Yaris in Toyotas second-string squad.
Loeb is joined by new signing Craig Breen and Adrien Fourmaux at M-Sport Ford.
Gus Greensmith drives a fourth entry.
Hyundai Motorsport is fired up after a disappointing 2021 campaign. Former
world champion Ott Tänak, Thierry Neuville and youngster Oliver Solberg
pilot i20 N cars.
Unpredictable mountain weather means competitors can encounter snow, ice and
dry asphalt within a handful of kilometres. Cunning tyre selection in such
conditions is key and while the forecast suggests this might not be a true
winter Monte, nobody will be lulled into a false sense of security.
The rally starts in Monacos refurbished Casino Square on Thursday evening.
Crews will face 17 mountain stages covering 296.03km before Sunday afternoons
22-01-19 Säsongsstart i
värstingklassen för Oliver Solberg
20-årige Oliver Solberg är med från start som fabriksförare
för Hyundai Motorsport i WRC-klassen när årets Rally-VM går
av stapeln i Monte-Carlo på torsdag.
Efter fyra VM-tävlingar som "lärling" i ett satellitteam
2021, står Oliver Solberg officiellt på första raden i den
sydkoreanska bilfabriken tillsammans med teamkamraterna Thierry Neuville och
Ott Tänak i den 90-åringe klassikern Rally Monte-Carlo.
-Det ska bli väldigt speciellt att köra den första tävlingen
med officiella färger på kläder och bil. Det känns extra
spännande att få vara med om allt från start och jag är
helt klart väldigt förväntansfull. Det här är något
jag har drömt om och arbetat för väldigt länge. Att få
börja säsongen som en fullblodsfabriksförare är något
helt fantastiskt, säger Oliver Solberg - den yngsta deltagaren i WRC-klassen
Planen är att unge Solberg ska dela teamets tredje Hyundai i20 N Rally1-bil
med den spanske veteranen Daniel Sordo under hela säsongen.
I det 50:e världsmästerskapet i rally görs radikala tekniska
förändringar. För första gången kommer hybridbilar
att användas i VM-serien. Rally1-bilarna blandar en elmotor med 100 kilowatt
prestanda och en tävlingstestad 1,6-liters turboladdad bensinmotor, som
har drivit sportens toppbilar sedan 2011. Allt är uppbyggt kring ett
uppgraderat säkerhetscells-chassi. Muskelpaketet når prestandanivåer
till mer än 500 hästkrafter (tidigare cirka 350), samtidigt som
de skadliga utsläppen minskar då alla Rally1-bilar kommer att köras
med 100 procent hållbart bränsle.
-Jag tror att alla går runt och är exalterade över allt nytt.
Man är ganska nervös över om man har förstått all
teknik och hur den kan utnyttjas. Den första tävlingen kommer att
ge svar på vem av förarna som har förstått det bäst
av alla, säger Solberg.
Efter att ha slutat sjua i sin WRC-debut i Arctic Rally Finland förra
säsongen, avslutade Oliver säsongen 2021 med en femteplats i ACI
Rally Monza. Det var även första tävlingen med ny kartläsare
Elliott Edmondson (27).
Rally Monte-Carlo innehåller totalt 17 specialsträckor fördelade
på fyra dagar. De två första kör i mörker på
torsdagskvällen. Säsongsöppningen avslutas tidigt på
Rally-VM 2022 består av 13 tävlingar fördelade på fyra
Efter säsongsinledningen i Monte-Carlo åker mästerskapet vidare
till Umeå i Sverige om en månad. Säsongen avslutas enligt
plan i Japan den 13 november.
22-01-15 FIA World Rally Championships
new hybrid era hits top gear
Covers come off the all-new Rally1 cars during live Hangar-7 launch event.
Star drivers and pioneering new hybrid cars delivered a high-voltage introduction
to the 2022 FIA World Rally Championship in Austria on Saturday evening. The
WRCs ground-breaking new Rally1 cars from the three manufacturers gathered
for the first time in Salzburgs Hangar-7 as the 2022 season was launched
five days before the opening round at Rallye Monte-Carlo (January 20-23).
Here is all you need to know:
- In the presence of FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem, reigning champions
Toyota Gazoo Racing, Hyundai Motorsport and M-Sport Ford revealed their stunning
all-new cars which will compete across 13 rounds on four continents.
- Among those attending were Toyotas 2021 championship runner-up Elfyn
Evans and team-mate Kalle Rovanperä, who became the youngest WRC rally
winner in history last season.
- Also present were Hyundais lead drivers Thierry Neuville and Ott Tänak.
New M-Sport Ford signing Craig Breen appeared alongside the teams hotly-tipped
youngster, Adrien Fourmaux.
- In the championships 50th season, the WRC will undergo major environmental
changes as new FIA technical regulations drive the series towards a more sustainable
- Plug-in hybrid-powered cars built around an upgraded safety cell chassis,
100 percent fossil-free fuel and sustainable energy supplies are key to the
sports commitment to a greener future.
- The new hybrid cars blend a 100kW electric motor with a competition-proven
1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine, which has powered the sports top-tier
cars since 2011. The package raises peak performance levels to more than 500bhp
whilst also reducing harmful emissions.
- President Ben Sulayem, a former WRC competitor himself, said: Todays
launch of the new Rally1 era is a very proud and significant moment for the
FIA, the entire rally family and I would like to congratulate WRC Promoter
for delivering a great show at the start of the championships 50th anniversary
- The enthusiasm for the FIAs new technical regulations has been
very much in evidence in recent months and the event further underlined the
momentum coming from the teams and manufacturers, with Rallye Monte-Carlo
just a few days away.
- Beside the hybrid technology adding a new dynamic layer of performance
combined with safety improvements, Rally1 cars will be using 100 percent sustainable
fuel and work is also ongoing to achieve greater sustainability in the organisation
of each round of the series. I look forward to an exciting season.
- WRC Promoter managing director Jona Siebel welcomed the start of a landmark
period for the championship: Tonight weve seen what the
future of the WRC looks like. I applaud the manufacturers hard work
and commitment in readying these amazing and innovative Rally1 cars for the
WRCs new era."
This evening was a marvellous opportunity to showcase the WRC and exhibit
the strong desire to create an environment where both fiercely competitive
motorsport and the planet can thrive together.