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  • Writer's pictureLewis Houghton

An Introduction to the 2024 WRC season

Round 1 of the 2024 WRC starts this weekend in Monte Carlo.

Here’s everything you need to know about the ultimate rally series:

The Protagonists:

The reigning champion is 23-year-old Kalle Rovanperä, who beat Colin McRae’s record of being the youngest champion in history.

For the 2024 season, Rovanperä is competing on a part-time basis, taking time out to travel and see the world.

The drivers would be nowhere without their co-drivers. They deliver pace notes, keep track of their progress and even drive the cars between stages.

The art of writing pace notes is another story on its own - so stay tuned for that.

The Machines:

The cars feature hybrid engines that use 100% fossil-free fuel.

Each car has a 100kw battery paired with a 1.6-litre turbo-charged engine to deliver over 500bhp.

Considering the championship-winning car uses the chassis of a Toyota Yaris, that’s a heck of a lot of power in a car not too dissimilar from the one your nan uses to go to the shops…

Yep, your nan drives a rally car. News just in.

The Schedule:

A WRC weekend is broken down into the following:

- Shakedown (practice)

- Ceremonial start

- Friday - timed stages (known as Special Stages)

- Saturday - Super Special Stages occur within stadiums for close spectator action (this is the only time drivers compete alongside each other and not just against the clock)

- Sunday - Wolf Power Stage - winning these with the fastest time are worth extra points

The Challenge:

The teams are allowed to work on their cars at three pre-determined intervals throughout the day in the Service Parks.

They’re limited on time though, and incur penalties if they exceed the allocation. Even repairs are against the clock in WRC!

Once out on the open road, it’s all down to the driver and co-driver. It’s not uncommon for them to perform on-the-go repairs to their car - so they’re as handy as they are quick.

A car can retire, be re-built and take part the next day (subject to safety checks) - meaning the weekend isn’t over until the final flag falls on the Wolf Power Stage.

13 rounds. Four continents. One champion.

WRC drivers are at the pinnacle of motorsport.

Do yourself a favour and tune in for the 2024 title fight.

Hey, at least Rovanperä’s break means we’re getting a new WRC champion this year - the same can’t be said about Formula 1!

1 Comment

Unknown member
Jan 24

Great write-up Lewis! Now that Kalle is only racing part-time this season, who should we keep our eyes on as championship contenders?

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