The World Rally Championship (WRC) is the highest level of rally series sanctioned by the FIA. The championship is awarded to the Driver, Co-driver, and the Manufacturer respectively. The drivers' World Championship and Manufacturer world championship are separate championships but based on the same point scoring system.
Rallying can be considered the most extreme form of Motorsport where driver's drive in dirt,gravel,broken-tarmac,slush,snow and ice.A rally driver unlike the race car driver's do not practice on the track because the rules prohibit it. Each rally will consist of 15-25 special stages (SS) and a super special stage (SSS) run over a period of 3 days and thousands of kilometers in total distance.The distance is split into competitive stages and transport section (non-competitive).A rally usually starts at sunrise and the stages are run till the sunset and some of the rallies have stages in the night as well.
The WRC was formed by integrating the popular rallies from all around the globe, mostly from the European Rally Championship.The inaugural WRC took place in the year 1973.
The WRC features 3 support Championships, the Junior World Rally Championship (JWRC), WRC-2 which is a step down to WRC which features the R5 and S2000 specification cars, WRC-3 formerly know as Production class World Rally Championship (PWRC) is for the standard production cars.
The current WRC cars are based on standard road cars with1600cc turbocharged motors which has a power output of 380BHP+ and also features a turbo anti-lag systems, sequential gearbox, 4 wheel drive, aerodynamic body kits and an aerodynamic wing or spoiler in the rear to help the car achieve better handling in high speeds. Prior to the introduction of these modern rally cars, the WRC ran Group A specification cars and also the scarily fast GroupB cars which were banned eventually.
All the major car manufacturers in the world have taken part in the World Rally events, 21 manufacturers have won an WRC event and 11 other have been on the podium. The most successful name were Citroen, Lancia, Volkswagen, Audi, Renault, Ford and Toyota to name a few. Citroen holds the record for most number of championships followed by Lancia.
The Manufacturers and manufacturers backed team will have 2-3 cars and the private team usually take part in a single event or two rather than the whole championship calendar. Some of the successful names in the WRC are Sebastian Loeb, Sebastian Ogier, Jari-Matti Latvala, Colin McRae, Carlos Sainz, Tommi Makkinen, Richard Burns, Walter Rohrl, Michelle Mouton and Ari Vatanen. Michelle Mouton, the French rally driver who drove during the GroupB era for Audi is one of most successful women in the WRC who almost went close to winning a driver's World Championship title in 1982, she won 4 out 6 rallies and a mechanical breakdown cost her the title as she settled for runners-up.She broke the world record at the Pikes Peak International hill climb in 1985. She is regarded as the most successful women in any form of FIA World Championship till date.
The most successful driver is the World Rally history is the French man Sebastian Loeb who has won the title a record 9 times, it also is the highest number of FIA Championship won by a single individual till date.
Team MRF M-Sport's Gaurav Gill is driving in the WRC-2 class in a ford fiesta R5 in the 2018 World Rally Championship. Naren Kumar of India took part in the production class WRC with the Sidvin Rally team.
The co-drivers or a navigator plays a prominent role in any form of rallying. They are responsible for making pace note during the reconnaissance (recce) which takes place before the actual rally start. Some of the most famous names are Daniel Elena, Julian Ingrassia, Phil Mills, Miikka Anttila, Stephane Prevot and Nicky Grist.
The World Rally Championship calendar takes part mainly in Europe, South America, Australia and Asia. Some of the famous World Rally events are Monte-Carlo, Sweden, Tour De Corse - France, Rally GB - Wales, Rally Finland, Rally Mexico, Rally Australia and Rally Japan to name a few.
In the 2018 World Rally Champion four manufacturers are competing for the title. The teams include Ford M-Sport, Toyota Gazoo World Rally team, Hyundai WRC and Citroen WRC. Sebastien Ogier is defending is world rally title.