World Rally Championship - Structure

Structure

Each season normally consists of 13 rallies driven on surfaces ranging from gravel and tarmac to snow and ice. Points from these events are calculated towards the drivers' and manufacturers' world championships. The driver's championship and manufacturer's championship are separate championships, but based on the same point system. This means, for example, that Petter Solberg driving for Subaru can win the driver's championship but Citroën can win the manufacturer's championship, which is what happened in 2003, and again in 2006 and 2007 when Sébastien Loeb took his third and fourth WRC titles but Ford won the manufacturer's championship. In the current points system, points are awarded at the end of each rally to the top ten WRC (overall), junior, production car and super 2000 drivers that qualify as follows: 1st: 25 points, 2nd: 18 points, 3rd: 15 points, 4th: 12 points, 5th: 10 points, 6th: 8 points, 7th: 6 points, 8th: 4 points, 9th: 2 points, 10th: 1 point. Despite how many drivers are in one team, constructors can only nominate two drivers to score points for the team as well as scoring for themselves. As only nominated drivers are counted while awarding points, even competitors placed further down than tenth overall (if preceded by privateer drivers) can score them.

In the current era, each rally usually consists of 15–35 special stages of distances ranging from under 2 km (1.2 mi) (super specials) to over 50 kilometres (31 mi). These competitive stages driven on closed roads are linked by non-competitive road sections which are on open roads on which all road laws of that country must be adhered to. On average a day consists of a total of 400 kilometres (250 mi) of driving. A WRC event begins with reconnaissance (recce) on Tuesday and Wednesday, allowing crews to drive through the stages and create or update their pace notes. On Thursday, teams can run through the shakedown stage to practice and test their set-ups. The competition begins on Friday and ends on Sunday. Cars start the stages at one or two minute intervals. Each day, or leg, has a few designated service parks between the stages, where the teams can – within strict time limits – perform maintenance and repairs on their cars. The service park also allows spectators and the media to get close to the teams and their cars and drivers. Between the days, after a 45-minute end of day service, cars are locked away in the guarded parc fermé.

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