WRC confirms running order rule change for 2017

WRC has decided to drop its controversial running order rule for the upcoming season and will revert to the system it used in 2014.

In 2016, the field had to start in the first two days according to the championship order, putting the points leader, who was Sebastien Ogier throughout the entire season, in the sweeping role on gravel events.

That forced the Frenchman into a streak of six winless rallies but he still comfortably became champion as he won every event that was not run on gravel.

Regardless, the system was highly-criticised by Ogier and his Volkswagen team and the series agreed to change it at the latest FIA World Motor Sport Council meeting in Vienna.

The updated regulations will see the field spend Saturday and Sunday in reversed classification order and the championship leader will only have to open the stages on Friday.

In addition, WRC will launch the Trophy series for pre-2017 machinery.

Similarly to the other support categories, Trophy participants can take part of seven rallies with the best six of them counting towards the standings.

The Junior WRC championship will be contested with new cars as the Citroen DS3, which was used since 2014, will be replaced by an R2 car supplied by M-Sport.

An updated 2017 calendar has been released as well with Rally Poland, which was missing from the previous version, reappearing in its 2016 slot between Italy and Finland.

2017 WRC schedule:

20-22 January  Monte Carlo
10-12 February  Sweden
10-12 March  Mexico*
7-9 April  France (Corsica)
28-30 April  Argentina
19-21 May  Portugal
9-11 June  Italy (Sardinia)*
30 June - 2 July  Poland
28-30 July  Finland
19-20 August  Germany
6-8 October  Spain*
27-29 October  Great Britain (Wales)
17-19 November  Australia

*Subject to ASN confirmation

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Series WRC
Article type Breaking news