The FIA World Motor Sport Council today approved changes to next year’s WRC running order regulations and revealed a new competition for drivers of 2016-spec World Rally Cars.The order in which drivers will start stages in 2017 will revert to the model that was last used in 2014.
This year, P1-registered drivers tackled stages in championship order for days one and two, and reverse rally classification order for the final leg. In 2017, P1 drivers will start only the opening day in their championship positions, before switching to reverse classification order for the last two.
It’s a decision that should find favour with world champion Sébastien Ogier. The Frenchman wasn’t a fan of the current system because he felt it excessively disadvantaged him on loose, dry gravel events when he opened the roads for two days.
The FIA also revealed details of a new WRC Trophy, created for drivers of pre-2017 specification WRC cars. Competitors will score points on a maximum of seven rallies, with the best six results counting towards driver and co-driver titles.
The Junior World Rally Championship will switch from Citroën to Ford power after confirmation that M-Sport has been awarded the contract to supply R2 cars for the competition in 2017 and 2018.
And WRC competitors will have the choice of two tyre makes next year, with Michelin and DMACK both registered.