WRC – How it works

In 2020 WRC will be divided in 14 competitions just like in 2019. However there are differences. Three competitions have been replaced. Barcelona, Korsika and Australia are removed to make place for Safari rally in Kenya, Japan and New Zeeland. Thus, the races take place in 16 countries covering six continents.

Drivers, cars and teams are not only competing against each other but also against extreme climate and demanding roads. It is the ultimate challenge where the most complete driver, the most durable cars and the best team stand as a winner. But how is it working? We are guiding you through some of the terminology for those of you new to the sport.
Each competition consists of 15-25 special stages. Driving on closed roads where the mission is to be the one going from start to finish the fastes. Each driver drives the stage individually together with the co-driver, navigating the roads. Best time wins and all the times are added together to define the total winner.


The competitions start with a Shakedown – a full speed test before start. Here the drivers have an opportunity to feel the surface and the character of the stage. The competing drivers then have a chance to adjust the cars for maximum performance according to current situations. As a spectator this is an excellent opportunity to watch your favourite drivers in full speed several times before the competitions are even starting.


The special stages, from a couple of kilometers to a few miles, are driven individually and the prioritised top-drivers start two or three minutes apart. At the Super Special in Karlstads on Thursday the drivers are however starting two and two, and the starting order and how they are grouped are decided by the arranger.
On Friday the total leader in WRC will start first followed by the runner-up and so on. The last two days (Saturday and Sunday) all cars start in a reversed order based on the total points previous day. In other words, the driver last will start first and the leader will start last. For Rally Sweden it is then the finishing result in Monte Carlo determining the starting order on Friday morning. In between the special stages the cars drive on normal roads and follow current traffic laws. However, they do have a strict time schedule to follow in order to avoid time being added on.

Restart after retirement

A rule allowing a competitor who did not complete a special stage the opportunity to re-start the next day. In explanation you can continue participate in the competition despite having not finished one or several stages. The driver is given a time penalty for each non-completed stage.

Power Stage

In the last stage of the competition, being broadcasted live on television world wide, extra WRC-points are given out to the five fastes drivers in order to boost the excitement. The best time on the last stage is worth 5 points, second is worth 4 points, the third 3 points, forth 2 points and fifth place is worth 1 point.

Service Park

During the competition the maintenance of the cars are strictly regulated. The mechanics are only allowed to service the cars during certain scheduled blocks, 15, 30 or 45 minutes each. In between only the driver and the co-driver are allowed to touch and service the car. The cars are placed in a special parking place overnight, securely monitored and unreachable for the own teams as well as other prospects.

In 2020 the service place will, as previously, be located at Torsby airport. Here you have the possibility to see the teams working on the cars and visit their hubs. From here it is close to SS8 Torsby 1, SS16 Torsby Spring and SS19 Torsby 2 Powerstage. Restaurants and After Rally are also available at the service place.

Manufactures World Championship

The drivers are not the only ones competing. The Manufactures are also fighting för the world title. The total points that the drivers in the teams have collected counts. Each team can enroll three drivers in the same manufactures team for each rally, but only the two best results are counted.


A class for fabric teams allowed to compete with up to two cars for each competition. They are competing with specific R5 cars. Just as in WRC one individual winner and one producer team winner are called. The teams are allowed to count the points for all competitions while the drivers are only counting the eight best results for the total victory. The teams must participate in minimum seven competitions and at least one being outside of Europe.


A class customised for privately participating drivers and teams buying or renting their R5-cars from the manufactures. The drivers count their six best results towards the master title.

WRC 2020

  • Rallye Monte-Carlo
    23-26 January
  • Rally Sweden
    13-16 February
  • Rally Mexico
    12-15 Mars
  • Rally Chile
  • Rally Argentina
    30 April-3 May
  • Rally de Portugal
    21-24 June
  • Rally Italia
    4-7 July
  • Rally Kenya
    16-19 July
  • Rally Finland
    6-9 August
  • Rally New Zealand
    3-6 September
  • Rally Turkey
    24-27 September
  • Rallye Deutschland
    15-18 October
  • Wales Rally GB
    29 October-1 November
  • Rally Japan
    19-22 November