Dear Rally family, dear friends, 

On behalf of the FIA Rally Department, I am very pleased to welcome you to Issue #17 of the FIA Rally Newsletter, published following the meeting of the FIA World Motor Sport Council in Geneva on October 19.
While confirmation of the 2024 FIA World Rally Championship calendar is an important step as we move towards next season, other WMSC decisions were particularly significant.
A major renaming exercise of the Cross-Country Rally Sporting Regulations, including events, championships and categories, was approved and will make the FIA World Rally-Raid Championship, for one, easier to understand and follow. The changes were made in conjunction with W2RC promoter A.S.O. and the Cross-Country Rally Commission.
The approval of the Rally5-Kit regulations creates an even more accessible entry level to rallying with major ASN involvement and the prospect of growing motor sport participation around the world.
Several proposals from the WRC, Rally and Cross-Country Commissions were also ratified by the WMSC, all of which will help to strengthen FIA championships globally.
Switching away from the WMSC, the FIA Rally Star Training Season is nearing completion with just the Lausitz Rallye left to run from November 9-11. Plenty of potential has been shown and much progression made by the six young drivers, more good news for the future of the sport.
With the next generation in mind, the FIA Junior WRC Championship and FIA Junior ERC Championship titles came down to final-round deciders with both champions – William Creighton and Norbert Maior – rewarded with prize drives that will allow them to take their next step up the FIA Rally Sporting Pyramid.
Rally Nova Gorica, a round of the FIA European Rally Trophy, coincided with the FIA Volunteers Weekend (September 22-24). Comments from ERC drivers Jon Armstrong and Hayden Paddon underlining the importance of those who give up their time – often without financial reward – to make motor sport happen appear in a later section of this Newsletter.

Andrew Wheatley
FIA Road Sport Director
Q&A with Andrew Wheatley:
Sporting updates and opportunities as 2023 comes to a close

With the 2023 season nearing its closing stages, FIA Road Sport Director Andrew Wheatley discusses the many opportunities in store for the sport at all levels globally.

Approval of the Rally5-Kit regulations is hugely important as a means of providing accessible rallying globally and, as a result, driving motor sport participation. Can you explain the thinking behind this new and exciting category?
“We have an incredibly successful Renault Clio Rally5, for example, but it’s not sold throughout the world and there are not so many other options on the marketplace. We sat down with the FIA Technical Department to see how we could open up the Rally5 entry-level concept to make it more accessible internationally. The result is the Rally5-Kit regulations.”

What are the differences between Rally5 and Rally5-Kit?
“The Rally5-Kit regulations follow a very similar principle to Rally5, namely a two-wheel-drive car up to 1.6 turbocharged or up to 2-litre normally aspirated which is then given a limited number of modifications to change it from being a standard production vehicle to a car that has the feel and driving dynamics of a proper competition car. The changes are in the gearbox, with the five-speed sequential gearbox an option rather than being compulsory. The FT3 fuel tank is not required and there is also an option for one-way adjustable dampers to enable the car to be competitive against the Rally5 cars that exist. But instead of being homologated by the FIA in Europe, the cars can be homologated through a collaboration between the local ASN and the FIA in Geneva.”
How will that work?
“If you are in South America, Australasia, in Europe or wherever, you can locally homologate a car in the Rally5-Kit class which will then be available to compete all over the world under international homologation. It’s a way of being able to use local parts and local experience to be able to introduce vehicles that could work cost effectively in the local market. The primary goal for Rally5-Kit is to provide competitors with a route into homologated cars that will ultimately create a series of one-make championships around the world.”
What’s the cost?
“The intention is that the conversion kit will cost between 15,000-18,000 euros, meaning you can take a base car and between 15,000-18,000 euros later you will have a competition car that can compete anywhere in the world. The target performance of the Rally5-Kit car is similar to Rally5. A system of balancing the air restrictor against the weight of the car will be used so if the car is heavier, it will have a bigger air restrictor, it it’s lighter it will have a smaller air restrictor. The intention is to be able to balance the car performance against the benchmark of the existing Rally5 cars that are available. It will create more opportunities at national level with the opportunity to develop international regional series.”
When will the first Rally5-Kit car break cover?
“The first car that will use the Rally5-Kit regulations will be the Suzuki that’s been homologated in conjunction with RFEdA in Spain. It will be competing from the start of 2024 and we are working with a number of ASNs around the world to develop similar one-make championships, which have always had a good response and have always helped to develop drivers in a very positive way. The ASNs will perform a major role in making Rally5-Kit a success with the aim of doubling motor sport participation globally.”
The WRC calendar for 2024 has been revealed. What will it bring?
“It brings true classic events, including Monte-Carlo, Sweden, Safari, Portugal, Finland or the Acropolis, emerging rallies like Croatia, Chile and Japan and new innovative events such as Latvia and the Central European Rally. And it means we can look forward to another successful FIA World Rally Championship season in 2024. We’re assured of a good variety of strong rallies over four continents and welcome a return of the sport to the enthusiastic fans in Central and Eastern Europe.”
FIA Rally Newsletter #16 provided an update on steps being taken to deliver an even better WRC by consulting with the drivers. Will any of their proposals be taken onboard?
“We received 82 ideas through Petter Solberg, the Vice President of the FIA Drivers’ Commission and we’re very grateful for all Petter’s help and hard work. We’re already seeing the first steps just a few weeks later. Small things for now, such as bigger service areas for WRC2 teams and requested items signposted on road sections, but there’s much, much more to come. The good thing is we have had very positive discussions and we have identified a roadmap which we can now propose to the WMSC. It will take time and there are many challenges to overcome but there’s momentum now and clear examples that progress is being made, although there’s no such thing as an overnight fix. But we must not lose sight of the fact that we’ve had some very good levels of competition in all classes in the WRC this year. We’ve had five different winners in Rally1, all manufacturers have finished on the top step of the podium, and you genuinely don’t know who is going to win the next round, which is fantastic.”
The Cross-Country Rally Sporting Regulations have been modified following a major renaming exercise. What benefits will this bring?
“With the changes, which were made in conjunction with W2RC promoter A.S.O. and the Cross-Country Rally Commission, we simply wanted to make some of the terminology used in the sport, such as the category and event types, easier to understand. We believe we’ve achieved that objective.”
FIA WRC 2024 set for lift-off following calendar reveal

An early-season date for Safari Rally Kenya, the debut of Rally Latvia in the FIA World Rally Championship and the comeback of Rally Poland are among the highlights of the 2024 WRC calendar.
Approved by the FIA World Motor Sport Council at its gathering in Geneva, Switzerland, on October 19, next season’s WRC schedule features 13 events in four continents between January and November.
Four events take place on Tarmac, one on snow and the remaining eight on gravel to ensure drivers and their teams are put to the test in a variety of conditions and on varying terrain.
The diverse range of rallies will also ensure the WRC’s spectacle and global appeal remain firmly intact. Of the 13 rounds, three are outside Europe – in Chile, Japan and Kenya – and have been carefully scheduled to allow more cars and equipment to be transported by sea freight rather than by air freight as part of the championship’s commitment to sustainability.

As well as counting for the FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers, Co-Drivers and Manufacturers, all 13 events are eligible for the FIA WRC2, FIA WRC2 Challenger and FIA WRC3 championships as well as the FIA WRC Masters Cup. Competitors can once again build up their schedule up to the permitted maximum for their category with the number of scoring rounds per category announced at a later date.
Rally Finland returns as Junior WRC dates are fixed

Made up of five events once again, the one-make Junior WRC category for M-Sport Poland-built Ford Fiesta Rally3 Evos run on Pirelli tyres will continue to feature events on snow and ice (Rally Sweden), Tarmac (Croatia Rally) and gravel (Rally Italia Sardegna, Secto Rally Finland and EKO Acropolis Rally Greece).
The champion can look forward to a four-event prize drive in the 2025 FIA WRC2 Championship at the wheel of a Ford Fiesta Rally2, 200 tyres from Pirelli and a test prior to each round.
Drivers will continue to count their best four scores out of a possible five with double points up for grabs on the EKO Acropolis Rally Greece finale for drivers who have entered at least three Junior WRC rounds in 2024. The awarding of a championship per stage win will continue.
Romanian Norbert Maior is the first confirmed participant as his prize for winning the 2023 FIA Junior ERC Championship.
No more WRC2 Power Stage points

Points will no longer be awarded to the fastest three FIA WRC2 competitors on the Power Stage of FIA World Rally Championship events from 2024. 

Currently, the quickest trio of WRC2 crews on the rally-deciding test score points towards their end-of-year totals on a descending scale of 3-2-1.

While a WRC2 competitor will still be able to register overall Power Stage points, should they set a top-five fastest outright time, there will no longer be a separate WRC2 classification.

For live broadcast purposes, a dedicated start list is used for the Power Stage, which often results in as many as five of the leading WRC2 crews being given the opportunity to tackle the Power Stage prior to the Rally1 crews. 

While this important promotional opportunity will still exist, because of the lapse in time between the leading WRC2 crews completing the Power Stage and the other WRC2 crews taking the start, it wasn’t considered fair to distribute points. This is due to the potential existing for some drivers to gain an advantage or be disadvantage depending on how the weather or conditions of the stage surface change.

The change to the WRC regulations for 2024 was approved by the WMSC.
WRC2 competitor feedback leads to more Service Park space
FIA WRC2 Championship entrants are being allocated larger working areas in event service parks.
The move is a direct response to feedback from teams contesting the Rally2-based category requesting more space in which to instal their service park structures and benefit from the resulting improved working conditions.
Vice President of the FIA Drivers’ Commission Petter Solberg has been overseeing an extensive consultation process with teams aimed at further raising the level of world championship events.
WRC2 teams had identified larger working areas in rally service parks as an important step towards enhancing the presentation and quality of their respective operations.
Refuse disposal points and toilet stops added to event roadbooks

The location of refuse facilities and toilets will be included in roadbooks issued to competitors by organisers of FIA World Rally Championship events.
From 2024, roadbooks will detail where rubbish bins and toilets are located on liaison sections. Drivers and co-drivers had called for these changes when giving feedback on how the FIA World Rally Championship can be further improved.
FIA Road Sport Director Andrew Wheatley said: “Quite rightly competitors don’t want to throw their rubbish on the street and want to know where it can be disposed of correctly. Similarly, the location of toilets on liaison sections was also requested by drivers. While these are small changes, they’re more examples of how the FIA is responding to competitor feedback.”
Rookies impress on Rally1 debuts

Two rookie drivers demonstrated the accessible nature of Rally1 Hybrid cars when they used them for the first time in the FIA World Rally Championship.
Alberto Heller and Grégoire Munster contested Rally Chile Biobío on the back of limited testing aboard their Ford Puma Rally1 Hybrid cars.
Despite their absence of previous experience, both drivers ran competitively and would have finished in the top 10 had it not been for various delays.
Munster said: “It was unbelievable, what you expect it’s just 10 times better. The corners arrive so fast but on the other hand the car is just so efficient, you turn, it turns, you go on the throttle and it just goes as quick as you can imagine out of the corners. And it’s actually not so difficult to handle.”
Heller has vowed to return to the Rally1 category on Rally Chile Biobío, his home event, next season. He said: “In the last split of Chivilingo [SS7], in the last five kilometres, we were the fastest. So for five kilometres I was the fastest driver in the WRC!”
New Rally5-Kit regulations to provide accessible entry level competition

Entry-level rallying has just got even more accessible with confirmation of the Rally5-Kit technical regulations for 2024. Representing a huge step in the ongoing drive to double motor sport participation globally, Rally5-Kit will form the access point to the FIA Rally Cars Pyramid.
It has been developed with affordability firmly in focus, but without ignoring the need to deliver a set of rules that make rallying as attractive to newcomers as other disciplines.
FIA Road Sport Director Andrew Wheatley said: “Rally5-Kit is crucial for the future of the development of grassroots rallying and a fantastic tool for ASNs around the world to increase the number of licence holders.”
Cars conforming to the Rally5-Kit regulations will be equipped with standard engines, one-way adjustable dampers, standard fuel tanks, underbody protection and the option to fit a sequential gearbox.
Significantly, Rally5-Kit cars can be homologated at a local level in collaboration with the FIA Technical Department, a move that will allow the use of parts and expertise available locally to deliver more cost-effective competition cars.
A car conforming to the Rally5-Kit regulations has begun testing in Spain through a partnership between Real Federación Española de Automovilismo (RFEdA) and Suzuki Motor Ibérica.
See Q&A section for more from Andrew Wheatley on Rally5-Kit.
Tyre quantity reduction to lead to Middle East Rally Championship cost savings

Tyre quantities in the FIA Middle East Rally Championship will be reduced in 2024 in a move to lessen the cost of competing in the long-standing series.
Regulation changes approved by the WMSC will result in competitors in RC2 and RGT cars being limited to a total of 16 tyres per event compared to the previous limit of 18.
Drivers competing in RC3, RC4 and RC5 cars can use a maximum of 12 tyres rather than 14 as was the case previously. All tyres used for shakedown will not be marked.
FIA Regional Rally Category Manager Jérôme Roussel explained: “From the analysis conducted, we could determine that it was possible for competitors to complete the rally distance using fewer tyres. By introducing this smaller amount, costs can be reduced.”
MERC joins ARC, ERC and NACAM in feeling the Power
The Power Stage concept is coming to the FIA Middle East Rally Championship in 2024 with the series following on from the African, European and NACAM championships in introducing the format rolled out to great acclaim in the FIA World Rally Championship.
But rather than preparing their own set of Power Stage regulations, MERC organisers will adopt the same rules used in the ERC, a move that will make it easier for all FIA regional championships to adopt what will become a common set of Power Stage regulations.
These rules will cover items such as start intervals, the allocation of points and the allowance for organisers to stop a car and its crew on a road section immediately after the stop control of a stage for the purposes of generating media coverage. If necessary, however, organisers would be authorised to modify the time allowed to complete the subsequent road section.
Pledge to increase importance of FIA titles

FIA rally titles won’t be awarded to drivers who fail to compete on at least half the number of rounds scheduled or half of the events required to be eligible for a championship title.
The rule change for 2024 is an attempt to prevent a driver from winning an FIA title by contesting one event only, which can lower the value of the title in question if there is limited or no competition from other drivers. It means that if a championship consists of six rounds, a competitor must contest three rounds to be eligible for an FIA title.
Although entry levels have largely prevented this scenario from occurring, there have been occasions when a driver contests one round of a championship, wins their category and takes the title due to there being no participants on other rounds.

Furthermore, for an FIA title to be awarded for a multi-round championship, at least 50 per cent of the scheduled number of events, according to the original calendar, must have taken place.
ERC rule changes aplenty
Several changes have been made to the FIA European Rally Championship sporting regulations for 2024, all designed to bring further improvements to the series, a mainstay on the international calendar since 1953.
To assist the live streaming of the Qualifying Stage, the gap between each car will be increased to two minutes on asphalt events, which is the same interval time as on gravel events.
Rather than selecting their road order for leg one, the eligible drivers will start an asphalt round according to the results of the Qualifying Stage. For gravel events, the starting order will be a reverse of the Qualifying Stage classification. The Start Order Selection event will no longer take place.
All ERC1 crews will start at two-minute intervals on leg one of an event with the top 15 starting two minutes apart on the subsequent leg with all other cars running at one-minute intervals.
The regroup time prior to the Power Stage has been increased from 40 to 50 minutes to allow for the possibility for the leading FIA Junior ERC crews to run first on the road as part of efforts to further increase the championship’s visibility and profile.
Events will continue to run over four days from the start of reconnaissance to the finish of the Power Stage. However, new rules for 2024 approved by the WMSC will allow event organisers to schedule an additional day for reconnaissance providing they seek and receive FIA approval.
Meanwhile, the championship registration fees for 2024 have also been approved.
A number of the changes ratified by the WMSC came from proposals presented to the FIA Rally Commission by the European Rally Championship promoter, WRC Promoter GmbH.
FIA European Rally Championship for tyre suppliers: how it works?

Approved by the FIA WMSC during its Cordoba session in
June, the Geneva gathering earlier this month rubberstamped the regulations for the new-for-2024 FIA European Rally Championship for Tyre Suppliers.
Introduced to recognise and incentivise tyre company participation the ERC, how points are scored is covered by a new regulation, 5.2.2, as follows: “A nominated tyre supplier may score points (as per Art. 3.1.1) with the two best placed Rally2 cars registered in ERC (as per Art. V1a 4.2) and fitted with its tyres in the final classification of each rally. Additional cars fitted by the same supplier may neither score points nor detract points from other cars”.
The creation of the 2024 FIA European Rally Championship for Tyre Suppliers followed a proposal from the ERC promoter, WRC Promoter GmbH, to the FIA Rally Commission.
Hankook, Michelin, MRF and Pirelli signed up as the ERC’s official tyre partners in 2023.
Earlier finish to CODASUR season means Zaldivar and Der Ohannesian are already champions
The change of date for 2023 FIA CODASUR Rally Championship finale, Rally del Atlántico, means a champion has been crowned earlier than expected.
Based in Uruguay, Rally del Atlántico had been due to run from November 23-26, but the FIA WMSC’s June meeting approved an earlier date of October 12-15.
After becoming provisional CODASUR champion for the Hyundai-powered Automotor Rally Team alongside co-driver Marcelo Der Ohannesian, Paraguayan Fabrizio Zalvidar said: “This is a dream. I remember in 2017 seeing my father win, and now he sees me win the FIA CODASUR Championship, it is something that I will never forget.”
Read the full story HERE.
Safety Delegate powers increased
The FIA Safety Delegate can make a request to the Clerk of the Course to cancel a special stage if he or she determines that the stage implementation has not been carried out in accordance with the rally’s Safety Dossier.
With the responsibility to monitor the safety of members of the public and the media, the FIA Safety Delegate already has the power to delay the start of a special stage by a maximum of 30 minutes if it is deemed that safety conditions are not satisfactory.
From 2024, if the level of safety cannot be improved within the time available or if it is considered that the stage implementation does not correspond to the Safety Dossier, the FIA Safety Delegate – or the FIA Observer if no FIA Safety Delegate has been nominated – can submit a request to the Clerk of the Course to cancel a special stage. Non-compliance may result in the matter being reported to the event Stewards.
The FIA Safety Delegate – or the FIA Observer if no FIA Safety Delegate has been nominated – reserves the right to report a serious safety concern to the Closed Road Commission, which may result in the issuing of a Yellow Card.
Timecard penalty revised through use of electronic monitoring
Failure to have a timecard marked or signed at a control, for a time entry not to appear on a timecard or for a timecard not to be presented at a control will no longer result in exclusion from an event if it can be proved the crew has correctly passed a control.
Should a breach be reported, the Clerk of the Course may, in exceptional circumstances, carry out an inquiry using resources such as electronic recordings (GPS) and official documentation.
If it can be established that the crew concerned passed the control in question correctly, a one-minute penalty will be applied, rather that it being considered that the competitor is out of the event, as is currently the case.
Minimum special stage time rule added to sporting regulations
A section covering minimum special stage times will be appear in the Regional Rally sporting regulations from 2024.
While few countries include minimum special stage times – also known as bogey times – in their rulebooks, some do, including Ireland and the United Kingdom.
Currently, a waiver is required for each case with a clarification in the supplementary regulations also mandated when an FIA-level event is held in one of those countries.
By including a clause in the Regional Rally sporting regulations, the rule – 47.2.1 – will be easier to apply and understand.
Stage safety changes to address restarts after delays
As part of ongoing efforts to achieve the highest possible safety standards on special stages of rallies, if there is a delay of 20 minutes or more to the running of a stage for whatever reason, a safety car must pass through the stage to inform spectators of the impending restart before the stage can continue.
If this is not possible under the new regulation for 2024, it will not be permitted for the stage to continue and notional times will be allocated to any competing crew that has yet to take the start of the stage to minimise risk.
FIA Rally Star Training Season decider draws near

The FIA Rally Star talent detection programme is one event away from deciding the four drivers who will graduate to the FIA Junior WRC Championship in 2024.
Following the Lausitz Rallye in Germany from November 9-11, four aspiring world champions of the future will be selected for the prize drives provided by the FIA.
On RallyRACC in Spain (October 20/21), the fifth of six FIA Rally Star Training Season events, Estonia’s Romet Jürgenson claimed a first Rally3 category victory on gravel, while South African Max Smart scored a personal best result of second among the FIA Rally Star drivers.
Oman’s Abdullah Al-Tawqi, Australian Taylor Gill and Peruvian Annia Cilloniz also reached the finish of the gravel rally in that order. But there was frustration for Jose ‘Abito’ Caparo, who crashed out on the penultimate stage, albeit without injury to either he nor co-driver and fellow Peruvian ‘Willy’ Guillermo Sierra Ovalle.
With FIA Vice-Presidents for Sport Europe Anna Nordkvist and Manuel Aviñó in attendance, and FIA world championship-winning co-driver Chris Patterson providing an additional supporting role, all six FIA Rally Star drivers stepped up their level from the previous event in Estonia.
However, 23-year-old Jürgenson was particularly impressive. He was fastest in his class on eight stages out of nine and set the joint third fastest outright time on the asphalt-based street stage in Salou, where FIA World Rally Championship drivers have been tested in the past. Co-driven by fellow Estonian Siim Oja, Jürgenson finished eighth in the overall classification aboard his M-Sport Poland-run, Pirelli-equipped Ford Fiesta Rally3.
Click HERE for more on FIA Rally Star.
WRC Promoter and Rallycross Promoter achieve FIA three-star environmental accreditation

WRC Promoter – alongside sister company Rallycross Promoter – has achieved three-star environmental accreditation from motor sport’s governing body, the FIA.
Aimed at helping motorsport and mobility stakeholders worldwide to measure and enhance their environmental performance, the FIA Environmental Accreditation Programme is an environmental management certification system consisting of a three-level framework, of which the Promoters have achieved the highest level.
This is just the latest step on WRC and Rallycross Promoters’ journey towards a more sustainable future, adhering to the same environmental benchmark it pushes its stakeholders to aspire to.
The acknowledgment came from the FIA following an on-site audit in the Promoters’ Munich offices from an independent FIA-appointed auditor with International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) experience.
Click HERE to read the full story.
ERC champions Armstrong an Paddon support FIA Volunteers Weekend
FIA European Rally Championship title winners Jon Armstrong and Hayden Paddon were among a number of drivers who showed their support during FIA Volunteers Weekend (September 22-24).
The FIA Volunteers Weekend is an annual even that highlights the work of all those people who give up their team free of charge to make motorsport happen.
ERC events rely on hundreds of volunteer officials to take place and Armstrong and Paddon, winners of the ERC3 and ERC titles respectively in 2023, commented on their vital importance.
“I’m very grateful for all volunteers who make our sport possible, whether it be as a marshal, pre-event or behind the scenes,” said New Zealander Paddon. “To do what we love is simply not possible without the time and dedication so many others put into the sport.”
Northern Irishman Armstrong said: “The volunteers in rallying really are so important for being able to do what we love, they give up their free time to allow us to race. We wouldn’t be able to enjoy it if it wasn’t for all the great volunteers who are really putting in the effort.”
Rally Nova Gorica in Slovenia, an FIA Rally Star Training Season event, coincided with the FIA Volunteers Weekend.
More information on volunteering in motor sport is available on the FIA Volunteers & Officials page.
Rally categories for FIA Motorsport Games confirmed

Rallying will continue to be a key component of the FIA Motorsport Games when the third edition takes place at Spain’s Circuit Ricardo Tormo, the city of Valencia and its surroundings.
The biennial multidisciplinary motor sport event is scheduled from October 23-27, 2024, with rallying accounting for the greatest number of new categories.
Rally2, Rally4, and Historic Rally have been separated into three contests – one for gravel specialists, one for those who excel on Tarmac, and one featuring both surfaces.
The new Rally All-Stars category, meanwhile, is open to drivers listed on the FIA priority driver list who are not eligible to chase medals in the Rally2 or Rally4 events.
Read the FIA Motorsport Games news HERE.
Exciting renaming exercise for Cross-Country Rallying
Changes to make cross-country rallying easier to follow and more prominent through a substantial renaming exercise have received WMSC approval as the category prepares for an exciting 2024 season.
Terminology, such as Cross-Country Baja and Cross-Country Rally, will be shortened and simplified to Baja and Rally-Raid respectively, or Marathon Rally-Raid in the case of a Cross-Country Marathon Rally.
Cross-Country Event → Cross-Country Rally
Cross-Country Baja → Baja
Cross-Country Rally → Rally-Raid
Cross-Country Marathon Rally → Marathon Rally-Raid

The proposal, discussed in conjunction with the FIA World Rally-Raid Championship promoter, A.S.O., and the members of the Cross-Country Rally Commission, suggests that the three FIA support championships should be known as the World Baja Cup, European Baja Cup and Middle East Baja Cup from the start of the 2024 season.
Cross-Country Event → Cross-Country Rally
Cross-Country Baja → Baja
Cross-Country Rally → Rally-Raid
Cross-Country Marathon Rally → Marathon Rally-Raid

The five-group nomenclature (formerly T1, T2, T3, T4 and T5) that split the various machines eligible to compete in cross-country-type events was also renamed with a view to bring more clarity and substance for the community. Group T1 will now be known as ‘Ultimate’, with ‘Stock’ replacing T2, a category for series-production cross-country machines, which today only has a small number of entries.
Group T3 for modified prototype cross-country vehicles is one of the fastest growing of all the motor sporting classes and this will be known as ‘Challenger, while ‘SSV’ replaces the Group


FIA Cross-Country Category Manager Jérôme Roussel explained: “This super-important renaming exercise has been carried out to make the sport easier for the general public to follow and more attractive. We had been using certain terminology that wasn’t as self-explanatory as it could be, and we wanted to make everything simpler.

We also paid close attention to make sure the new names could be understood in many languages and were relevant to the sport. For example, Stock, the new name for T2, is quite common in the USA but it’s more racing-style than ‘production’. Meanwhile, Challenger is quite an international word. In many events the T3 cars can ‘challenge’ the Ultimate cars.

It was also obvious that moving away from a numbering system provides more clarity. For the event and title names, the intention was to make them more attractive and more concise and both objectives have been achieved. We have high hopes the changes will have a positive impact in 2024.”
Stage points allocated even if a crew retires
Stage bonus points will be allocated to crews even if they have retired from events under new rules approved by the WMSC for 2024.
Previously, if a crew retired, it would not receive any Stage points it had scored during an event. Now, providing a retired crew’s car enters parc fermé, Stage points will be awarded.
The move is not only designed to recognise individual achievement, but to also encourage teams from maintaining a full-season campaign in the event of a non-finish.
Stage medals will be awarded at the end of each day of a W2RC event during a special ceremony where attendance will be mandatory. The overall stage winners, plus the fastest Challenger and SSV drivers will receive medals.
Meanwhile, the Stage bonus points rule applies to W2RC events, plus all World, European and Middle East Baja Cup rounds.
Safety first as new start order rule 

Faster drivers will start first on subsequent stages of cross-country events in a move that will not only help to maintain a high level of competition but will also put the onus on safety.
Prior to the regulation change, Challenger crews could start ahead of Ultimate crews but would soon be caught once a stage unfolded. This not only delayed Ultimate crews but could have led to safety being compromised in certain situations.
FIA Cross-Country Category Manager Jérôme Roussel explained: “For 2024, the regulations will state that the Ultimate crews with a time less than 115 per cent of the fastest Ultimate crew from the previous day will start first. We will then bring the Platinum drivers who had a problem on the previous day and then the Gold drivers who were in the same situation. Following them will be the Challenger and SSV drivers and then all other crews.”
One tyre fits all in W2RC
FIA Platinum and Gold priority drivers competing in Ultimate vehicles will use the same type of tyre for each round of the FIA World Cross-Country Championship in 2024.
Designed to limits costs and prioritise sustainability due to the reduction in tyre and wheel quantities being transported to each event, the regulation will be enforced from January’s season-opening Dakar after it was introduced following the Saudi Arabia-based event in 2023.
From 2024, a tyre manufacturer supplying one or more FIA Platinum or Gold priority driver using an Ultimate vehicle must inform the FIA no later than 12 weeks before the start of each W2RC event what tyre type will be used.
Sporting regulation 10.1.5 also clarifies that tyre type covers tyre construction, compound, pattern and dimensions.
Maximum speed rule simplified and aligned

A new maximum speed rule will be applicable in 2024 in a move that will simplify the current regulation and bring it into line with the principle used in the motorcycle categories.
For the upcoming cross-country season, crews will be responsible for adhering to his limit, with a tolerance of 3 kph.

The tolerance is now applied only for the first pulse with excessive speed.
Prologue rules clarified
How Prologue stages are run 2024 has been clarified after the decision was taken to remove them from the general clarification at the Cordoba FIA World Motor Sport Council in June.
The Prologue, which will be used to determine part of the start order for Stage 1 and is therefore compulsory for all competitors, can’t be shorter than five kilometres or longer than 30 kilometres and must also be representative of the event’s stages. Penalties will apply, including for crews who fail to take part.
At the completion of the Prologue, the fastest 10 Ultimate category crews will select their starting position for Stage 1.
Cross-Country calendar dates available

The 2024 calendars for the FIA World Baja Cup, FIA European Baja Cup and FIA Middle East Baja Cup were approved by the WMSC and are available by clicking HERE.
In a notable move, Baja Greece has been elevated from the European Baja Cup to the World Baja Cup calendar after the Cross-Country Commission recognised the efforts being made by the organisers of this fast-growing event.
From 2024, Manufacturer points will be up for grabs on all rounds of the FIA World Rally-Raid Championship after makes could count only their best four scores out of a possible five in 2023.


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