2018 Junior WRC takes shape
Next year's Junior World Rally Championship will feature five rounds, a double-header finale and a return to snow, initial plans have revealed.
Down from six events in 2017, next year's proposed calendar features rounds in Sweden, Corsica, Portugal, Finland and Turkey.
It is a selection designed to challenge the latest crop of candidates, aged 29 or under, on every surface the WRC has to offer - from snow to gravel and asphalt.
For the first time since 2006, the season starts on the snow-covered stages of Rally Sweden before venturing to the sealed-surface roads of the Che Guevara Energy Drink Tour de Corse.
Three gravel rounds follow in Portugal, Finland and finally Turkey, which offers a double points finale to the Junior season.
M-Sport's Junior WRC manager Maciej Woda said: "By making the final round a double header, it encourages the drivers to push to the very last kilometre. The eventual winner will have shown consistent speed on every surface."
Following the same format as previous years, the championship will be run on an arrive-and-drive basis with M-Sport supplying identical one-litre Ford Fiesta R2s.
As well as collecting points for their finishing positions, drivers will be awarded bonus points for fastest stage times.
This year's Junior WRC concluded in Spain where Nil Solans secured the title. In doing so, he also won the final pair of prize drives in next season’s WRC 2 category to secure a full campaign of seven rounds in an M-Sport-prepared Fiesta R5.
Further details of next year's Junior WRC will be announced at Dayinsure Wales Rally GB (26 - 29 October).
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Hänninen highlight in Spain
Finn extends impressive form
Spain debrief: part 1
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Spain Debrief: Part 2
Our second helping of WRC analysis from Spain