The WRC Lowdown:
Support Championships

As well as the top-line competition for World Rally Cars, WRC stages also host a number of support championships. Here's what's happening to this year's supporting cast:

WRC 2
Driver status: Priority 2 (P2)
FIA trophies awarded: driver, co-driver, team
 
The most prestigious support series in the WRC and the final stepping stone to the World Rally Car category. Launched in 2013, it contains four-wheel drive cars built to various specifications led by the recently-introduced R5 models. In 2017, WRC 2 drivers nominate seven 'scoring' rounds and count their six best results. In a change for this year, the seven rounds must include the rallies in Portugal, Germany and Great Britain.

WRC Trophy
Driver status: Priority 1 (P1)
FIA trophies awarded: driver, co-driver

A new WRC Trophy has been created for drivers of pre-2017 specification World Rally Cars. Like WRC 2, the maximum number of 'scoring' rallies is seven and the championship will be decided on each driver's six best results. Unlike WRC 2, there are no mandatory rounds.

Junior WRC
Driver status: Priority 3 (P3)
FIA trophies awarded: driver, co-driver

The Junior WRC Championship is the only WRC category with an age limit and is open only to drivers born after 1 January 1988. There is no age limit for co-drivers. After three seasons as a Citroën-based competition, the 2017 and 2018 Junior WRCs will be Ford-powered, with drivers at the wheel of identical one-litre R2-spec Fiestas built and maintained by M-Sport and shod with DMACK tyres. This year, the six-round championship is played out in France, Italy, Poland, Finland, Germany and Spain. Junior WRC competitors are also eligible to score points in the WRC 3 championship.

WRC 3
Driver status: Priority 3 (P3)
FIA trophies awarded: driver, co-driver

This two-wheel drive category was launched in 2013 as an intermediate step on the WRC ladder. It returns this year for drivers of two-wheel drive cars of varied specifications with engines that can be turbocharged (up to 1.6-litre) or normally aspirated (up to 2.0-litre). In 2017, WRC 3 drivers nominate seven 'scoring' rounds and count their six best results. There are no mandatory rounds.

RGT Cup
Driver status: RGT
FIA trophies awarded: driver, co-driver

Introduced in 2015, the RGT Cup is for drivers of FIA Class R-GT cars, including machinery like the Porsche 911 [below] and, this year, the reborn Abarth 124. The 2017 calendar is a five-round mix of WRC and FIA European Rally Championship events and points from all rounds count towards the title. The WRC's RGT Cup rounds this year are those in Monte-Carlo and Corsica.

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10 Jan 2017

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