Besides checking the car and changing tyres, during this time a team of four technicians is allowed to perform mechanical work on each car. Service time available is strictly limited, with each stop being either 10, 30 or 45 minutes depending on the itinerary.
Being able to work in this pressured environment means WRC mechanics are some of the best in the world, capable of extraordinary ingenuity, speed, and the odd miracle. In the heat of competition a suspension upright, hub and brake unit will be swapped in around five minutes, a gearbox in 10. Armed with hammers, welding torches and tank tape, WRC mechanics have the power to transform a sorry looking wreck into a rally winner. Away from the service park repairs or adjustments can still be made, but only by the driver and co-driver, and only using tools and spare parts carried in the car.
Time penalties are applied if visits to the service park exceed the period allowed. Time penalties are also given to competitors who arrive late at stage starts, or any of the other numerous check-points throughout the event.
At the end of the rally the driver who has completed all of the special stages in the shortest total time is the winner. Points are allocated to the top ten drivers in each competition on a 25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1 basis. Points are awarded to registered manufacturers, WRC teams in the same way.