Wednesday | 30 Sep 2015

China set for 2016 WRC return

China will return to the FIA World Rally Championship for the first time since 1999 after the FIA today approved a 14-round calendar for 2016.

The Chinese fixture, which previously appeared in the WRC for just one season, supplements the existing 13 rounds in a calendar approved by the governing body’s World Motorsport Council in Paris this afternoon.

The 14 rounds are (in alphabetical order): Argentina, Australia, China, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Mexico, Monte-Carlo, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden.

China’s confirmation is subject to fulfilling FIA requirements following August’s candidate event, while France and Monte-Carlo are subject to finalising contract terms and conditions.

The calendar was agreed without dates, which will be confirmed within the next few weeks. 

Other decisions from the meeting to be introduced from next season were:

  • For safety and fairness reasons, P1 competitors returning under Rally 2 will restart at the back of the P1 group. This means the championship leader will always open the road for the first two legs.

  • A minimum of 51% of a rally itinerary must be completed for full points to be awarded. If not, half points will be allocated.

  • The turbo restrictor on Regional Rally Cars will be decreased to position R5 cars as the top car in WRC 2.

  • The Production Cup will not be run.

  • To reduce engine running costs in R2, and to reposition performance relative to R1 and R3 cars, regulations for turbocharged engines will be introduced to reduce R2 performance.

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