Wed 31 Jan 2024

WRC’s revamped points system earns praise at season opener

The FIA World Rally Championship’s new points structure has garnered widespread approval from key figures in the service park, signalling a successful start to the 2024 season.

Last week’s Rallye Monte-Carlo signalled not just the start of the 2024 season, but also the introduction of a brand-new points system aimed at intensifying competition.

 

The revamped system now awards points throughout the entire rally, not just at its conclusion. The top crew on Saturday evening secures 18 points (providing they reach the finish on Sunday), with an additional seven points available based on the Sunday classification. Bonus points from the Wolf Power Stage bring the potential maximum score for a WRC rally to 30 points.

 

Thierry Neuville's performance last week exemplified the impact of this change, as his strategic push to reclaim the lead in Saturday’s final stage earned him 18 points instead of what would have been 15 had he remained second overnight.

 

Neuville acknowledged its significance, stating: “[We will need] to try and fight up as many positions as we can. For the lead, it is a three-point difference, so it is really important."


Toyota Gazoo Racing team principal Jari-Matti Latvala shared his satisfaction at the practical implementation of the new system. The Finn said: “There has been a lot of speculation about the new points system, but in the end, I think it worked out quite well here. This rally proved the winner of the rally also got the most points.”

 

Despite ending the rally down in seventh overall after going off the road on Friday, Toyota driver Takamoto Katsuta also found merit in the new points allocation, noting: “It keeps Sunday exciting. There are some positives and negatives but still the new system is making a bit more excitement for sure.”

 

M-Sport Ford rookie Grégoire Munster, contesting his first full campaign aboard a Puma Rally1, remained optimistic about utilising the structure later this year.

 

“It is a really good thing,” the Luxembourger said. “If you asked me to do such a thing [push on Sunday] in Sweden it is difficult, but for sure on a rally where we feel more comfortable later in the year, when we are more comfortable in the car it’s a good thing to know.”

Latvia
Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Italy
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Hungary
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM