Throughout the course of 2013, the FIA approved a number of regulation changes for the 2014 World Rally Championship season which aim to help reduce costs whilst raising the sporting challenge and increasing media coverage.
The major changes to the Championship regulations are listed below:
The following list summarises the classes and groups of cars, and details the renamed classes of eligible cars. The renaming of car classes harmonises the numbering with the other FIA Championships with the smaller number defining the most powerful cars (RC denoting Rally Car).
World Rally Cars: 1.6 T engine
S2000-Rally: 1.6T engine with a 30mm restrictor
S2000-Rally: 2.0 Atmospheric
Group R5 (VR5)
Group R4 (VR4)
Group N over 2000cc (current N4)
Group A over 1600cc and up to 2000cc
R2 (over 1600cc and up to 2000cc – VR2C)
R3 (atmo / over 1600cc and up to 2000cc – VR3C)
R3 (turbo / up to 1620cc / nominal – VR3T)
R3 (diesel / up to 2000cc / nominal – VR3D)
Group A up to 1600cc
R2 (over 1390cc and up to 1600cc – VR2B)
Kit-car up to 1600cc
Group N over 1600cc and up to 2000cc
Group N up to 1600cc
R1 (up to 1600cc –VR1A/VR1B)
To bring consistency to events and thereby aid the Promoter, rallies are now requested to follow a fixed format. There will be a ceremonial start on Thursday, with the last stage run on Sunday at approximately 12:00 hrs for European events. The final stage is defined as the Power Stage, the length of which will be set at a minimum of 10 kilometres.
As a general rule, organisers of WRC events must ensure a minimum of 25 per cent competitive special stage distance in relation to the overall distance of the event.
The start order for both gravel and tarmac rallies has been amended as follows, in order to increase the show for fans and reduce the use of tactics:
Day 1: Provisional Championship classification order for P1 and P2 drivers
Day 2: Reverse provisional rally classification order for P1 and P2 drivers
Day 3: Reverse provisional rally classification order for P1 and P2 drivers
There is therefore no more Free Practice and Qualifying. Cars having retired and restarting (Rally 2) will be placed the next day after the P1 and P2 drivers group.
In order to allow greater flexibility to contract different drivers, Manufacturers will no longer be required to nominate one permanent driver for the season. Instead, Manufacturers will be obliged to nominate one driver for a minimum of 10 Championship events.
Manufacturer and WRC Team cars from the same entrant will be permitted to enter Flexi-Service at the same time, having their service times counted independently.
Due to calendar updates, the number of links has changed to 2 links of 2 rallies per car and 1 link of 4 rallies per seasonally allocated car number for a Manufacturer or a WRC Team which has nominated all Championship rallies.
In order to give more flexibility, WRC Teams will no longer be obliged to nominate a tyre manufacturer for the season.
WRC Team and WRC 2 entrants using S2000 cars are not obliged to use the latest 'joker' parts when competing in WRC events.