WRC: Calendar published for 2015

The 2015 World Rally Championship calendar was published today, with all 13 rallies from 2014 retained
The WRC Promoter has announced a 13-round calendar for the 2015 FIA World Rally Championship.

All rallies in the 2014 schedule were confirmed for next year by the FIA World Motor Sport Council at its meeting in Beijing, with some date changes in the first part of the season.

January's opening round at Rallye Monte-Carlo will start a week later than this year, providing a longer end-of-season break and increased preparation time for manufacturers, teams and drivers.

The year's curtain-raiser will adopt Rally 2 regulations for the first time, allowing retired competitors the opportunity to restart the following leg subject to technical approval. Rally 2 is employed by all other rounds.

Portugal's fixture will return to its traditional fanbase in the north after 10 years in the southern Algarve area and swaps places with Argentina.

The South American round will be in mid-April, when conditions are likely to be warmer and drier, with Portugal moving back to late May. The changes mean Italy's round will be a week later in mid-June.

Poland, which successfully returned to the championship in 2014 after a five-year absence, retains its place for next season, while Wales Rally GB as usual acts as the season finale in November.

“We're delighted to confirm the 2015 calendar and to retain all 13 rounds for next season. The breadth of events geographically ensures a truly global championship,” said WRC Promoter's managing director, Oliver Ciesla.

“We've again blended a mix of classic events that date back to the championship's origins with newer, but firmly established, rallies. All will offer a challenging variety of roads and conditions to ensure that WRC will provide the ultimate all-round test of driving ability,” Ciesla added.

The full 2015 WRC calendar is shown below, we have also included the 2014 WRC calendar below for easy comparison.

Meanwhile, the WMSC also announced changes to Rally 2.

“In order to give more of an advantage to crews contesting all the stages, a seven-minute penalty, instead of five minutes, will be applied for a missed stage. The 10-minute penalty for missing the last stage of a day remains applicable,” the FIA explained.

In addition it was announced that WRC Teams "will be permitted a one-day test for each competition it nominates", while the current Group N4 cars will be renamed as R4, in order to integrate them into the rally pyramid.

Finally, no mention was made of the plans to introduce a final stage shootout to decide the result. Autosport reports that the WMSC rejected that proposal and referred it back to the WRC Commission for review.

2015 World Rally Championship calendar:

22-25 January Rallye Monte-Carlo*
12-15 February Rally Sweden
05-08 March Rally Mexico
16-19 April Rally Argentina
21-24 May Rally Portugal
11-15 June Rally Italy
02-05 July Rally Poland
30 July-02 August Rally Finland
20-23 August Rally Germany*
10-13 September Rally Australia
01-04 October Rally France*
22-25 October Rally Spain
12-15 November Rally Great Britain

* Subject to Promotion Agreement

2014 World Rally Championship calendar:

19 January Rallye Monte Carlo
09 February Rally Sweden
09 March Rally Mexico
06 April Rally de Portugal
11 May Rally Argentina
01 June Rally d'Italia
29 June Rally Poland (multi-country event)
03 August Rally Finland
24 August Rallye Deutschland
14 September Rally Australia
05 October Rallye de France
26 October Rally de Espana
16 November Rally of Great Britain

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