|2012 World Rally Championship|
The 2012 World Rally Championship was the 40th season of the FIA World Rally Championship. The season consisted of thirteen rallies, beginning with Monte Carlo Rally on 17 January, and ending on 11 November with Rally Catalunya.
- 1 Calendar
- 2 Teams and drivers
- 3 Results and standings
- 4 Changes
- 5 References
- 6 External links
|1|| Monte Carlo Rally
(Monte Carlo, Monaco)
|18–22 January||Super 2000 WRC|
|2|| Rally Sweden
|Snow||9–12 February||Super 2000 WRC|
|3|| Rally Mexico
|Gravel||8–11 March||Production WRC|
|4|| Rally de Portugal
|Gravel||29 March – 1 April||Super 2000 WRC|
|5|| Rally Argentina
(Villa Carlos Paz, Córdoba)
|Gravel||26–29 April||Production WRC|
|6|| Acropolis Rally
|Gravel||24–27 May||Production WRC|
|7|| Rally New Zealand
|Gravel||22–24 June||Super 2000 WRC|
|8|| Rally Finland
|Gravel||2–4 August||Super 2000 WRC|
|9|| Rallye Deutschland
|Tarmac||24–26 August||Production WRC|
|10|| Wales Rally GB
(Cardiff, South Glamorgan)
|Gravel||14–16 September||Super 2000 WRC|
|11|| Rallye de France Alsace
|Tarmac||4–7 October||Super 2000 WRC|
|12|| Rally Italia Sardegna
|Gravel||18–21 October||Production WRC|
|13|| Rally Catalunya
|8–11 November||Super 2000 WRC|
- Early plans to run the Rally Argentina over an "endurance" format with stages in neighbouring Uruguay and Chile were abandoned in favour of a new route which featured over 500 km (311 mi) of competitive stages and made it the longest rally in the modern era of the sport. The rally also featured the longest stage of the championship, the 66 km (41 mi) El Durzano–Ambul stage. The extended rally route has been promoted as a prototype of a format proposed by FIA President Jean Todt.
- The Jordan Rally was removed from the calendar. Rally Abu Dhabi was expected to be promoted in its place, but was omitted from the final calendar and given candidate status for future inclusion in the championship.
- The Wales Rally GB was brought forward from its traditional November date to September, making Rally of Spain the season finale.
- The route of the Rally Finland was revised from the 2011 event, and included the return of several famous stages, including Ouninpohja, Mokkipera and Palsankyla.
- The Rally Italia Sardegna was moved back from May to October.
- The Rallye Automobile Monte Carlo returned to the calendar after a three-year absence.
- The Rally New Zealand replaced Rally Australia, in keeping with their event-sharing arrangement.
Teams and drivers
World Rally Championship entries
- ^1 – The Mini WRC Team lost Mini's support as a manufacturer team after the Monte Carlo Rally, making them inelegible to score points in the World Rally Championship for Manufacturers. The Mini WRC Team became known as the Prodrive WRC Team from the Rally de Portugal.
- ^2 – The Armindo Araújo World Rally Team and Palmeirinha Rally were merged to form WRC Team Mini Portugal with the support of Mini for the Rally of Sweden; however, the FIA ruled that they were not eligible to score points in the FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers.
Team and driver changes
- Chris Atkinson returned to the WRC to contest the Rally of Mexico with the Monster World Rally Team. He also drove at the Rally of Finland on behalf of the Qatar World Rally Team as Nasser Al-Attiyah was competing at the London Olympic Games, and later joined WRC Team Mini Portugal in the place of Armindo Araújo for the Rally of Germany. Atkinson's last appearance at the WRC level was a one-off drive with the Citroën Junior Team at the 2009 Rally Ireland.
- Ken Block will contest a reduced WRC program, appearing at Rally Mexico, Rally New Zealand and Rally Finland.
- The Citroën World Rally Team will expand to a three-car operation, entering a third Citroën DS3 WRC for 2011 Dakar Rally winner Nasser Al-Attiyah. Al-Attiyah was originally scheduled to contest every event with the exception of the Rallye Monte Carlo owing to a date clash with the 2012 Dakar Rally. However, Al-Attiyah was selected to represent his native Qatar at the London Olympics in skeet shooting and was forced to miss the Rally of New Zealand and the Rally of Finland.
- François Delecour returned to the WRC to compete in the 80ème Rallye Automobile de Monte-Carlo. Delecour drove a Ford Fiesta RS WRC in the rally, his first event at the WRC level since the 2002 Rally of Great Britain. The Rallye Monte Carlo is Delecour's only planned appearance in the 2012 season.
- 2011 championship runner-up Mikko Hirvonen and co-driver Jarmo Lehtinen moved from the Ford World Rally Team to Citroën.
- Jari-Matti Latvala was injured in an accident during a training exercise two weeks before Rally Argentina, forcing him out of the event. He was replaced by Dani Sordo for the event.
- Lotus Cars planned to enter a Lotus Exige R-GT at all tarmac events on the 2012 calendar, pending the homologation of the car. The Lotus Exige R-GT was Lotus' first entry in the World Rally Championship since the Talbot Sunbeam Lotus in 1983 Rally of Portugal, but the team later changed their plans and the team made its debut appearance at the Rali Vinho da Madeira, a round of the European Rally Championship instead of the WRC.
- Mini WRC Team will only enter one works driver in selected events of 2012, after the team was unable to find the budget for two full-time entries. Dani Sordo will enter in every event, with the second car driven by local competitors. The team has stated that Kris Meeke will not compete in every rally, but will remain a part of the team. On 6 February 2012, it was announced that the status of the Prodrive-operated team had been demoted to a works-supported private team, while the Motorsport Italia-run WRC Team Mini Portugal became the factory team of Mini. The team was renamed "Prodrive WRC Team" before the Rally de Portugal.
- Thierry Neuville, winner of the 2011 Tour de Corse in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, will compete in nine rallies at the WRC level – with a provision for two more – in a Citroën DS3 WRC prepared by Citroën Racing Technology and run by PH Sport, which was re-opened after being closed down for the 2011 season. He also drove for the Qatar World Rally Team at the Rally of New Zealand. Neuville had previously contested the Junior World Rally Championship in with a Citroën C2 S1600 in 2010.
- Evgeny Novikov and Ott Tänak will join the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team.
- Sébastien Ogier was released from his three-year contract with Citroën after just one season. Ogier later joined Volkswagen to develop the Polo R WRC for their 2013 WRC entry, while contesting the full 2012 WRC schedule in a Škoda Fabia S2000 with regular co-driver Julien Ingrassia.
- Martin Prokop, who previously competed in the Super 2000 World Rally Championship, will take part in ten rallies driving a Ford Fiesta RS WRC.
- Kimi Räikkönen returned to Formula One. The WRC arm of his Ice 1 Racing team was subsequently shut down.
- Former M-Sport drivers Henning Solberg and Matthew Wilson joined the newly formed non-manufacturer Go Fast Energy World Rally Team with the intention of completing the season, but the team only appeared at the Rally Monte Carlo and the Rally of Sweden. Wilson later re-joined M-Sport for a one-off appearance at the Wales Rally GB.
- 2003 World Champion Petter Solberg secured a seat with the Ford World Rally Team. His privately entered team, with which he had competed with between 2009 and 2011, was closed down.
|31||ASM Motorsport||Hayden Paddon||John Kennard||Škoda Fabia S2000||2, 4, 7|
|Baumschlager Rallye & Racing||8, 10–11, 13|
|32||Keltech Motorsport||Craig Breen||Gareth Roberts||Ford Fiesta S2000||1–2, 4|
|Paul Nagle||8, 10–11, 13|
|33||Proton Motorsports||Per-Gunnar Andersson||Emil Axelsson||Proton Satria Neo S2000||1–2, 7–8, 10–11, 13|
|34||Giandomenico Basso||Mitia Dotta||1|
|Alister McRae||Bill Hayes||2, 7|
|Juha Salo||Marko Salminen||8|
|Tom Cave||Craig Parry||10|
|Andreas Aigner||Detlef Ruf||11|
|Alastair Fisher||Daniel Barritt||13|
|35||Castrol TRW Motointegrator||Maciej Oleksowicz||Andrzej Obrebowski||Ford Fiesta S2000||2, 4, 7–8, 10–11, 13|
|36||Yazeed Racing||Yazeed Al-Rajhi||Michael Orr||Ford Fiesta RRC||2, 4, 7–8, 10–11, 13|
|Additional guest entries|
|49||Even Management||Pontus Tidemand||Göran Bergsten||Škoda Fabia S2000||2|
|63||Gundersen Motorsport||Marius Aasen||Veronica Engan||Ford Fiesta S2000||2|
|49||Team Vianauto/Galp Formula||Pedro Meireles||Mário Castro||Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X R4||4|
|49||Printsport||Esapekka Lappi||Janne Ferm||Ford Fiesta S2000||8|
|49||M-Sport||Alastair Fisher||Daniel Barritt||Ford Fiesta S2000||10|
|49||PCR Sport||Albert Llovera||Diego Vallejo||Fiat Abarth Grande Punto S2000||13|
- Team and driver changes
- Bryan Bouffier, who won the 79ème Rallye Automobile de Monte-Carlo when it was a part of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, will compete in 2012 Monte Carlo Rally with a Peugeot 207 S2000.
- Craig Breen, winner of the 2011 WRC Academy will enter the Super 2000 championship driving a Ford Fiesta S2000.
- Proton will enter the Super 2000 category for the first time, entering two Proton Satria Neos into the Rallye Monte Carlo for Per-Gunnar Andersson and Giandomenico Basso, with Alister McRae making an appearance later in the season. The team will compete at seven selected events in the 2012 season.
- Hayden Paddon, the 2011 Group N World Champion, will contest the Super 2000 championship, driving a Škoda Fabia S2000 prepared by Spanish team ASM Motorsport.
|31||Lotos Dynamic Rally Team||Michał Kościuszko||Maciek Szczepaniak||Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X||1, 3, 5, 9, 12–13|
|32||FRT Rally||Nicolás Fuchs||Rubén García||Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X||1|
|Fernando Mussano||3, 5|
|Symtech Racing||Subaru Impreza WRX STI||6, 9, 12–13|
|33||Top Run Motorsport||Marcos Ligato||Rubén García||Subaru Impreza WRX STI||5–7, 9, 12–13|
|34||Miele Racing||Lorenzo Bertelli||Lorenzo Granai||Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX||1, 5|
|Subaru Impreza WRX STI||6–7, 12–13|
|36||Rally Team GB||Louise Cook||Stefan Davis||Ford Fiesta ST||1, 6–7, 12|
|Ford Fiesta R2||9, 13|
|38||Ralliart Italy||Benito Guerra||Borja Rozada||Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X||3, 5–6, 9, 12–13|
|39||Mentos Ascania Racing||Valeriy Gorban||Andriy Nikolaiev||Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX||5–7, 9, 12–13|
|41||Oleksiy Kikireshko||Pavlo Cherepin||5–7|
|Sergei Larens||9, 12–13|
|40||G.B. Motors||Gianluca Linari||Nicola Arena||Subaru Impreza WRX STI||3, 5, 7|
|42||Triviño World Rally Team||Ricardo Triviño||Àlex Haro||Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X||5|
|Subaru Impreza WRX STI||6, 9, 12–13|
|Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX||7|
|44||Ramona Rallying||Ramona Karlsson||Miriam Walfridsson||Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X||3, 5, 7, 9, 12–13|
|45||Bosowa Rally Team||Subhan Aksa||Hade Mboi||Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X||5|
|Jeff Judd||6–7, 9|
|Additional guest entries|
|49||Salgado Rally Team||Rodrigo Salgado||Diódoro Salgado||Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX||3|
|49||CRS Team||Ezequiel Campos||Cristian Winkler||Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X||5|
|49||RMC Motorsport||Yeray Lemes||Rogelio Peñate||Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X||13|
|50||Escuderia Gironella||Josep Maria Membrado||Josep Ramón Ribolledo||Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X||13|
WRC Academy entries
|Christopher Duplessis||Karl Atkinson||4, 6|
|José Antonio Suárez||Cándido Carrera||4, 6, 8–9, 11, 13|
|Alastair Fisher||Daniel Barritt||4, 6, 8–9, 11|
|Mark Donnelly||Dai Roberts||4|
|Pontus Tidemand||Stig Rune Skjærmoen||4, 6, 8, 11, 13|
|Brendan Reeves||Rhianon Smyth||4, 6, 8–9, 11, 13|
|Timo van der Marel||Erwin Berkhof||4, 6, 8–9, 11, 13|
|John MacCrone||Stuart Loudon||4, 6, 8–9, 11, 13|
|Elfyn Evans||Andrew Edwards||4, 6|
|Philip Pugh||8–9, 11|
|Yeray Lemes||Rogelio Peñate||4|
|João Silva||José Janela||4|
|Hugo Magalhães||6, 8–9|
|Ashley Haigh-Smith||Craig Parry||4, 6, 8–9|
|Fredrik Åhlin||Morten Erik Abrahamsen||4, 6, 8–9, 11, 13|
|Entries not scoring Academy points|
|Martin Koči||Lukáš Zámečník||9|
|Aron Domzala||Kacper Pietrusinski||13|
Results and standings
Results and statistics
|Round||Rally name||Podium finishers||Statistics|
|1|| Monte Carlo Rally
(18–22 January) – Results and report
|1||Sébastien Loeb||Citroën DS3 WRC||4:32:39.9||18||433.36 km||82||54|
|2||Dani Sordo||Mini John Cooper Works WRC||4:35:25.4|
|3||Petter Solberg||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||4:35:54.1|
|2|| Rally Sweden
(9–12 February) – Results and report
|1||Jari-Matti Latvala||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||3:18:28.3||24||349.16 km||50||42|
|2||Mikko Hirvonen||Citroën DS3 WRC||3:18:44.9|
|3||Mads Østberg||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||3:19:07.1|
|3|| Rally Mexico
(8–11 March) – Results and report
|1||Sébastien Loeb||Citroën DS3 WRC||4:15:32.7||(24)†
|2||Mikko Hirvonen||Citroën DS3 WRC||4:16:15.1|
|3||Petter Solberg||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||4:17:44.1|
|4|| Rally de Portugal
(29 March – 1 April) – Results and report
|1||Mads Østberg||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||4:21:16.3||(22)†
|2||Evgeny Novikov||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||4:22:49.3|
|3||Petter Solberg||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||4:23:11.7|
|5|| Rally Argentina
(26–29 April) – Results and report
|1||Sébastien Loeb||Citroën DS3 WRC||5:34:38.8||19||502.73 km||42||27|
|2||Mikko Hirvonen||Citroën DS3 WRC||5:34:54.0|
|3||Mads Østberg||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||5:37:49.2|
|6|| Acropolis Rally
(24–27 May) – Results and report
|1||Sébastien Loeb||Citroën DS3 WRC||4:42:03.3||22||409.47 km||54||32|
|2||Mikko Hirvonen||Citroën DS3 WRC||4:42:43.3|
|3||Jari-Matti Latvala||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||4:45:08.1|
|7|| Rally New Zealand
(22–24 June) – Results and report
|1||Sébastien Loeb||Citroën DS3 WRC||4:04:51.2||22||413.94 km||41||35|
|2||Mikko Hirvonen||Citroën DS3 WRC||4:05:20.8|
|3||Petter Solberg||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||4:06:27.6|
|8|| Rally Finland
(2–4 August) – Results and report
|1||Sébastien Loeb||Citroën DS3 WRC||2:28:11.4||18||303.52 km||81||53|
|2||Mikko Hirvonen||Citroën DS3 WRC||2:28:17.5|
|3||Jari-Matti Latvala||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||2:28:46.4|
|9|| Rallye Deutschland
(24–26 August) – Results and report
|1||Sébastien Loeb||Citroën DS3 WRC||3:41:52.4||15||368.63 km||71||40|
|2||Jari-Matti Latvala||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||3:43:52.5|
|3||Mikko Hirvonen||Citroën DS3 WRC||3:44:23.8|
|10|| Wales Rally GB
(14–16 September) – Results and report
|1||Jari-Matti Latvala||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||3:03:40.3||19||324.92 km||31||29|
|2||Sébastien Loeb||Citroën DS3 WRC||3:04:08.1|
|3||Petter Solberg||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||3:04:09.0|
|11|| Rallye de France Alsace
(4–7 October) – Results and report
|1||Sébastien Loeb||Citroën DS3 WRC||3:32:53.0||(22)†
|2||Jari-Matti Latvala||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||3:33:08.5|
|3||Mikko Hirvonen||Citroën DS3 WRC||3:33:37.1|
|12|| Rally Italia Sardegna
(18–21 October) – Results and report
|1||Mikko Hirvonen||Citroën DS3 WRC||3:23:54.9||16||305.80 km||41||32|
|2||Evgeny Novikov||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||3:25:15.5|
|3||Ott Tänak||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||3:26:16.0|
|13|| Rally Catalunya
(8–11 November) – Results and report
|1||Sébastien Loeb||Citroën DS3 WRC||4:14:29.1||18||405.46 km||70||52|
|2||Jari-Matti Latvala||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||4:14:36.1|
|3||Mikko Hirvonen||Citroën DS3 WRC||4:16:15.9|
- † – Event was shortened after stages were cancelled.
Points are awarded to the top 10 classified finishers.
- 1 2 3 refers to the classification of the drivers on the 'Power Stage', where bonus points are awarded 3–2–1 for the fastest three drivers on the stage.
|1||Daniel Elena||1 1||6 1||1 2||Ret||1||1 1||1 3||1 3||1 1||2 2||1||Ret||1 3||270|
|2||Jarmo Lehtinen||4 2||2||2||EX||2 2||2 3||2||2 1||3 2||5 1||3||1||3||213|
|3||Miikka Anttila||Ret||1 3||Ret||13 2||3 2||7 1||3||2||1 3||2||12 2||2 1||154|
|4||Jonas Andersson||3||4 3||1||3||4||5||4||4||5 3||4||4||149|
|5||Chris Patterson||3||4 2||3 1||3||6 1||Ret||3 2||4 2||11||3||26||9 1||11||124|
|6||Denis Giraudet||5 3||5||Ret||2||8||Ret||4||36||55|
|7||Nicolas Gilsoul||Ret||12||13||8||5||6||5||16||12||7||4 2||19 3||12||53|
|8||Kuldar Sikk||8||Ret||5||14 3||10||9||Ret||6||Ret||Ret||6 1||3||Ret||52|
|12||Carlos del Barrio||2||Ret||11 1||Ret||6||9||Ret||9 2||35|
|13||Giovanni Bernacchini||21||6||4||9 3||Ret||8||10||Ret||28|
|15||Ola Floene||13||Ret||Ret||27||7 3||12||7||21||13|
|21||Sabrina de Castelli||7||6|
|30||Thibault de la Haye||19||25||28||33||15||19||10||1|
- † — The Mini WRC Team lost its manufacturer status in February when parent company BMW withdrew works support from the team, demoting them to customer team status. The team kept the points it scored on Rallye Monte Carlo although it was no longer classified as a manufacturer entrant. They were replaced by the WRC Team Mini Portugal as the official Mini works team.
- ‡ – Armindo Araújo World Rally Team and Palmeirinha Rally merged to form WRC Team Mini Portugal. The points they scored at the Rallye Monte Carlo were removed from the manufacturers' championship.
SWRC Drivers' championship
PWRC Drivers' championship
WRC Academy Drivers' championship
- 1 refers to the number of stages won, where a bonus point is awarded per stage win.
- In November 2011, Europol issued an arrest warrant for Russian banker Vladimir Antonov at the request of Lithuanian prosecutors as part of an investigation into asset-stripping at Antonov's commercial banks, Snoras and Latvijas Krājbanka. Antonov, who held the commercial rights to the sport through Convers Sports Initiatives, was arrested in London two days later and charged with fraud and embezzlement. Convers Sports Initiatives initially claimed to be unaffected by the arrest, but went into receivership at the end of the month. Promoter North One Sport issued a statement clarifying the situation, confirming that they were unaffected by Antonov's arrest and parent company Convers Sports Initiatives entering into receivership and that they would co-operate with the investigation into Bank Snoras. However, North One Sport were subsequently forced to find new investors, with bids from Qatar and French broadcaster Eurosport. It was later reported that negotiations with the Qatari bidders had collapsed, forcing the closure of North One Sport.
- The FIA World Motorsport Council permitted tyre suppliers to provide teams and drivers with a second tyre compound, following several complaints from drivers about a lack of grip at the 2011 Rally Australia.
- On gravel rallies, shakedown stage will be used as a qualifying stage for P1 and P2 drivers. According to the results of qualifying, P1 and P2 crews – in order of fastest to slowest – will then select their start positions for the first day of the rally. On day two and three, P1 and P2 drivers will restart in reverse order according to their provisional overall classification. On asphalt rallies, regulations in previous years still apply.
- Organisers of WRC events will be allowed to specify whether cars failed to complete a section are permitted to restart the event on the next day. Restart after retirement, formerly known as SupeRally, will now be called "Rally 2".
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