|2016 World Rally Championship|
|World Drivers' Champion:|
World Co-drivers' Champion:
World Manufacturers' Champion:
World Rally Championship-2
World Rally Championship-3
Junior World Rally Championship
The 2016 World Rally Championship was the 44th season of the World Rally Championship, an auto racing championship recognised by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) as the highest class of international rallying. Teams and drivers competed in thirteen rounds—starting with the Rallye Monte Carlo in January and finishing with Rally Australia in November—for the World Rally Championships for Drivers and Manufacturers.
Sébastien Ogier started the season as the defending drivers' champion. His team, Volkswagen Motorsport, were the defending manufacturers' champions. Both Ogier and Volkswagen Motorsport claimed their fourth consecutive drivers' and manufacturers' championships.
- 1 Calendar
- 2 Teams and drivers
- 3 Rally summaries
- 3.1 Round 1 — Monte Carlo Rally
- 3.2 Round 2 — Rally Sweden
- 3.3 Round 3 — Rally Mexico
- 3.4 Round 4 — Rally Argentina
- 3.5 Round 5 — Rally de Portugal
- 3.6 Round 6 — Rally Italia Sardegna
- 3.7 Round 7 — Rally Poland
- 3.8 Round 8 — Rally Finland
- 3.9 Round 9 — Rallye Deutschland
- 3.10 Round 10 — Tour de Corse
- 4 Results and standings
- 5 References
- 6 External links
The calendar was announced in November 2015 by the FIA. The season was scheduled to expand with one rally in comparison to the 2015 championship, contested over fourteen rounds in Europe, North America, South America, Australia and Asia, but the Chinese round was ultimately cancelled.
|Round||Dates||Rally name||Rally headquarters||Surface||Stages||Distance|
|1||21–24 January||Monte Carlo Rally||Gap, Hautes-Alpes||Mixed||16||337.59km|
|2||12–14 February||Rally Sweden||Karlstad, Värmland||Snow||121a||226.48km1b|
|3||3–6 March||Rally Mexico||León, Guanajuato||Gravel||21||399.67km|
|4||21–24 April||Rally Argentina||Villa Carlos Paz, Córdoba||Gravel||18||364.68km|
|5||19–22 May||Rally de Portugal||Matosinhos, Porto||Gravel||19||368.00km|
|6||9–12 June||Rally Italia Sardegna||Alghero, Sardinia||Gravel||19||324.60km|
|7||30 June–3 July||Rally Poland||Mikołajki, Warmia-Masuria||Gravel||21||306.10km|
|8||28–31 July||Rally Finland||Jyväskylä, Keski-Suomi||Gravel||24||333.99km|
|9||19–21 August||Rallye Deutschland||Trier, Rhineland-Palatinate||Tarmac||18||306.80km|
|10||9–11 September||Rally China||Beijing, Hebei||Tarmac||Cancelled2|
|11||30 September–2 October||Tour de Corse||Bastia, Haute-Corse||Tarmac||10||390.92km|
|12||13–16 October||Rally Catalunya||Salou, Tarragona||Mixed||21||321.08km|
|13||28–30 October||Wales Rally GB||Deeside, Flintshire||Gravel||22||336.00km|
|14||18–20 November||Rally Australia||Coffs Harbour, New South Wales||Gravel||23||283.36km3|
- ^1 – Rally Sweden was shortened due to warm weather conditions turning frozen roads into soft, muddy gravel and making the studded tyres unsafe to use.
- ^2 – Rally China was cancelled due to weather damage caused by torrential storms and flooding in July.
- ^3 – The route of Rally Australia was shortened following concerns over dust reducing visibility in forest stages.
- Rally Australia was moved from its September date to November to become the final round of the championship.
- The calendar was to be expanded to fourteen rounds in 2016, with the inclusion of the Rally of China, seventeen years after its only appearance as a round of the WRC.
- The Tour de Corse relocated its headquarters from Corte to Bastia, which features a brand-new route.
Teams and drivers
The following teams and drivers competed in the World Rally Championship during the 2016 season:
- Citroën withdrew their works team from the 2016 season in order to focus on development of their 2017 car ahead of major regulation changes for the 2017 season. However, the manufacturer remained open to contesting selected events and the Citroën DS3 WRC was still made available to privateer teams. Citroën previously withdrew formal works support for a team in 2006 when the Xsara WRC reached the end of its working life, in order to focus on developing the Xsara's replacement, the C4 WRC.
- After contesting selected World Rally Championship and WRC-2 events between 2013 and 2015, Anglo-Chinese tyre manufacturer DMACK planned to contest the full 2016 season as a manufacturer team. The team is equipped with Ford Fiesta RS WRCs built and prepared by M-Sport.
- Elfyn Evans was dropped by M-Sport World Rally Team in favour of Mads Østberg and Eric Camilli. However he would remain with the team next season, competing in WRC-2 with all-new Ford Fiesta R5.
- Mads Østberg left Citroën to and returned to M-Sport World Rally Team, the team he competed for in 2013. He is partnered by Toyota test driver Eric Camilli, who made his World Rally Championship début after competing part-time in the WRC-2 championship throughout 2015.
- After competing part-time with Hyundai in 2015, Hayden Paddon was promoted to a full-time seat for the 2016 season. Hyundai's development driver Kevin Abbring took Paddon's place making regular appearances for the team, expanding on his four-round campaign in 2015.
- Ott Tänak left the M-Sport World Rally Team and returned to the DMACK World Rally Team, the team he drove for at selected events in 2014.
Round 1 — Monte Carlo Rally
Defending World Champion Sébastien Ogier started the season with a win in Monte Carlo, his third consecutive in the principality. Ogier and Kris Meeke fought for the rally lead until Meeke hit a rock on SS12. He managed to return to the stage finish but was forced to withdraw due to damage sustained to his gearbox. Jari-Matti Latvala retired from third after losing control of his car and running off the road, hitting a spectator, though no-one was seriously injured. Andreas Mikkelsen finished second after resisting Thierry Neuville. Only seven WRC cars reached the end of the rally after six retirements.
Round 2 — Rally Sweden
The Rally Sweden was marked by the lack of snow, which forced the organization to change the rally route and cancel some of the stages that had started to thaw out, making the studded snow tyres unsafe to use. Ogier protested the event going ahead, but with the changes to the route approved by the FIA, he took to the start and went on to claim the win.
Jari-Matti Latvala was delayed by mechanical issues, suffering a broken drive shaft early in the second stage. Andreas Mikkelsen in the third Polo R WRC was Ogier's early challenger, but as the temperature started to drop and the roads started to freeze over, Hayden Paddon emerged as his biggest rival. By the third day, the roads had completely set, allowing Ogier to maintain his lead. Mads Østberg completed the podium, having taken advantage of his rivals' ongoing battles to build and sustain a margin big enough to maintain third overall.
Round 3 — Rally Mexico
Having scored no points in the opening rounds while Ogier took a full 58, Jari-Matti Latvala started the Rally Mexico needing to secure a strong result if he was to have any hope of mounting a bid for the World Drivers' Championship. With the running order set based on championship positions, Ogier was forced to sweep the roads clear of loose gravel, while Latvala enjoyed comparatively clean roads. He took advantage of this from the first stage, establishing an early lead that he consistently built upon throughout the first two days of the event. With the running order for the final day—which included the single longest special stage on the calendar, weighing in at eighty kilometres—based on the rally standings, Latvala's advantage was quashed, but his lead strong enough to secure his first win of the season ahead of Ogier. Hyundai's Dani Sordo finished third overall, but a late penalty handed the final podium place to Mads Østberg.
Round 4 — Rally Argentina
Wishing to continue his point scoring momentum, Jari-Matti Latvala targeted Argentina as another rally to win to further his championship standings. Another driver determined to score a podium in this rally was Hayden Paddon. The two drivers were in close competition on Friday, but by Saturday morning Latvala pulled ahead. In the afternoon, however, Latvala suffered a major accident, forcing him to retire, and giving the lead to Paddon. Engine problems on Sunday combined with a quick time from Sebastian Ogier on the penultimate stage meant the winner would be decided on the power stage. Hayden Paddon won the power stage and took his first WRC event win. Sebastian Ogier placed second, While Andreas Mikkelsen placed third. Paddon was elevated to second place in the overall championship, but Volkswagen Motorsport held the lead in the manufacturers championship.
Round 5 — Rally de Portugal
Participating in his third even of the season as Citroen was not included in the manufacturers championship, Kris Meeke was determined to gain experience for the upcoming 2017 season. He managed to keep a strong lead throughout Friday, but second place was in high contention. Dani Sordo and Sebastian Ogier fought for the position in the afternoon. Hayden Paddon and Ott Tänak would run off of the road in the same place. Paddon's car became engulfed in flames which destroyed it, but Tänak managed to pull his vehicle away from the inferno. Saturday proved only to increase the gap between Meeke and Ogier, and on Sunday Andreas Mikkelsen would take second place off of Ogier. Kris Meeke took the event win, but Ogier would take the three power stage points.
Round 6 — Rally Italia Sardegna
Jari-Matti Latvala wished to gain another win in Italy's WRC Event to reignite his season after scoring points in only two of five events so far. He led Friday morning, but by the last stage was passed by Thierry Neuville. Hayden Paddon ran off of the road on stage seven, destroying his car for the second event in a row. Andreas Mikkelsen and later Mads Ostberg would both be involved in incidents on Saturday afternoon, forcing Mikkelsen out of the point-scoring positions and Ostberg to retire. Thierry Neuville would win his second WRC event, followed by Latvala in second and then Ogier, who managed to score all three power stage points.
Round 7 — Rally Poland
After career-best position in Poland in 2015, Ott Tänak was determined to make the most out of this year's running of the event. Friday saw the lead changing between Tänak, Andreas Mikkelsen, and Hayden Paddon, the later two of which wanted redemption for the lack of points in Sardinia. On Saturday, Tänak would expand his lead over Andreas, who was close behind. Sunday seemed as if Tänak would take the victory, but on the penultimate stage Tänak would receive a punctured tire, putting him in second place. Andreas Mikkelsen ended up winning the event ahead of a crushed Tänak, with Hayden Paddon finishing in third.
Round 8 — Rally Finland
Being his home event, and after winning the event the previous two years, Jari-Matti Latvala was an obvious contender in Finland. Kris Meeke would return to participate for the first time after his victory in Portugal. Meeke took the lead on Friday and held it firm, while Latvala chased behind. Ott Tänak, despite holding an early second place, would spin and puncture a tire before the day was out. Sebastian Ogier would get stuck in a ditch, putting him out of the points. On Saturday, Meeke would distance his lead over Latvala a long way. Stages thirteen and fourteen would be canceled by violent crashes by Lorenzo Bertelli and Eric Camilli respectively. Craig Breen would find his way into third after Tänak's crash. On Sunday, Meeke became the first Brit to win the event. Latvala would follow up, and Craig Breen would score third, a personal best. Kris Meeke ended up breaking the record for the highest average speed in a rally.
Round 9 — Rallye Deutschland
The first event on tarmac since Monte Carlo, Sebastian Ogier would not have to clean the roads as he did by going first in gravel stages. Though determined to place first, an early mistake pushed him behind Andreas Mikkelsen. Thierry Neuville, considering Germany his home event as it is the closest event to his home country Belgium, kept behind Ogier in third. Jari-Matti Latvala retired on the first stage due to gearbox issues. Ogier would regain the lead on Saturday, and Dani Sordo would take third from Neuville. By the end of the event, Mikkelsen would fall a further two positions, giving the win to Ogier. Dani Sordo would place second, finishing ahead of Neuville by less than a tenth of a second.
Round 10 — Tour de Corse
Due to the cancellation of Rally China, the Tour de Corse was the round after Rallye Deutschland. Being another tarmac event, Sebastian Ogier saw this as another opportunity to take a win. Ogier started off strongly, winning all four events on Friday. Kris Meeke pushed his way into second, but a spin and a puncture set him back. Dani Sordo also fell from second due to a puncture. This gave the position to Thierry Neuville and third to Jari-Matti Latvala. On Saturday, Andreas Mikkelsen overtook Latvala and attempted to chase Neuville. Meeke would crash on Saturday, pulling him out of the points places. The event would finish in the order it was in that evening, with Ogier finishing first, Neuville finishing second, and Mikkelsen in third. Despite finishing in sixteenth, Meeke would take first in the power stage.
Results and standings
FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers
Points are awarded to the top ten classified finishers. There are also three bonus points awarded to the winner of the Power stage, two points for second place and one for third.
FIA World Rally Championship for Co-Drivers
Points are awarded to the top ten classified finishers. There are also three bonus points awarded to the winner of the Power stage, two points for second place and one for third.
FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers
Points are awarded to the top ten classified finishers.
- "2016 FIA World Rally Championship Calendar". fia.com. Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile. 3 November 2015. Retrieved 20 December 2015.
- "WRC 2016 dates confirmed". WRC.com. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
- "WRC 2016 dates & surfaces". eWRC-results.com. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
- "Weather forces Sweden route revamp". WRC.com. WRC.com. Retrieved 11 February 2016.
- "Rally China cancelled due to weather damage - wrc.com". www.wrc.com. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
- Lomas, Gordan (14 May 2015). "Rally Australia on preliminary 2016 WRC draft schedule". speedcafe. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
- "China on provisional WRC calendar". autosport.com. Haymarket Publications. Retrieved 5 November 2015.
- "Rally GB secures WRC future". Autosport.com. Haymarket Publications. 5 August 2015. Retrieved 5 August 2015.
- "New look for Corsica encounter". wrc.com. WRC Promoter GmbH. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
- "Volkswagen's WRC programme secure". WRC.com. WRC Promoter GmbH. 1 October 2015. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
- "Ogier Contract: 'A Simple Decision'". WRC.com. World Rally Championship. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
- "Rally Monte Carlo entry list". eWRC-results.com. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
- "VW promises Latvala seat is safe". Autosport.com. Haymarket Publications. Retrieved 5 August 2015.
- "Mikkelsen pens new Volkswagen deal". Autosport.com. Haymarket Publications. Retrieved 5 August 2015.
- "Jaeger replaces Fløene alongside Mikkelsen". WRC.com. World Rally Championship. Retrieved 8 December 2015.
- "Hyundai's 2016 car previewed". WRC.com. WRC Promoter GmbH. 16 September 2015. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
- "Hayden Paddon secures Hyundai WRC future". speedcafe.com. 19 October 2015. Archived from the original on 2015-12-23. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
While there has been speculation about whether Neuville will leave the squad, he along with experienced Spaniard Dani Sordo remain under contract with Hyundai next year.
- "Rally Portugal Entry List" (PDF). rallydeportugal.com. 30 April 2016. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
- "Paddon gets three-year deal with Hyundai". WRC.com. WRC Promoter GmbH. 19 October 2015. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
- "Rallye Montecarlo Entry List". ewrc-results.com. ewrc-results.com. 30 December 2015. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
- "Rally Sweden Entry List". ewrc-results.com. 12 January 2016. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
- "Rally Mexico Entry List". Retrieved 16 February 2016.
- "Rally Finland Entry List". ewrc-results.com. ewrc-results.com. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
- "Tänak uncertain of 2016 plans". WRC.com. WRC Promoter GmbH. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
- "Østberg and Camili join M-Sport". WRC.com. World Rally Championship. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
- "Ola Floene is Mads Ostberg's new co-driver!". madsostberg.no. Mads Østberg official site. Archived from the original on 9 December 2015. Retrieved 7 December 2015.
- "Camilli back with co-driver Veillas". WRC.com. World Rally Championship. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
- "Tänak to DMACK in 2016". wrc.com. WRC Promoter. 27 November 2015. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
- "List of Manufacturer Entries Rally Mexico". FIA. FIA. 10 February 2016. Retrieved 14 February 2016.
- "List of 2016 World rally Championship entrants". fia.com. FIA. 5 January 2015. Retrieved 7 January 2015.
- "Craig Breen added to private-run Citroen 2016 WRC line-up". Autosport.com. Haymarket Publications. Retrieved 18 December 2015.
- "Meeke, Lefebvre and Breen join DS 3 squad". WRC.com. WRC Promoter GmbH. 18 December 2015. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
- "Rally Poland Entry List" (PDF). rajdpolski.pl. 7 June 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-06-15. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
- "ADAC Rallye Deutschland Entry List". ewrc-results.com. 29 July 2016. Retrieved 29 July 2016.
- "Wales Rally GB Entry List" (PDF). walesrallygb.com. 11 October 2016. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
- "Official FIA entry list — Rally Argentina 2016" (PDF). www.rallyargentina.com. rallyargentina.com. 3 April 2016. Retrieved 4 April 2016.
- "Rally RACC Catalunya Entry List". ewrc-results.com. ewrc-results.com. Retrieved 24 September 2016.
- "BRC Racing Team at Rallye Montecarlo". rally.brc.it. brc.it. 7 January 2016. Archived from the original on 2016-01-15. Retrieved 7 January 2016.
- "Ex-F1 driver Robert Kubica contest WRC season opener in Monte Carlo". Retrieved 26 December 2015.
- "Fresh start for Bertelli in 2016". Retrieved 26 December 2015.
- "Rally Italia Sardegna Entry List". ewrc-results.com. ewrc-results.com. 19 May 2016. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
- "Citroën commits to WRC future". 19 November 2015. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
- "Citroën elects to sit out 2016 WRC season". speedcafe.com. 19 November 2015. Archived from the original on 2015-12-23. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
- "Evans set for WRC2 title assault in M-Sport Ford Fiesta R5 – WRC2 – The Checkered Flag". theCheckeredFlag.co.uk. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
- "M-Sport reveal shock 2015 driver line-up". speedcafe.com. 30 November 2015. Archived from the original on 2015-12-23. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
- "Mixed 2016 Plan for Abbring". WRC.com. World Rally Championship. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
- "WRC Monte Carlo Rally: Sebastien Ogier wins 2016 season opener". Retrieved 28 January 2016.
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