Dirt-caked cars, plumes of dust and tension at every turn – rallying is unlike any other, and the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) represents the pinnacle of this fast and frantic motorsport.
Utilising heavily modified vehicles to cope with punishing rally track surfacing, and featuring drivers and co-drivers with exceptional skill, there are lots of reasons to fall in love with the WRC. Here’s everything you need to know about this unique racing series.
What is the World Rally Championship?
Inaugurated in 1973, the WRC is the world’s most significant rally event. Teams compete in production vehicles, but heavily modify them based on WRC rules. Restricted to a blistering 380bhp, WRC vehicles reach 0-100kph in under 4 seconds and can achieve top speeds exceeding 200kph.
WRC teams are formed around vehicle manufacturers – including, Citroën Total World Rally Team (WRT), M-Sport Ford WRT, Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT and Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT. Each team features multiple racing crews of differing nationalities, driving the team’s vehicle. Citroën Total’s car, for instance, is currently the Citroën C3 WRC.
Each WRC season features 13 rallies comprising a wide range of surfaces, including dirt, sand and snow. Rallies include between 15 and 30 competitive stages and take place over multiple days. At the end of each rally, race positions are worth varying numbers of points, which are tallied to determine the overall winner.
World Rally Championship fixtures
Find out when rally fixtures are taking place on the WRC calendar page.
Why watch the World Rally Championship?
If you’re new to rallying or follow different series like World Rallycross or touring cars, there are a whole host of reasons why it’s worth following the sport’s prime championship.
WRC stages are fast-paced, breakneck events. Crews push their vehicles to the absolute limit through steep, complex terrain, close to spectators past plenty of hazards – a single false move can see the end of a team’s chance to rack up points during a stage.
Each team is impeccably trained to cope with the wide variety of track types, with stages taking place amidst jaw-dropping scenery around the globe. If you’re unable to spectate stageside just meters from the action, coverage is just as thrilling. Cameramen get incredibly up-close-and-personal with vehicles, and viewers benefit from in-car shots that showcase the symbiotic relationship between driver and co-driver. For those that love speed, the WRC is a must-see.
How is Total involved with the World Rally Championship?
As part of Total and Citroën’s 50-year technical and motorsport partnership, the Citroën Total WRC team have been a staple of the WRC for decades, achieving countless trophies. The team of rally legend Sébastien Loeb, the most successful driver in WRC history, and reigning champion Sébastien Ogier, the partnership stretches back to 1968 and has found success thanks to the combination of Citroën’s automotive excellence and Total’s innovative range of lubricants.
Total’s WRC experience has directly helped develop its range of automotive lubricants, including TOTAL QUARTZ and ELF SPORTI engine oils. Each range has been designed to remove deposits while improving engine efficiency and safeguarding components from wear, corrosion and oxidisation, providing motorsport-level performance to drivers and fleet managers.
To learn more about Total’s WRC activity and our premium lubricant ranges, please get in touch with our team.