World Rally Championship 2017

Rallying is a breathtaking - when you actually see the speeds achieved on the daunting terrains, it really does make you appreciate the awesome skill of the drivers. It can be difficult to access some of the best vantage points but in recent times, the improved organisation, helicopter travel and the growth of on-site hospitality make it a very viable motor sport option.

In September 2016, World Rally Championship organisers unveiled a provisional 12-round calendar for the 2017 season, but with the potential to add two more rounds. The 12 confirmed events include the 14 that were on this year's schedule, excluding Poland and China. However, both events, plus Turkey (which was last visited by the WRC in 2010) have been listed as potential candidates for 13th or 14th events.

The season kicks off with the Monte Carlo Rally on January 20-22, with Rally Australia listed as the final event on an as yet undecided date.

The Corsican-based French round has also been moved to an early April date, slotting between Mexico and Argentina.

The World Rally Championship (WRC) has always been one of the most demanding and challenging motor sport disciplines. There are already millions of fans hooked to World Rally - spellbound by the world's greatest drivers doing battle in some of the harshest environments in the world. The World Rally Championship is the world's biggest live spectator sports and offers a real buzz watching the event live. The whole atmosphere is informal and fun - and there is great viewing access, standing only feet away from the cars.

 

2017 Provisional FIA World Rally Championship Calendar

20-22 January Rally Monte Carlo
10-12 February Rally Sweden
10-12 March Rally Mexico
07-09 April Rallye de France
28-30 April Rally Argentina*
19-21 May Rally de Portugal
09-11 June Rally Italia*
Date to be confirmed Rally Finland
Date to be confirmed Rally Germany
Date to be confirmed Rally Spain
Date to be confirmed Rally Great Britain
Date to be confirmed Rally Australia

 

 

Some of our previous tours below have proved to be as good as you get.....some details are still to be finalised and will be updated as they become available.

On Site Rally can offer hotels, hospitality and ground transportation to any of the WRC rallies in 2017. All our tours can be guided by experienced rally personnel. We endeavour to access rally stages that are considered to offer the finest in rally spectating. To do this, we operate only small mpvs to allow ease of access.

 

Monte Carlo

A switch to the Hautes-Alpes mountains promises colder and harsher conditions. After an opening leg near Gap, the second day includes many Monte classics, heading south to Monaco via the challenging Sisteron test. A late start to the last leg allows the traditional finale of two loops of the mountains above Monaco, one in daylight and one at night.

Experience the Col de Turini - one of the sport's iconic locations, where enormous crowds will gather to watch competitors cross the mountain summit in the La Bollene Vesubie - Moulinet test twice in the final leg. An incredible atmosphere, especially at night, and a ‘must-do' for visitors. Sunday's finish outside the Palace in Monaco, with Monarch Prince Albert presenting the prizes.

 

Sweden

The action begins with Wednesday night's super special at Karlstad trotting track. Thursday's opening leg is the most northerly, comprising tests in Sweden and Norway. It's short with just 68.42km of competition, but no service means mechanical issues must be avoided. The second leg journeys east of the Hagfors service park before ending with a repeat of the super special. The final leg covers similar territory before the Karlstad finish.

The only true winter round and a classic Rally Sweden will be characterised by frozen roads lined with snow banks. Despite ambient temperatures dipping to as low as minus 25 degrees centigrade, fans flock to the stages in greater number to witness the spectacle of drivers charging through ice- and snow-coated roads at full speed, which can be achieved thanks to their metal studded tyres, which bite through the soft snow surface and into the hard-packed ground below.

As well as relying on their studded tyres, drivers make the most of the snow banks that line much of the route. They act as soft barriers and enable drivers to ‘lean' their cars through the corners. However, they represent a major hazard when corners are taken too quickly with several drivers dropping vital time getting stuck or having their radiators filled with snow.

Also, see Swedish Ice Driving

Portugal

After a Lisbon opening, the rally journeys south to the Algarve for three legs of gravel stages in the Baixo Alentejo and Serra do Caldeirão hills north of Faro. The opening two legs each cover 146km and criss-cross the motorway from Lisbon to the Algarve. The final leg, comprising just three stages and 43.87km, is slightly further south. A mid-leg service at the Algarve Stadium divides identical morning and afternoon loops in legs 1 and 2, but there is no service during leg 3.

Portugal's stages, which include a mixture of open roads and technical and narrow sections, are characterised by their abrasive surface. This puts the onus on tyre wear.

Italy

Opening night start ceremony and super special stage in south coast town of Cagliari kicks off new-look route. The second day takes competitors to well-known stages in scenic hills and undulating forests south of Olbia. Saturday's leg returns to the same area, before ending with two tests near Sassari in the north. It's a HUGE day with 188.50km of stages, including two passes of the 59.70km Monte Lerno. Sassari stages are repeated on the final day, as well as two runs over a new stage near Alghero.

Finland

Sisu is a Finnish word that loosely translates into English as ‘having guts'. On the flat-out, tree-lined straights, endless yumps and blind crests of Neste Oil Rally Finland, drivers will need plenty of ‘sisu' if they are to stand a chance of winning one of the World Rally Championship's most famous events.

Known affectionately as the Finnish Grand Prix, the rally turns the student city of Jyvaskyla into a motorsport Mecca on the first weekend of August as fans converge in their tens of thousands to savour the dramatic action on the compacted gravel stages and lap up the party atmosphere.

Few non-Finns have triumphed on the event due to the specialist nature of the stages with their endless series of twists, corners and jumps. Marcus Gronholm, a seven-time Neste Oil Rally Finland winner, famously said: “You need courage but the pace notes have to be perfect because they tell you where to place the car on the road before taking off flat-out over a blind crest. You have to have maximum trust and faith in your co-driver.”

Germany

Three distinct types of stages – bumpy narrow Mosel vineyard roads, Baumholder military tracks with many different surfaces and smooth country tests in Saarland. Friday's opening leg contains vineyard roads, but also heads further north than usual for a test close to Belgium. Saturday is dominated by the daunting Panzerplatte military tests while the final day is based entirely in the Mosel vineyards.

France

Historic Strasbourg, nestled on the German border between the Vosges mountains and the Black Forest, is the hub for a fifth year. It is the shortest round of the season with just over 300km of stages. The opening leg visits the Bas-Rhin and Vosges mountains while the second day journeys further south into the Haut Rhin, with remote service in Colmar.

Sunday is based around the town of Saverne, replacing the traditional final day's action around Sébastien Loeb's home town of Haguenau. The Strabourg city stage, which ends outside the European Parliament, has been moved back 24 hours from Thursday to Friday evening.

Spain

Costa Daurada holiday resort of Salou, south of Barcelona, is the host town. Both gravel and asphalt tests held in the hills of Tarragona. It opens on Thursday night with a street stage in the Montjuïc area of Barcelona, on roads that hosted the Spanish Grand Prix F1 race on four occasions. Saturday's 50km Escaladei stage celebrates the rally's 50th edition. It is the longest test in the event's history and features some roads not used since 2002. Short spectator-friendly test runs along Salou seafront through the town centre.

The Rally RACC-Rally de Espana has been a unique event in recent seasons of the WRC in that it has been the only true mixed surface round of the season. Nowhere else has three days of rallying been split across gravel and asphalt

The use of asphalt and gravel stages on the same event not only increases the challenge facing the crews due to the different driving style requirements, it also adds to the workload placed on the mechanics and engineers, who have to convert their cars from gravel to asphalt specification in a restricted timeframe.

 

 

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