Watch the 2014 World Rally Championship on Motors TV

The FIA World Rally Championship returns to Motors TV in 2014, kicking off on the snow-covered mountains around Monte Carlo. This year’s calendar remains largely unaltered from 2013, with competitors still tackling 13 events across the globe. The sole change sees Poland replace the historic Rally Greece, a move partly inspired by the addition of a certain ex-Formula 1 driver to this year’s entry list.


Fresh changes to starting rules order

A handful of WRC regulations have undergone slight tweaks for 2014. To avoid late strategy changes, the special qualifying stage first introduced in 2012 will no longer decide the starting order for loose-surface stages. On the first day of the event the starting order will be based on the current WRC standings, while on following days drivers will begin in reverse rally classification. Competitors who have retired and rejoined the event using the Rally2 rule will run after the first and second priority drivers.

The FIA will also allow teams leeway regarding entries in 2014, with 10 events rather than a full season representing the minimum. All rallies will run to the same schedule, with an opening ceremony held on Thursday and the Power Stage, which will be at least 10km-long, closing the event around noon at European venues.


Hyundai joins the WRC

Korean marque Hyundai joins the WRC this year, lining up alongside fellow manufacturer teams Citroën and Volkswagen. Their lead i20 machine will be piloted by Thierry Neuville throughout the 2014 season, while Dani Sordo, Juho Hanninen and Chris Atkinson will share driving duties in the second car.

Meanwhile Citroën will field two entries, with Mads Østberg and Kris Meeke handed chances at the multiple title-winning squad. They’ll be looking to catch 2013 pacesetters Volkswagen, who retain world champion Sébastien Ogier alongside Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen.

There’s significant interest in the M-Sport squad, where returnee Mikko Hirvonen is joined by Elfyn Evans and former F1 star Robert Kubica. The Polish driver made an instant impression in WRC2 last year, quickly earning a chance in world rallying’s premier class. Four tyre manufacturers will be present this season, with Pirelli returning to the WRC alongside Michelin, Hankook and DMACK.

Sébastien Ogier was unrivalled in 2013 and secured a commanding world title aboard his Volkswagen. The Frenchman finished second in the season-opening Monte Carlo event before opening his account for the year with victory in Sweden. Eight more wins followed, allowing Ogier to seal the title on home turf at Rallye France. Neuville finished as runner-up after recording seven podiums during an impressively consistent season. Meanwhile Sordo finally ended his win drought, while Sébastien Loeb bowed out of the WRC with two more victories in Monte Carlo and Argentina.

At every European event, Motors TV will air an exclusive half-hour magazine programme catching up on the day’s best bits – including on-board action aplenty – at 10.30pm. The following Friday you can relive the whole rally with an extended event summary, featuring exclusive and previously unseen footage. 

International broadcast - (click for UK broadcast)

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WRC calendar

  • 16 Jan-19 Jan
    Rallye Monte-Carlo
  • 07 Feb-09 Feb
    Rally Sweden
  • 07 Mar-09 Mar
    Rally Mexico
  • 04 Apr-06 Apr
    Rally Portugal
  • 09 May-11 May
    Rally Argentina
  • 06 Jun-08 Jun
    Rally Italia
  • 27 Jun-29 Jun
    Rally Poland
  • 01 Aug-03 Aug
    Rally Finland
  • 22 Aug-24 Aug
    Rally Deutschland
  • 12 Sep-14 Sep
    Rally Australia
  • 03 Oct-05 Oct
    Rallye de France
  • 24 Oct-26 Oct
    Rally de España
  • 14 Nov-16 Nov
    Rally of Great Britain

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