WRC 2023 – Everything You Need to Know


With the astounding Forum8 Rally Japan still pretty fresh in our minds, we look forward to a promising season in WRC, with this the first entry of 2023’s championship starting in less than a week. You better buckle up, as we round up the most important aspects in terms of what to look out for in this year’s competition:


Rovanperä Set to Defend his Title


Coming from a record-breaking performance in WRC 2022, reigning champion Kalle Rovanperä is determined to defend his title. The Finish driver, who passed up the opportunity to run #1 and decided to keep flagging #69, recognizes that there’s still room for improvement, especially when it comes to racing on asphalt.

When asked to identify where he knew he could improve, Rovanperä admitted that he was happy with his car’s performance, but still wanted more from the Tarmac rounds. With next week’s Rallye Monte-Carlo (19 – 22 January) being expected to offer dry conditions, it’s the perfect opportunity for the champion to show us what he’s got.


Cyril Abiteboul joins Hyundai as Team Principal


Nearly two years following his goodbye to F1, the former Renault boss was officially announced as the new team principal of Hyundai Motorsport. With this new job, Abibetoul will be in charge of the Korean team’s activities in WRC, after a disappointing 2022 performance by the team.

The 45-year-old didn’t hold back when expressing his excitement to join WRC: “I am looking forward to immersing myself into the rallying community and discovering more about this spectacular sport. Hyundai has given me its full support to make the transition into this role a smooth one. I can’t wait to get started.”


Ott Tänak Returns to Ford


Estonian rally driver and former WRC Champion Ott Tänak has competed for Hyundai since 2020. After months of speculation, it was announced that Tänak would be returning to Ford for the 2023 WRC season. He previously competed for Ford, from 2014 to 2017, and won multiple rallies, which makes his return seen as a big boost to the team.

The driver was keen to mention how much he believes in a good future with Ford: “I would say together with Ford and M-Sport I see there is a chance to build something great again together.”


Ogier remains at Toyota in Part-Time


Eight-time world champion Sébastien Ogier will remain in Toyota’s driver seat in part-time in 2023, driving alongside Takamoto Katsuta, who will take Lappi’s spot in the team.

“I am very happy to continue my cooperation with Toyota Gazoo Racing in 2023 with a partial programme, similar to what I did this year,” Ogier said in a statement, regarding his commitment to Toyota. “It’s something that I really appreciate because it gives me the chance to race for a top team and continue to follow my passion, while having a little more time with my family and to do different things,”


Lappi is back on its way to Hyundai


After leaving the team in 2021 and following a difficult season in M-Sport Ford in 2022, Lappi’s return was a surprise to many in the rally community.

When asked about this decision, Moncet, Hyundai’s Vice-Director, gave a clear answer to what made the Finish driver and its colleague Breen interesting: their combined experience of the Toyota GR and Ford Puma Rally1.


Central European Rally joins WRC with Exciting New Concept


Fresh additions to the WRC map are always exciting news, but it gets even better when it comes to the newly-announced Central European Rally, with its entirely new concept.

Never before has there been a tri-nation event in the championship’s history. With top-quality tarmac stages in Czech Republic, Austria and Germany, the Central European Rally has a lot to look out for and leave us thrilled.


This Year’s WRC Calendar


2023 is set to be a promising year for WRC, with familiar locations and new additions to the schedule as well. Check out all of this year’s events below:


  • WRC Rallye Monte-Carlo: 19.01. – 22.01.2023
  • WRC Rally Sweden: 09.02. – 12.02.2023
  • WRC Guanajuato Rally México: 16.03. – 19.03.2023
  • WRC Croatia Rally: 20.04. – 23.04.2023
  • WRC Vodafone Rally de Portugal: 11.05. – 14.05.2023
  • WRC Rally Italia Sardegna: 01.06. – 04.06.2023
  • WRC Safari Rally Kenya: 22.06. – 25.06.2023
  • WRC Rally Estonia: 20.07. – 23.07.2023
  • WRC Secto Rally Finland: 03.08. – 06.08.2023
  • WRC EKO Acropolis Rally Greece: 07.09. – 10.09.2023
  • WRC Rally Chile Bio Bío: 28.09. – 01.10.2023
  • WRC Central Europe Rally: 26.10. – 29.10.2023
  • WRC Forum8 Rally Japan: 16.11. – 19.11.2023


Watch out for the 2023 season and make sure you don’t miss out on the spectacle. We hope you are as excited as we are!


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