A completely new, three-country concept and the return to North and South America are the standout features of the 2023 calendar for the FIA World Rally Championship, which consists of 13 rounds.
Next year’s WRC will include a new race with an innovative concept: from 16th to 29th October, the new Central European Rally will take place in Austria, the Czech Republic and Germany. The base for the asphalt rally is the city of Passau. The 2023 calendar runs from January to November and consists of a total of 13 rounds, including a return to Mexico and Chile for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic.
After the traditional season-opener in Monte Carlo from 19th to 22nd January, the drivers head to the Swedish ice of Umeå for the Rally Sweden from 9th to 12th February. The first overseas trip of the year takes the championship to the Rally Guanajuato México from 16th to 19th March, before they return to Europe from 20th to 23rd April for the first all-asphalt event of the year, the Rally Croatia. The event in Croatia is now in its third year and will again take place around the capital Zagreb.
Around the middle of the year, the WRC welcomes back familiar events from last season: the Vodafone Rally de Portugal (11th to 14th May), the Rally Italia Sardegna (1st to 4th June), the Safari Rally Kenya (22nd to 25th June), the Rally Estonia (20th to 23rd July), the Secto Rally Finland (3rd to 6th August) and the EKO Acropolis Rally Greece (7th to 10th September).
As the season heads towards its conclusion, the WRC returns to Chile in South America for the first time since 2019. The gravel rally takes place from 28th September to 1st October. Austria, the Czech Republic and Germany will host the new Central European Rally at the end of October, before the FORUM8 Rally Japan again forms the season finale from 16th to 19th November.
“We were absolutely determined to get the WRC calendar back to where it was before COVID, with a good mix of events in Europe and beyond. There was a very high demand for the limited places on the calendar, but we are happy with the range and diversity of the events that we have. They will represent a big sporting challenge for the participants and offer high-class events in every country,” said Simon Larkin, Senior Director of Events at the WRC promoter.
“We are delighted to be returning to North and South America. Throughout the COVID pandemic, we have been in dialogue with the Mexican and Chilean organisers, and are confident that now is the right time to return there. Furthermore, the WRC is well positioned to reach more fans than ever before, with an exciting new concept,” said Jona Siebel, Managing Director of the WRC promoter.