New WRC points system won’t change approach, but win means less

The WRC has undergone a number of rule tweaks ahead of the 2024 season with a new points structure arguably the most significant change.

This season, championship points will now be divided into two with points awarded at the end of Saturday followed by a separate points allocation for Sunday. The new system aims to improve the show on the final day of rallies, as drivers had previously cruised through stages preserving tyres for the end-of-rally Power Stage.

Under the new system, a driver can still achieve a maximum of 30 points. However, a sliding scale of 18-15-13-10-8-6-4-3-2-1 points will be awarded at the end of Saturday, but only if a crew reaches Sunday’s final classification. If a crew fails to finish on Sunday, the Saturday points will be awarded to the next best-placed pairing.

Competitors will also do battle for a maximum of seven points on Sunday. Points will be awarded to the top seven competitors via the following sliding scale: 7-6-5-4-3-2-1. The end-of-rally Power Stage remains unchanged with points awarded to the top five fastest times.

While the rally winner will still be determined by overall time across the rally, Hyundai’s Tanak feels a victory won’t carry as much weight as in previous years.

Ott Tänak (EST), M-Sport Ford World Rally Team, Ford Puma Rally1

Photo by: McKlein / McMaster

Ott Tänak (EST), M-Sport Ford World Rally Team, Ford Puma Rally1

“Let’s see how it works out. In terms of approach, it won’t change anything as you need to take the maximum from everything,” Tanak told

“It is always easy to criticise but generally let’s say the meaning of victory is quite a lot less, so it is not a big difference anymore if you are winning or second. It just gets a bit more complicated as well. I guess for us as the drivers it doesn’t really change anything. Yeah for sure, it means that you have to maximise on Sunday.

“I mean I still want to win but previously winning had a bit more meaning. The winning should be special and you should also benefit with the points. At the moment, let’s say the points benefit you can achieve with a win is quite a bit less.”

Tanak’s Hyundai team-mate Thierry Neuville has this week shared his thoughts on the points system, revealing that it will add excitement and strategy, but the Belgian is concerned how it could benefit part-time drivers through road position.

Hyundai has stepped up its preparations for the Monte Carlo season opener (25-28 January) with the team holding its pre-event test this week. Neuville is behind the wheel of the i20N on Wednesday, before handing over to team-mates Tanak and Andreas Mikkelsen.

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