The FIA World Rallycross Championship will return to a more traditional racing format in 2023, with six-car finals and semi-finals and the distribution of championship points to the top-scoring drivers in the heats.
Race weekends will get underway with free practice – replacing shakedown – followed by official practice, the single-lap SuperPole shoot-out, four heats, two semi-finals and the final. At double-header events, the number of heats will be reduced to three. All races will continue to be run over five laps.
Every heat race will feature five cars starting line-abreast, with the classification of heat one – based upon overall finishing time – determining grid positions for heat two, reverting to the successful format that ran from 2014 to 2021. The fastest five drivers from heat one will compete in the first race of heat two, with the slowest drivers contesting the last race of the session. Competitors no longer have free choice of grid position for races.
The same procedure will apply for the remaining heats, with the difference that both heat three and heat four will see the slowest drivers run first.
At the end of the heats, championship points will be awarded to the top three competitors in the Ranking – three points for first place, two for second and one for third – incentivising drivers to push as fast as possible in the early stages of the competition while preserving the ‘winner-takes-all’ anticipation ahead of the final.
The top 12 drivers in the Ranking will qualify for the semi-finals – provided they have started at least 50 per cent of the heats – when there will be a return to staggered six-car grids arranged over three rows.
The same grid formation applies to the final, where the semi-final winner with the highest Ranking points will start on pole position, followed by the other semi-final winner. The same procedure will be used between the second-placed and third-placed competitors.
At the end of the final, championship points will be awarded down to 15th place. The top six positions will be based upon the result of the final, followed by the semi-finalists who do not reach the final, with tie-breaks determined by Ranking order. All remaining positions will be according to the Ranking.