Mexico, Chile and new European rally join 2023 WRC calendar

The World Rally Championship has revealed a 13-round 2023 calendar that features the return of Mexico and Chile alongside an all-new European tarmac rally.

Mexico, Chile and new European rally join 2023 WRC calendar
Listen to this article

As previously reported, the WRC has been keen to re-establish a more global calendar akin to its schedule prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

After a lengthy delay the FIA has now ratified a reshuffled 2023 schedule with an anticipated round in the Middle East, thought to be Saudi Arabia, absent from the calendar.

The season will feature four tarmac and eight gravel rallies, alongside the traditional snow event in Sweden. Events are much more evenly spread unlike this year where there was a seven-week gap between rallies in Sweden and Croatia.

The new-look calendar sees the WRC return to Central and South America with the gravel of Mexico re-installed after dropping off the calendar following 2020’s shortened edition, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Mexico will host the third round of the championship in March following the traditional Monte Carlo and Sweden winter curtain raisers.

The tarmac round in Croatia is followed by gravel rallies in Portugal, Sardinia, Kenya, Estonia, Finland and Greece, which have all retained spots on the calendar.

Chile will also rejoin the calendar for only its second WRC event following its debut in 2019. The gravel rally was set to feature in 2020 but was cancelled due to political and social unrest in the country. The South American round of the championship will slot into the schedule in September/October following Acropolis Rally Greece.

The WRC’s new Central European tarmac event will be based out of south east Germany and will venture into Austria and the Czech Republic. It will effectively replace the popular Rally Spain, which drops off the schedule, having been a mainstay since 1991.

Sébastien Loeb, Daniel Elena, Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

Sébastien Loeb, Daniel Elena, Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

Photo by: Fabien Dufour / Hyundai Motorsport

Its inclusion also means Ypres Rally Belgium, which has filled a tarmac slot for the past two seasons, has fallen off the calendar.

Belgium was drafted in to take over an August slot that had been held for Rally Northern Ireland which has failed to secure the required funding to bring the WRC back to the United Kingdom in 2023, having been absent since 2019.

Rally New Zealand also won’t return next year following its long awaited comeback this season after 10 years away.

While the event has proven a hit with drivers and the fans, it is understood that the rally will need significant uplift in government funding to ensure it can happen on an annual basis. It is hoped the rally could return in 2024.

The championship will once again conclude on asphalt in Japan in November following the country’s return to the schedule for the first time in 12 years this season. While the event came under scrutiny following a serious safety breach, it proved popular among teams and the local crowd.

It had been hoped that the championship would return to the Middle East with a round in Saudi Arabia, but it is understood plans to host an event in the region have been pushed to 2024. The WRC last held a desert-based rally in 2011, courtesy of Rally Jordan.

World Rally Championship 2023 Calendar

Monte-Carlo - 19-22 January
Sweden - 9-12 February
Mexico - 16-19 March
Croatia - 20-23 April
Portugal - 11-14 May
Italy - 1-4 June
Kenya - 22-25 June
Estonia - 20-23 July
Finland - 3-6 August
Greece - 7-10 September
Chile - 28 September - 1 October
Central Europe Rally - 26-29 October
Japan - 16-19 November

shares
comments
M-Sport: "A lot has to fall in the right place” to sign Loeb for WRC 2023
Previous article

M-Sport: "A lot has to fall in the right place” to sign Loeb for WRC 2023

Next article

WRC pushes Middle East event plans to 2024

WRC pushes Middle East event plans to 2024
How fired-up Ogier became the WRC's ultimate Monte master Prime

How fired-up Ogier became the WRC's ultimate Monte master

He may only be contesting a part-time campaign in the World Rally Championship these days, but Sebastien Ogier underlined that he's lost none of his speed in the 2023 season opener. Storming to yet another victory on the Monte Carlo Rally, the eight-time world champion rewrote the history books again as Toyota served notice of its intentions with a crushing 1-2

WRC
Jan 23, 2023
How Lancia pulled off its famous Monte Carlo giantkilling Prime

How Lancia pulled off its famous Monte Carlo giantkilling

Audi should have been invincible in the snowy conditions that typically greeted the World Rally Championship paddock in Monte Carlo. But unexpectedly warm weather for the 1983 season opener, combined with some left-field thinking from the Lancia crew turned the tables. Forty years on, team boss Cesare Fiorio reflects on a smash and grab.

WRC
Jan 21, 2023
Why M-Sport has pinned all its efforts on a WRC reunion Prime

Why M-Sport has pinned all its efforts on a WRC reunion

M-Sport had a disastrous 2022 with its Rally1 Ford Pumas following Sebastien Loeb’s first-time-out win on the Monte. But now things are looking up with 2019 world champion Ott Tanak leading its attack, and the Cumbrian operation has optimism that it can challenge for a first title since Sebastien Ogier's departure at the end of 2018

WRC
Jan 19, 2023
The contenders seeking to take Rovanpera's WRC crown Prime

The contenders seeking to take Rovanpera's WRC crown

As Kalle Rovanpera begins his World Rally Championship title defence in Monte Carlo, the Finn knows he has a target on his back. But who is best placed to knock the Toyota ace off his perch?

WRC
Jan 19, 2023
Why Rovanpera is anticipating a fight to defend his WRC title Prime

Why Rovanpera is anticipating a fight to defend his WRC title

Question: what could be harder than becoming the youngest-ever World Rally champion? Answer: becoming the youngest-ever two-time World Rally champion. That's quite the challenge facing Toyota's Kalle Rovanpera in 2022, particularly against rejuvenated opposition in the second year of the WRC's hybrid regulations.

WRC
Jan 18, 2023
From F1 to WRC: Why Hyundai's new boss could be an inspired signing Prime

From F1 to WRC: Why Hyundai's new boss could be an inspired signing

OPINION: New Hyundai rally team boss Cyril Abiteboul admits he’s got a lot to learn, but his F1 experience and evident strengths could mean he turns out to be an inspired choice.

WRC
Jan 17, 2023
The ultimate rally car project the WRC is glad COVID killed Prime

The ultimate rally car project the WRC is glad COVID killed

Toyota was unstoppable in the 2021 World Rally Championship, with an excellent 75% strike rate from 12 rallies. But in a scary proposition for its rivals, the Japanese marque had built a car for the final year of the previous regulations set which it believes was much faster and could feasibly have crushed the opposition completely. Here the story of its mothballed world-beater.

WRC
Jan 1, 2023
Motorsport.com writers' most memorable moments of 2022 Prime

Motorsport.com writers' most memorable moments of 2022

The season just gone was a memorable one for many of our staff writers, who are fortunate enough to cover motorsport around the world. Here are our picks of the best (and in some cases, most eventful) from 2022.

Formula 1
Dec 31, 2022