Picture special: FIA World Rally Championship 2022 season

The 2022 FIA World Rally Championship was the 50th season of the World Rally Championship, an auto racing competition recognised by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) as the highest class of international rallying. Teams and crews competed in the World Rally Championships for drivers, co-drivers, and manufacturers. Crews could compete in cars that met the rules for Groups Rally1 through Rally5.

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Manufacturers could only get points in the manufacturers’ championship if their Rally1 cars were homologated under entirely new rules. The championship began in January 2022 with the Rallye Monte-Carlo and concluded in November 2022 with the Rally Japan. Every championship round of the series featured the World Rally Championship-2 and World Rally Championship-3 classes, with the junior category appearing at select events.

At the 2021 Rally Monza, Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia won their eighth championship titles, making them the current drivers’ and co-drivers’ champions. However, Ingrassia did not defend his title as he retired from competition at the end of the 2021 season. Toyota were the defending manufacturers’ champions.

After the championship, Kalle Rovanperä and Jonne Halttunen won their first World Rally Championship after winning the 2022 Rally New Zealand. At the age of twenty-two, Rovanperä became the youngest World Rally Champion. Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja finished second, trailing by fifty points. Thierry Neuville and Martijn Wydaeghe were third, a further twelve points behind. In the manufacturers’ championship, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT successfully defended their title at the 2022 Rally Catalunya, taking a seventy-point lead over Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT, with M-Sport Ford WRT in third.

Kalle Rovanperä was crowned the youngest-ever champion with TOYOTA GAZOO Racing. He commented:

The immense feeling is that it’s quite a significant relief. We have had such a good season, then a few challenging rallies, and now, finally, we can do it. I want to thank the team who made such a fast and reliable car for this season, which meant we could enjoy driving. Also, they always believed in and supported us in the more difficult moments. I don’t think about the age too much, but knowing we could achieve this is still special. It means a lot to become a champion is the only goal we ever had in this sport. I was a bit more nervous on Friday than I was today: Then we needed to push hard to stay in the fight, but today we could enjoy it.

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