World Rally Championship Features Incredible Backdrops

Few things in the world seem as crazy as getting behind the wheel of a rally car, which makes the drivers who do it some of the most insane sportsmen on the planet. From road to dirt, mud and snow, the FIA World Rallycross Championship have taken this extreme sport to some equally extreme locations. 

This long-time fan favorite has taken place in some incredible backdrops and this year is no exception. Cars come screaming around corners, sometimes even catching air before setting their tires straight, all in the midst of some amazing settings. 

At the Argentina leg coming up in April, tour organizers were forced to make changes in the course because of mud after recent rain fall made the section impassable. A third of the area’s annual rain fall came down in February, forcing the shortening of the course from 345 km to 315 km.

Excitement continues to build for this extreme racing series pitting drivers against one another in tough conditions all over the planet. The series culminates with a championship driver and manufacturer decided through a point system. Each rally consists of 13 events, three days each, split into stages run against the clock on surfaces ranging from tarmac to gravel to snow and ice.

Based on the point system format, there is ultimately both a championship driver winner and a manufacturer winner. Interestingly, the car the driver champion operates is often not the overall manufacturer winner.

Drivers tackle the race stages at two-minute intervals, and their speeds are timed to one-tenth of a second so the slightest mistake can impact the outcome of every race. And each driver has a co-driver responsible for conveying vital information to the driver.

For WRC rallies, the teams get a two-day reconnaissance to practice the route at a limited speed and make their pace notes for use on race day. Built on 1.6-litre four-cylinder engines, world rally cars feature turbochargers, anti-lag systems, 4-wheel drive, sequential gearboxes and a bevy of aerodynamic parts and enhancements that can all add up to an expensive ride: the average cost of a WRC car is about $1 million.

Find out who the journalists who cover these races consider the greatest all-time drivers.