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Best Ways to Bet on the World Rally Championship This 2023 Season

The 2023 World Rally Championship begins in less than two weeks and brings with it a new category of motorsports odds to bet on. 

In this article, we’re going to explain everything you need to know on how to bet on WRC in the 2023 season, including how a rally weekend works and understanding sports betting. 

Contracted Crews for WRC 2023

There are currently three Rally1 entries, with ten cars total, that are eligible to score manufacturers’ points toward the 2023 WRC Championship. Here are the manufacturers and their driver combinations. 

ManufacturerEntrant/CarDriver (car number)Co-Driver
FordM-Sport Ford WRT – Ford Puma Rally 1Pierre-Louis Loubet (7)Nicolas Gilsoul
FordM-Sport Ford WRT – Ford Puma Rally 1Ott Tänak (8)Marin Järvoeja
HyundaiHyundai Shell Mobis WRT – Hyundai i20 N RallyEsapekka Lappi (4)Janne Ferm
HyundaiHyundai Shell Mobis WRT – Hyundai i20 N RallyDani Sordo (6)Cándido Carrera
HyundaiHyundai Shell Mobis WRT – Hyundai i20 N RallyThierry Neuville (11)Martijn Wydaeghe
HyundaiHyundai Shell Mobis WRT – Hyundai i20 N RallyCraig Breen (42)James Fulton
ToyotaToyota Gazoo Racing WRT – Toyota GR Yaris Rally 1Sébastien Ogier (17)Vincent Landais
ToyotaToyota Gazoo Racing WRT – Toyota GR Yaris Rally 1Elfyn Evans (33)Scott Matin
ToyotaToyota Gazoo Racing WRT – Toyota GR Yaris Rally 1Kalle Rovanperä Rovanperä (69)Jonne Halttunen
ToyotaToyota Gazoo Racing WRT – Toyota GR Yaris Rally 1Takamoto Katsuta (18)Aaron Johnston

First, the designation “Rally1” indicates the FIA’s categorization of the WRC category. Much like Formula 1 is the pinnacle of open-wheel racing, Rally1 is the pinnacle and elite level of Rally Racing in the world. 

Second, there is a third entry from Ford that has Rally1 classification but is ineligible to score manufacturer points that will be available for WRC picks on a rally-by-rally basis but will not be available on any futures-type motorsports odds. 

ManufacturerEntrant/CarDriver (car number)Co-Driver
FordM-Sport Ford WRT – Ford Puma Rally 1Jourdan Serderidis (9)Frédéric Miclotte

The 2023 WRC Championship: How it Works and Schedule

As more people become interested in all forms of motorsports, an increasing number of online sportsbooks are providing new or unexplored betting lines, like WRC odds, for perspective bettors to make their motorsports picks year-round. 

There are thirteen total rallies on the WRC 2023 calendar, with rallies on snow in Sweden, gravel in Kenya, and through the forests in Estonia, and from January through to the series closing event in Japan in November. Only the first three WRC events of 2023 have the stages and total distances determined as of publication. 

How WRC Works

However, the WRC is a radically different category of racing compared to the other types of motorsports odds you will find for. Unlike Formula 1, the various NASCAR series, or IndyCar, WRC events do not take place on a circuit or have total laps or distances covered to determine the end of the event. 

WRC events take place in stages, with each driver’s time recorded at the end of the stage. These stages aren’t necessarily linked together and are typically spread out across the host rally’s regional surroundings. 

A shakedown run starts the weekend on Thursday, with a first, short stage usually held that night, but the rally starting in earnest on Friday. WRC concludes with a rally-closing final power stage, with more points at stake.

Every WRC event has between 15-25 stages that determine the winners when the times for each stage are indeed together. Rally1 cars start stages in 3-minute intervals. 

Starting Order

Understanding the starting order for WRC is important to understanding how WRC works to make the best betting predictions possible.

On Friday, the WRC overall leader starts first, with the other cars following in descending order from second to last. However, for the next two days of the weekend, stages are run reversely, with the slowest cars going first and the fastest ones going last. 

The final result from the previous rally sets the starting order for the first session of the next WRC event.

Extra points are awarded to the fastest crews in the final stage, with the best time in the final stage taking home an extra five points to the fifth-fastest receiving one point.

Continuing a Stage After an Issue

With WRC being competed over stages, teams and drivers have the ability to continue a stage that they have failed to complete the previous day due to whatever issues forced retirement and keep competing. Drivers are awarded time penalties (10 minutes) for each missed stage or being too late or early to a stage, which is all added to the total time for the driver. 

Mechanical or tire issues can sometimes force a car to the side of the stage. All WRC cars are outfitted with a spare tire for the roadside repair of a tire puncture. Cars return to a central garage area for repairs when necessary, returning to the start of each stage at a specific time.

Determining a Winner

After penalties have been calculated, the winner is determined by who has the fastest cumulative time across all stages.

Understanding Betting Odds and How to Bet on WRC 2023

Knowing how to bet on WRC will be easy if you have looked at motorsports odds before. However, if you are unfamiliar with online sports betting, here is a quick overview of how to read betting odds. 

All odds are displayed in one of three styles: decimal, fractional, and America. All three lines tell you the same win probability, simply in a different format. American odds are centered around a $100 figure, which makes them different. 

In American odds, there will be a favored outcome, indicated by a minus symbol (-), while the unlikely outcome or underdog will be indicated by a plus symbol (+). The favorite tells you how much you need to wager to make $100, while the underdog tells you how much you will make on a $100 wager.

The Importance of the Shakedown

Paying attention to shakedown runs will be key for how you bet on WRC in 2023 if you want to win. Shakedowns happen before the official start of a rally and give drivers a full-speed reconnaissance run through the stage and a chance to tune the car specifically to the situation and conditions. 

At the shakedown stage on Thursdays, you might be able to find who has the edge in performance or form, which could be the difference between winning and losing your bet.

How to bet on WRC 2023

First, if you want to win your bets, you need to pay attention to the various stages of the WRC. You can do this easily with WRC+, the category’s stand-alone streaming service.

Second, remember to pay attention to the shakedown. The faster cars on Thursday and Friday will often have an advantage in stage condition for the later stages of the weekend.

After you have done the research and consulted Insiders Betting Digest’s expert WRC previews and picks, simply visit your sportsbook of choice and place a wager on your favored driver to win the race. 

Although there were no betting lines available for review, you will be betting on the WRC event winner and not a single-stage winner.

With enough growth in popularity, it is entirely possible for sportsbooks to potentially list individual stages to bet on.

If you love sports and want more sports betting information follow us as @InsidersBetDig on Twitter and sign up to our mailing list for free betting picks.

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