The 2018 edition of the World Rally Championship produced a sixth win for the great Sebastien Ogier. Competing in the Ford, the Frenchman won four of the 13 races on offer and claimed enough podium finishes to hold off Belgium’s Thierry Neuville who finished 18 points behind in second place.
For the 2019 renewal, Ogier has made a major change, leaving Ford to return to former team Citroen and we could have a more open contest as he eyes up a seventh title. The action gets underway in Monte Carlo from January 24 and, in a slightly extended calendar it will conclude with the 14th and final rally in Australia in November.
Race Calendar for 2019
- 24-27 January 2019: Monte-Carlo
- 14-17 February 2019: Sweden
- 7-10 March 2019: Mexico
- 28-31 March 2019: France
- 25-28 April 2019: Argentina
- 9-12 May 2019: Chile
- 30 May-2 June 2019: Portugal
- 13-16 June 2019: Italy
- 1-4 August 2019: Finland
- 22-25 August 2019: Germany
- 12-15 September 2019: Turkey
- 3-6 October 2019: Great Britain
- 24-27 October 2019: Spain
- 14-17 November 2019: Australia
WRC Winner Betting Odds
World Rally Championship Betting Markets
So what options are there when it comes to betting on the WRC and other rally competitions around the world? It’s fair to say that there isn’t as much choice as we might find in Formula One but there are some options beyond the most obvious ones.
It all starts for most of us with a pre-season bet on the Drivers’ Champion: We’ll come to the choices and the mechanics of the championship in the next section but we’re simply betting on who we think will be the winning driver at the end of the current WRC campaign.
In the current era, there is also a separate championship for co-drivers. Betting markets in this respect aren’t quite as common but it is possible to find them if you know which bookmaker to use. Finally, as we’ve seen with other motorsport disciplines such as F1, there is a third award which goes to the constructors. This is as busy as the Drivers’ option with most of the mainstream sportsbooks providing odds.
Then we come on to the individual rallies: As of 2019 there are 14 races in all across the season starting with Monaco and ending in Australia. Race markets will open in the days leading up to the event and the most common option is to bet on the winning driver.
Beyond that most obvious of bets, rally driving isn’t a sport that lends itself to too many side bets. It can be possible to bet on a Top Three finish and on rare occasions, that may stretch to a Top Five market. Other bookmakers might provide odds for match ups where the punter takes two or more drivers and decides which one of them will finish higher at the end of the rally.
Essentially, this is a very simple sport and that’s one of the reasons why many members of the betting community are drawn to WRC. It’s really all about picking a winner both in the season and individual race markets while there is a small quantity of prop bets thrown in.
Drivers’ Championship Outright Betting Odds
Sebastien Ogier may have won the World Rally Championship for six years running but in 2019, he has a definite rival. Defending champion Ogier is merely the second favourite for the drivers’ championship after two races while the Estonian Ott Tanak leads the market and is an odds on option across the board.
Ogier and Tanak shared the wins in the opening two races of the 2019 campaign but the bookmakers have clearly seen enough to put the Estonian in as a clear favourite. Other drivers to consider at this stage of the campaign include Kris Meeke, Thierry Neuville and Jari-Matti Latvala.
The winning driver in each rally receives 25 points and from there, in descending order, the points are awarded as follows: 18, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, 1.
WRC Best Odds Bookies
Now we know what betting markets are available for the World Rally Championship, it’s time to find the right sportsbook. Ideally, we want a strong combination of good value odds plus a choice of rally markets and with that in mind, here are our top recommendations.
They’ve been around for some twenty years now but in the present day, bet365’s reputation is largely based on their live betting markets. It’s true that they are among the pioneers of in-play and arguably have more live options than anyone else but let’s not forget their skills in the pre-match equivalents.
For WRC specifically, Bet365 are among the most active operators around with a wide choice of markets and they back that up with competitive prices on a regular basis. Those odds also come up nice and early so you should never be waiting around for a betting option.
Trust is an important element when it comes to choosing a bookmaker and when you sign up with William Hill, you are getting on board with a sportsbook that has been around since the 1950s. With millions of satisfied customers, that trust is a very valid reason to register.
But they don’t just rely on reputation: Hills have always been a very forward thinking bookie with offers and promos that can be tailored to any sport. For WRC betting, there is the usual mix of choice and value which makes them another great, all-round destination for rally fans.
Trust is also important with Coral who are another long-established betting brand but we think that the main appeal here is with their odds value. You may not have such a wide choice of betting markets for the World Rally Championship but there is the usual mix of season-long bets along with the result of each race.
If you focus solely on those main markets, then we suggest trying Coral first and you may also be able to harness generic accumulator promotions for a little boost in value.
The theme of trust and value continue with Ladbrokes who have also been around for decades. In the present day, they are actually a part of the same group as Coral and that means that you have the same great value prices to take advantage of.
Regular customers can also get price boosts so there is the potential for longer odds with Ladbrokes at times but we recommend signing up with both bookies.
They may not be the first bookmaker you think of when looking for a new sign up but Letou have built up a strong reputation in motorsport. Their coverage of Formula One is highly rated and the choice works down through other disciplines including WRC.
Once again, the real benefit in here is with the odds which can comfortably compete with the established brands. There is a choice of side markets but the appeal is in a long term relationship with those great prices.
Rally driving is a thrilling area of motorsport that has its own set of fans who appreciate the sheer skill of the driver and all others involved. For many bookmakers, it’s still regarded as something of a niche and that’s a shame because there is lots for the betting community to enjoy.
It’s a simple sport in the sense that the markets are kept to something of a minimum and while one man has dominated the Drivers Championship in recent years, no-one can win every race so there is definite value to be found. The research element is down to the individual bettor but hopefully we have helped you on your way with the list of markets plus our best recommendations for the best WRC betting sites.
While the concept of racing rally cars has been around for some time, the World Rally Championship didn’t officially get underway until 1973. Usually abbreviated to WRC, the competition features a series of gruelling rallies and it ends with outright titles for Driver, Co-Driver and Manufacturers.
Back in that first ever 1973 edition, there were 13 races in total and many of those events are carried through to the calendar in the present day. It all began with the Monte Carlo rally which remains one of the prestige events on the motorsport calendar.
Each rally took place in a different country and with no competition for individual drivers, we only had an award for the manufacturers and that was claimed by Alpine Renault. That situation remained until 1979 when we finally had an award for drivers, alongside that existing manufacturers trophy.
That 1979 season ended with a drivers’ trophy for the great Swede Bjorn Waldegard while Ford won the award for manufacturers. That era was something of a golden period for Scandinavian drivers with Waldegard frequently battling it out with the likes of Finland’s Hannu Mikkola, Ari Vatanen and Markku Alen plus his Swedish compatriot Stig Blomqvist.
The format had become a settled one and it’s largely been unchanged from the late 1970s through to the present day. Certain races have come and gone but many individual rallies have remained as permanent fixtures on the calendar.
In 2018, there was an expansion to the schedule with the addition of rally Turkey. In the current, 2019 season, 14 rallies are on the calendar and, in keeping with tradition, it all kicked off with the Monaco rally and this was won by the great Sebastien Ogier.
The Frenchman is the dominant force in world rally driving in the modern era and he’s won the WRC for an incredible six straight years from 2013. It would take a brave man to bet against him but what are the options for the rally betting community in the present day?