Best average finish of WRC 2022

There's some surprising results


There’s 30 points available to score on every World Rally Championship rally, but the interesting thing is you don’t need to have contested the whole event to score five of them.

SuperRally regulations enable crews who fail to finish a stage or are forced to stop by the rulemakers (for example when they only have three freely rotating wheels) to restart in a rally even if they have crashed out or missed multiple stages, and it means if they make it to Sunday’s final test then they are in contention to score powerstage points.

This is now so common that many drivers competing under SuperRally practically coast through one or more days of a rally, knowing they have no chance of being in the top 10 in their class but can save their tires for the all-important powerstage.

The championship standings don’t show this and, for example, unless you followed the 2022 WRC season closely you wouldn’t know that Thierry Neuville was classified fifth on Safari Rally Kenya despite his Saturday on the rally ending with the car stopping on him in a heavily rutted section and then only restarting long enough for him to drive into a tree.

His powerstage win that weekend meant he left the weekend having scored 15 points, and in total he scored 13 powerstage points in 2022 while under SuperRally conditions. Craig Breen scored 10 and Ott Tänak and champion Kalle Rovanperä each scored five.


Also taking home top-10 rally results after a mid-event retirement this year were Takamoto Katsuta (eighth in Monte Carlo) and Craig Breen (sixth on the Safari). But the statistics get stranger than that.

There were 358 drivers across all classes who competed in the WRC this year, and 85 contested more than one rally. Of that group, 15 were Rally1 drivers, and only seven of them competed full-time. Not a single one of the top-class drivers completed every stage mile they were entered to compete in.

Rovanperä had it best, finishing every rally but requiring SuperRally to get to the end of Ypres Rally Belgium, while Sébastien Ogier and M-Sport customer Jourdan Serderidis competed sparingly and ended their year with a single use of SuperRally and a single retirement respectively.

M-Sport’s trying year was shown in the stats, with 14 of the times its new Ford Puma Rally1 car got to the end of a rally actually only being possible due to SuperRally. Craig Breen, who was supposed to be the team’s lead driver, only did six rallies out of 13 in full.

The Ford drivers with the highest average finishing position are Lorenzo Bertelli and Todd Bawden, who finished seventh and 13th on Rally New Zealand respectively in M-Sport’s Rally1 and Rally2 cars, but they only did one rally in 2022. Next best is Breen, whose average finishing spot was 18.54.

That’s terrible enough on its own, but his team-mates fare even worse when retirements are taken into consideration for the math. Some competitions in motorsport, such as IndyCar, deliver points for retirees as they base the final classification on how far entrants got into the event. 

Although the WRC doesn’t, the distance a crew went before retiring can still be a useful metric. For example, if there were 48 finishers and two retirees, one on the last stage and the other on the first, then they can be considered as having been the 49th and 50th-placed entrants on the rally.

The bigger the entry list, the lower down the order you can be both as a finisher or as a retiree. And early rally exits, as M-Sport drivers managed several times this year, are more punishing than a final stage retirement.

Gus Greensmith’s average rally position was 19th place when including his four SuperRally results and three retirements, while part-timer Pierre-Louis Loubet was on 20.43 with one SuperRally result and two non-finishes.

There were even more Rally1 entrants who did worse than them, with Hyundai’s sacked Oliver Solberg on 27.89, Serderidis on 28.25, Sébastien Loeb on 31.50 and Adrien Fourmaux on 35.50.

In comparison, Toyota’s line-up of more consistent scorers went in the order of Katsuta (6.54, 1 SR & 1 DNF), Rovanperä (8.38, 1 SR), Ogier (10.67, SR), Elfyn Evans (17.00, 1 SR & 3 DNF) and Esapekka Lappi (18.57, 3 SR).

It is no surprise Toyota has elected Katsuta to be in one of the cars that scores points for the manufacturers’ championship in 2023 based off this year’s reliable form.


Ignoring the many drivers who only entered one rally (which includes eight with average finishing positions of 10th or higher), then the best driver to have actually completed in full all of the rallies they entered was Mikolaj Marczyk.

The WRC2-Junior driver never finished higher than 13th overall, but he also never finished lower than 31st and that left him with an average position of 18.17. Including the drivers who used SuperRally or had retirements, that still puts him as the 12th highest of all entrants. An impressive stat given he finished 16th in WRC2.

The driver with the highest average is Katsuta, whose Rally NZ retirement was the only time he did not score points in 2022. Between Katsuta and Rovanperä is Hyundai’s Neuville, who used SuperRally on three events to have an average finishing position of 7.62.

His team-mate Dani Sordo is probably wondering what could have been, as his 2022 formbook was 3rd-3rd-3rd-5th coming into the Rally Japan season finale. But his car burning itself to a crisp on the second stage of that event made him one of four retirees in that event and brought his average rally position down from a table-topping 3.50 to 9.60.

Similarly, WRC2 title contender Kajetan Kajetanowicz would have had an incredible season-long average of 10.67, with no retirements or uses of SuperRally and a worst result of 16th place, had his car not perished on the same stage as Sordo’s in Japan.

It dropped him from having the fifth highest average finishing position out of any WRC regular to the eighth, being surpassed by Ogier, WRC runner-up Tänak (10.77) and WRC2 champion Emil Lindholm (12.71) who used SuperRally to finish 32nd on Rally Sweden but then was in the top 10 of all but one of his remaining rallies to come 15th overall in the WRC standings ahead of M-Sport Rally1 driver Fourmaux.

The Rally3 driver with the highest average position (once again ignoring one-timers) was WRC3 champion Lauri Jonna on 23.43, with one use of SuperRally on Acropolis Rally Greece. The top R-GT class driver was Emmanuel Guigou (25.50), and the top Rally4 driver was Anthony Fotia (26.00).

Drivers of Rally1 cars won all 13 rallies this year, and nobody could quite match Jari Huttunen’s 2021 achievement of getting a Rally2 car into the top five of a rally. Haydon Paddon got a Hyundai i20 N Rally2 into sixth on home soil on Rally NZ, with the national class also getting some attention on that event as Matt Summerfield finished 11th overall in a Mitsubishi Mirage AP4.

Hayden Paddon

Jon Armstrong’s 14th place on Rally Sweden was the best result for a Rally3 car and for those competing in WRC3-Junior, and Raphael Astier’s 15th place on the Monte Carlo Rally in his Alpine A110 Rally RGT was not only the best result for an R-GT car in 2022 but also the only time a two-wheel-drive car got into the top 15 on a WRC rally.

Rally Japan had a strong Rally4 and Rally5 entry, providing the best results of the year for the two classes. Rally4 was won by Hiroki Arai, son of former WRC regular Toshihiro Arai, in 15th place overall, and Rally5 was won by Kohei Izuno in 31st.

There were lots of new rally cars in competition this year, from the hybrid Rally1 class to the newly released models in the two-wheel-drive classes, and reliability inevitably led to many rally retirements, whether they were temporary or permanent.

Next year that should be less of an issue, but we still await to see what will happen when someone brings a World Rally Car back onto the stages to go up against their Rally1 successors.

Powerstage points under SuperRally

Driver PS points (SR) Total PS points
K Rovanperä 5 50
T Neuville 13 30
O Tänak 5 26
E Evans 3 22
C Breen 10 15
S Ogier 12
S Loeb 4 6
T Katsuta 6
E Lappi 3 5
D Sordo 4
M Miele 4
G Greensmith 4 4
A Mikkelsen 3
T Suninen 3
O Solberg 2
E Lindholm 1
A Fourmaux 1 1
F Zaldivar 1 1

Average position in 2022 rallies

Driver Class Average pos.
T Katsuta Rally1 6.5
T Neuville Rally1 7.6
K Rovanperä Rally1 8.4
D Sordo Rally1 9.6
S Ogier Rally1 10.7
O Tänak Rally1 10.8
E Lindholm Rally2 12.7
K Katejanowicz Rally2 14.0
E Evans Rally1 17.0
Y Rossel Rally2 17.4
E Kaur Rally2 17.5
M Marczyk Rally2 18.2
E Pietarinen Rally2 18.3
C Breen Rally1 18.5
E Lappi Rally1 18.6
G Greensmith Rally1 19.0
H Paddon Rally2 19.3
F Loix Rally2 19.5

Words:Ida Wood