Rally News

WRC has identified three car manufacturer options for the future

Thierry Neuville, Martijn Wydaeghe, Hyundai World Rally Team Hyundai i20 N Rally1

The WRC has previously indicated that four manufacturer teams at the top level would be its ideal prospect for the championship moving forward.

Since Citroen’s exit at the end of 2019, the championship has operated with three teams comprising Toyota, Hyundai and the semi-works M-Sport Ford, which are committed until at least the end of 2024.

The introduction of the new Rally1 hybrid regulations last year was aimed to entice a new brand but so far the current ruleset, expected to run until 2024, is yet to succeed in this objective.

The FIA and WRC have engaged with automotive manufacturers from all over the world in recent months as it finalises its next set of regulations from 2025 onwards, and its future pathway from 2027 and beyond.

As reported last year, Skoda, Alpine and the Stellantis Group, which owns Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Citroen, Dodge, DS, Fiat, Jeep, Lancia, Maserati, Opel, Peugeot and Vauxhall brands, have declared their interest in joining the WRC, if regulations are changed in the future.

The WRC’s senior sporting director Peter Thul has confirmed that three potential unnamed targets have been identified, with discussions ongoing while future regulations are being devised.

“We are working on it. I was with Andrew [FIA rally director) talking to anyone who is even close to competition,” Thul told Autosport/Motorsport.com.

“We have now two options and maybe three [manufacturer] options to continue to talk with. We will not talk about it until we have a feasibility, as it is a very fragile system but having four manufacturers would be perfect.

“First of all everybody [all marques] are welcome to come [to the WRC] but we have a strategy as to who we are approaching and how we are approaching. We are doing this together with the FIA. We can make some suggestions [regarding the regulations] but the decision is done by them.”

Thierry Neuville, Martijn Wydaeghe, Hyundai World Rally Team Hyundai i20 N Rally1

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

In order for these discussions to prove successful a clear set of regulations and a long-term future pathway for the WRC is required.

“We need to know [the regulations] very fast but the FIA cannot invent something without consulting the manufacturers properly and this is an ongoing process,” added Thul.

“As you may know the car industry itself is changing direction and all-electric is not an option for rallying if we want to keep this current format and technology.

“The good thing with the…

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