Rally News

WRC future regulations set to be defined after months of debate

Ott Tänak, Martin Järveoja, Hyundai World Rally Team Hyundai i20 N Rally1

The WRC has been working towards Tuesday’s World Motor Sport Council meeting, where several questions are expected to be answered.

At the top of the agenda are the technical regulations for next year and 2026 which has sparked plenty of heated debate since the FIA unveiled its proposals for the future of the WRC in February.

It is widely anticipated that the current Rally1 regulations will remain in place until the end of 2026.

This would represent a U-turn from the FIA proposal tabled in February by the motorsport’s governing body’s working group, set up in December, to “evaluate and recommend the future direction of rallying”.

February’s proposal was built around a move to remove hybrid power from Rally1 cars from next year as part of a plan to close the performance gap to Rally2 cars through a reduction in aero, a modified rear wing, and a smaller air restrictor.

This coincided with a proposal for manufacturers to produce an optional upgrade kit for Rally2 cars to increase their performance to allow some competitors to battle at the sharp end of rallies.

The idea was strongly opposed by the current Rally1 teams and WRC2 manufacturers which resulted in a letter being penned to the FIA in April requesting for the current rules to remain in place.

The key gripes among the teams centred around the short timeframe to re-design, test and validate changes to cars for next season, and the fact that investments had already been made into the current cars, expected to compete across a five-year homologation cycle [2022-2026].

The FIA’s thinking was to increase entries and provide a smooth transition to 2027 when it plans to introduce new regulations built around the current Rally1 concept.

These 330-horsepower vehicles will use a common safety cell to reduce costs and allow manufacturers and tuners to develop cars with their own bodywork based on production models.

Ott Tänak, Martin Järveoja, Hyundai World Rally Team Hyundai i20 N Rally1

Photo by: Vincent Thuillier / Hyundai Motorsport

Since February, there have been various meetings with stakeholders and the WRC Commission to find a solution moving forward, with an outcome expected on Tuesday. A dossier has been put together which will be tabled at the WMSC where a decision will be made.

While the FIA has remained tight-lipped as to what will be announced, speaking at Rally Sardinia the governing body’s road sport director Andrew Wheatley says a “smooth transition”…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Motorsport.com – RALLY – Stories…