FIA: The next two years will be a transition period for WRC

David Richards says that 2025 and 2026 will be a transition period for World Rally Championship and reveals that the next generation of cars will be the same as the Rally2 cars and will be larger than the Rally1 cars.

FIA made some major announcements on the future of WRC after the World Motor Council which was held on February 28. More specifically, the hybrid units will be removed from the Rally1 cars at the end of this year despite the fact that the contract with Compact Dynamics is still valid until 2026. This means that the total output of Rally1 cars will be decreased from 492 hp to 330 hp without the hybrid unit of 100 kW. In addition to that, the next generation of cars will be very similar to the Rally2 cars and will have a common and a larger spaceframe which will be supplied from a company and will be fitted on production models including B-class, C-Class, compact SUV or a Concept Car designed to tight technical criteria such as centre of gravity and aerodynamics in order to equalize performance. Finally, it must be mentioned that FIA will define the new regulations of WRC in 2026 as the sport will enter to a new era in 2027 while the Federation suggested last December that a customer driver can compete with a Rally1 car from this year without the hybrid unit but this car must have the same weight as the regular Rally1 car.

"Clearly we are in a transition period now and we can’t throw out the rules", Richards said.

"People have invested in the cars and manufacturers have invested in the technology and we have to be true to what we have promised them in stability, so we have to have a transition period. 

"We have to accept the next two years will be a transition.

"As far as the Rally1 cars are concerned, there has been some concerns on various quarters about the speed of these cars now and particularly the cornering speed with the hybrid systems and the aerodynamics.

"We decided to put a smaller restrictor on the car and reduce the power down to about 330 horsepower and take the hybrid system off. 

"It hybrid was a good idea possibly at the time but it is too complex and too expensive, and it has created a big difference in performance from the Rally2 cars to the Rally1 cars.

"Those regulations will remain stable for the endurance of the current Rally1 regulations, so those cars will remain in place for 2025 and 2026 and then we will introduce in 2026 a new formula based around the current Rally1 formula.

"It won’t be radically different, it will use a spaceframe chassis as Rally1 does today, it will be a larger space frame and the intention is that it is a common space frame for everybody.

"The idea is that we will consider the FIA authorising the tooling, so instead of putting a tender out for a contract to make the spaceframes, we will have a company make the tooling to FIA specification and then this can be made available anywhere in the world.

"They can buy the tooling and they can make the spaceframe, any tuner can make the spaceframe themselves and then buy the homologated bodywork from a car manufacturer to put on the spaceframe.

"It will be larger than the current one so it can accommodate slightly larger cars, the car that the manufacturers are promoting, and we are considering a control transmission as well to keep the costs down. 

"Everything else on the car will effectively be the same as Rally2 today.

"Those regulations, and we realise that it is a tight timescale, will come in for 2026 and we don’t necessarily believe there will be many cars in 2026, but it will give an opportunity to come in during the course of the season and then 2027 it will be fully into that new regulation.

"We have addressed most of the major concerns and we have tried to take the manufacturers with us in this process. 

"I don’t think they will like every aspect of it, but it is a fair and reasonable process that we have gone through, and it will develop over the next two years.

"There is no magic wand, it is not suddenly going to be wonderful from tomorrow, but I stand to be judged in two years' time.

"We haven’t got all the answers. 

"These are our recommendations. 

"These are the things we think are going to work, so let’s work together".


Photo Credits: Hyundai

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