The World Rally Championship is fast approaching its new era of hybrid-powered Rally1 cars. Speaking to Talkative Broadcasting, Malcolm Wilson revealed how he expects the changes will affect WRC’s top crews.
Rally1 cars will receive additional power from an electric motor which will work in harmony with the current combustion engines within today’s World Rally Cars.
As well as using the 100 kW battery on built-up road sections, crews will benefit from a hybrid power boost during special stages.
“It is certainly going to be challenging,” admitted Wilson, “and interesting for the drivers: how they deploy it and how they regen and when they use it.
“It’s going to put a lot more pressure on the drivers and probably even on the crew as to when is actually best to take advantage of it.”
M-Sport was the first of WRC’s three manufacturers to kick-off its Rally1 test programme. The Cumbrian team is using a mule for its initial test phase as the design of its first-ever hybrid rally car is finalised.
“We were running last week in Spain with the full mule,” said Wilson. “The previous running we did in Greystoke was without the hybrid system.
“Spain was the first time [with hybrid] last week, which was quite successful, quite happy.
“We made a lot of progress and we still have a lot of work to do.”
There are several changes to WRC’s technical regulations in 2022 including a new safety cell, simplified transmission systems, differentials and aerodynamics.
The full detail of these changes haven’t been revealed and it is premature to draw conclusions from M-Sport’s Ford Fiesta mule.
Photos courtesy of M-Sport