World Rallycross set to add electrified cars in future
Series promoter IMG has confirmed that it is working with manufacturers and the FIA on plans to introduce electrified technology into the mixed-surface discipline.
“We’re talking to a number of manufacturers and working with the FIA about what it [electrified rallycross] might look like,” World Rallycross Managing Director Paul Bellamy told Motorsport.com.
“It will be two thousand twenty at the earliest but we’re in discussions about what format the concept might take, what the cars will be like and where it will sit in the World RX weekend.”
Several manufacturers have previously publicly stated interest in being involved in an electrified rallycross formula, among them Peugeot, Volkswagen and Audi (which all support current teams in World RX), but it isn’t known if those marques are involved in the discussions.
“We’re looking at electrified rallycross because it’s what the manufacturers are asking for,” said Bellamy. “They understand and see how rallycross lends itself flawlessly to electrified motor racing, because the races are over quickly and the cars being used relate to the cars that you see every day on the road.”
World RX races take place over four laps in qualifying races and six laps in semi-finals and finals. Instead of being included in the current Supercar class, electrified cars will race in a separate category.
“The FIA’s position is that electrified vehicles and internal combustion engine cars will not race together. They can race at the same events, but not in the same races within those events,” said Bellamy, who clarifies that the existing Supercar category, in which the four-wheel drive cars are powered by two-litre turbocharged engines, won’t be affected by the introduction of an electrical class.
“It’s very significant for us that the internal combustion engine is here to stay in World RX. We’ve invested powerfully in rallycross as it presently is, and we’re not going to walk away from that.
"The current formula is a fantastic spectacle and that won’t switch, in the same way that Formula E coming in hasn’t switched Formula 1. Electrified rallycross will not switch what we presently have at the top of World RX.”
Nine months ago, Motorsport.com broke the news that Austrian rock hard STARD, wielded by Manfred Stohl, had created the world’s very first electrified rallycross car.
However, Bellamy remained tight-lipped about the finer details of potential electrical rallycross regulations.