Evans: Poor hybrid management could have "massive effect" on WRC stage times

Elfyn Evans believes managing the hybrid power correctly will have a “massive effect” on stage times at some World Rally Championship events this year.

Evans: Poor hybrid management could have "massive effect" on WRC stage times

The WRC will embrace hybrid technology for the first time this season as part of new sweeping Rally1 regulations set to make their debut at the Monte Carlo Rally later this month.

The introduction of hybrid power will present drivers with extra power boosts to be used on each stage, resulting in all-new cars being capable of producing 500 horsepower in short bursts.

The addition of a mandatory Compact Dynamics 100kW hybrid unit to each car has made the machines heavier than their predecessors, while the new Rally1 rules include a tougher safety cell, reduction in aero and suspension travel and the removal of the centre differential. A sequential gearshift has been introduced to replace paddle shift.

However, the extra 130bhp hybrid power is the biggest of the changes, requiring drivers to regenerate power through the stages under braking to receive power boosts that are initiated by using the throttle, and end once the foot comes off the pedal.

Drivers will only receive boosts during the stages if they can regenerate 30 kilojoules of energy under braking to create what is known as a “valid regen”, while the amount of extra power available is determined by the FIA, the nature of the stage and its length.

Capped by the FIA, each driver will start every stage with the battery at 80% with the aim of ending the stage with a state of charge of 30%. The battery will return to around 80% through regeneration on the road section before the next stage.

Heading into Monte Carlo drivers and teams are still understanding the full potential of the system, but Toyota’s Evans believes managing the hybrid system correctly could prove crucial for stage times at points during the season.

“I think hybrid is something very new that we are all still finding out about,” Evans, the WRC runner-up for the last two seasons, told Autosport.

“What we do know is the amount of deployment we have is controlled by the FIA, and of course if the deployment is at a high level, then that has quite an effect on the acceleration of the car.

“If you generate far less of those accelerations, then your stage time is massively hurt by that.

“The battery at its most powerful is worth over 100 horsepower. You only need a few of those accelerations from slow junctions where you don’t have it, for it to have a massive effect.

“Of course it is critical element of driving, I think it is going to be probably more critical in some event than others.

“If you are racing in a slippery event then it is less crucial, but if you are on dry tarmac you can make full use of that power.”

Elfyn Evans, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota Yaris WRC

Elfyn Evans, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota Yaris WRC

Photo by: McKlein / Motorsport Images

While testing has increased in recent months, Evans says he is still not where “he wants to be” in terms of being comfortable in the new GR Yaris that is significantly different to last year.

“Everything feels very very new and very very different to before. Okay it is still a four wheel drive rally car, but there is still a lot things that are new," he added.

“The whole way the car is working is completely different, and that is even before you consider the hybrid to be honest. There is a lot of new things and a lot of new sensations let’s say on the car and that is something you have to get used to.

“I would say [testing has been] okay. Like always with new cars it is never completely straight forward.

“You never seem to have quite enough time to get through what you need to get through. It is really hard to judge because you have no gauge of where you are.

“Personally I still feel I’m not where I want to be yet, but I’m sure there will be many others in the same position.

“I would consider myself a fussy driver in terms of set up and when things are so new. I appreciate it is going to take some time. I still feel there is some work to do to reach the maximum levels of confidence.”

Read Also:

All teams will conduct a pre-event test in France next week ahead of the Monte Carlo Rally from 20-23 January.

shares
comments

Related video

Tanak confident Hyundai can “fight hard” in 2022 WRC
Previous article

Tanak confident Hyundai can “fight hard” in 2022 WRC

Next article

Hyundai becomes first WRC team to launch 2022 Rally1 car

Hyundai becomes first WRC team to launch 2022 Rally1 car
Load comments
The former WRC star playing the unsung hero role for Rovanpera Plus

The former WRC star playing the unsung hero role for Rovanpera

Kalle Rovanpera’s 2022 World Rally Championship displays have been spectacular, with the Toyota driver benefitting from a secret weapon in his crew to win two of the opening three rallies. But while the former challenger to Sebastien Loeb won’t take credit for his fellow Finn's performances, a key bond has been formed which could prove key to Rovanpera’s title charge

WRC
Apr 29, 2022
How Rovanpera's Croatia turnaround sent a message to his WRC rivals Plus

How Rovanpera's Croatia turnaround sent a message to his WRC rivals

After a dominating Rally Croatia, a wrong tyre choice on the final day looked to have undone all Kalle Rovanpera's hard work and left him with a mountain to climb heading into the power stage. That he emerged the winner all the same has surely quelled any lingering doubts that the Finn is the man to beat in the 2022 WRC

WRC
Apr 25, 2022
How M-Sport's faith in Loubet led to a WRC reprieve after a dismal 2021 Plus

How M-Sport's faith in Loubet led to a WRC reprieve after a dismal 2021

It's fair to say 2021 was a year to forget for Pierre-Louis Loubet. A maiden full World Rally Championship season offered hope but soon turned into a nightmare that ended in hospital, after being hit by a car in a road traffic accident. Now handed a lifeline by M-Sport, the Frenchman is desperate to rebuild his career

WRC
Apr 20, 2022
Why WRC mechanics deserve more respect Plus

Why WRC mechanics deserve more respect

The drivers get the glare of attention, but it’s the mechanics who are key to the operation of any World Rally Championship car. Autosport donned a set of overalls and joined M-Sport on a Belgian national rally event to get an inside look into the trials and tribulations of a rally mechanic

WRC
Apr 17, 2022
The African McRae aiming to become a WRC pioneer Plus

The African McRae aiming to become a WRC pioneer

Taking his first step into the Junior World Rally Championship category, McRae Kimathi - named after 1995 world champion Colin - found himself in the unfamiliar climes of Sweden's snow and ice. Having impressed, Kimathi hopes to blaze a trail to the top level of WRC and help other African drivers to step onto the ladder

WRC
Mar 8, 2022
How Rovanpera grabbed the Rally Sweden spotlight after the Loeb vs Ogier show Plus

How Rovanpera grabbed the Rally Sweden spotlight after the Loeb vs Ogier show

After a blockbuster opening act to the new era of the World Rally Championship with the battle of the Sebastiens at Monte Carlo, Rally Sweden would be the first chance to assess the next superstar of rallying. While teething issues with the new hybrid power thwarted some of the cast, Kalle Rovanpera’s display gave him headline billing

WRC
Feb 28, 2022
The "painful" journey behind the WRC's generational tech innovation Plus

The "painful" journey behind the WRC's generational tech innovation

As the company selected to provide the hybrid kits for the 2022 World Rally Championship, the pressure was on Compact Dynamics at the Monte Carlo season opener. Needing to treat all three manufacturers equally, it wasn't a straightforward process, but its first big test was a resounding success that bodes well for the future

WRC
Feb 25, 2022
The mentality shift key to Lappi’s shot at WRC redemption Plus

The mentality shift key to Lappi’s shot at WRC redemption

He appeared poised to become the World Rally Championship’s new bright young star five years ago, but Esapekka Lappi's fortunes since his 2017 breakthrough win offer a cautionary tale of how the tables can turn. Now having rebuilt his career, the Finn is determined to make the most of his second shot at the big time with Toyota

WRC
Feb 23, 2022