Matton: One more manufacturer could sign up to WRC's new rules

One more manufacturer could sign up to the World Rally Championship’s new hybrid era during the initial three-year rules cycle, according to FIA rally director Yves Matton.

Matton: One more manufacturer could sign up to WRC's new rules

From 2022 onwards, the 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine used by the current generation of World Rally Car will be carried over and paired to an electric motor supplied by Compact Dynamics.

The hybrid element was outsourced to the German company, after it won an invitation to tender in March of last year, in an attempt to cap costs and ensure parity across the WRC’s service park.

The new rules were intended to be more attractive to prospective manufacturers but Matton admits a new marque won't join for the 2022 campaign, citing the COVID-19 health pandemic and the associated economic upheaval as a principal reason.

“The Rally1 regulations were written with a view to making the new regulations as accessible as possible," Matton told Autosport.

"This is one of the key pillars of development: sustainability, safety, accessibility.

“There is no doubt that the pandemic has forced many people to adjust their plans – but we are confident that the regulations are designed to enable more manufacturers around the globe to consider this as a great way to develop a brand.

"There could be one more manufacturer before the end of the next homologation cycle, but it won’t be in 2022."

Two of the WRC’s teams have publicly committed to staying in the series until the end of 2024, at which point the latest set of regulations come before the WRC’s stakeholders and FIA for review.

Ott Tänak (EST), Hyundai World Rally Team, Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC 2021 Arctic Rally

Ott Tänak (EST), Hyundai World Rally Team, Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC 2021 Arctic Rally

Photo by: McKlein / Motorsport Images

After returning to the top flight of rallying back in 2017, Toyota Gazoo Racing has given its full support to the upcoming hybrid era, while M-Sport is set to continue its long association with Ford in the series.

Both are hard at work developing their new Rally1 cars, which adopt elements of the transmission and suspension found on Rally2 machines.

Hyundai Motorsport has yet to make its intentions clear, although team principal Andrea Adamo said recently that he is “optimistic” about the manufacturer committing to the new rules – comments that have been welcomed by Matton.

“Hyundai is a key part of the World Rally Championship now – they’ve established themselves as strong competitors and they are a valuable part of the World Rally Championship story,” Matton pointed out.

“I am also confident that we will be able to secure all three manufacturers for 2022.

“Introducing the hybrid car was key to getting the manufacturers’ commitment for 2022. We will communicate more about this in the near future."

shares
comments
Solberg focused on WRC2 title despite impressive WRC debut
Previous article

Solberg focused on WRC2 title despite impressive WRC debut

Next article

UK "definitely has its place" on future WRC schedules - Matton

UK "definitely has its place" on future WRC schedules - Matton
How Tanak turned the tables to deliver Hyundai a timely WRC triumph Plus

How Tanak turned the tables to deliver Hyundai a timely WRC triumph

The 2019 champion has been a bit-part player recently, but Ott Tanak ended a 15-month drought in fine style with a dominant win in Sardinia. On a weekend when championship leader Kalle Rovanpera struggled with cleaning the road, his Hyundai rival has made his belated arrival into the title race and given cause for those predicting a walkover from the Toyota star to pause

WRC
Jun 6, 2022
How Rovanpera overcame rallying royalty in Portugal to extend his WRC lead Plus

How Rovanpera overcame rallying royalty in Portugal to extend his WRC lead

Although the Rally Portugal entry list featured World Rally Championship royalty in Sebastiens Loeb and Ogier, victory was secured by rallying's rising star in Kalle Rovanpera. Here's the story of his 2022 hat-trick, as his key rivals faltered among the gravel and asphalt ahead of them

WRC
May 23, 2022
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