ARA’s O4WD class to move closer to Rally2 for 2023

The cars Travis Pastrana, Ken Block and Barry McKenna currently drive won't be legal next year

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The American Rally Association presented by DirtFish National championship will introduce new technical regulations for the 2023 season, aligning the Open 4WD class closer to Rally2 vehicles.

The ARA has experienced a real growth in popularity in recent years and has welcomed two lightly modified World Rally Cars over the past 12 months – firstly Barry McKenna’s Ford Fiesta WRC and then, this year, Ken Block’s Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC.

Subaru Motorsports USA has long competed at the front of US rallying with a highly-developed WRX STI model too, but all three of these cars will be outlawed from next season.

Instead the series is aiming to simplify the O4WD class in order to expand competition and have more teams fighting for overall wins and championships.

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Those changes will apply to several areas, including but not limited to overall bodywork, aerodynamics, engine and driveline, and chassis.

The modifications are part of the series’ commitment to reduce overall development and build costs while allowing for a larger variety of vehicles to compete at the top level, including the series expansion of the RC2 class.

“Many of the changes you will see center around bodywork design and bringing them closer to production-based bodies and more in line to that of the Rally2 cars that compete on a global stage,” said ARA competition director Preston Osborn.

“Additionally, we are lowering the restrictor size of the O4WD class to 33mm to normalize the power to weight ratio when compared to the R5 and Rally2 cars.”

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The series has released a set of guidelines to assist competitors in modifications to new and existing cars in the O4WD class for the 2023 season.

Series officials will continue to work closely with teams, manufacturers and industry experts to finalize the class rules for distribution this summer.

The guidelines can be found on the ARA website here.

If there are specific questions, competitors are asked to reach out to ARA technical director Doug Nagy (