Reigning World Rally champion Ott Tänak believes the speeds of the current generation of World Rally Cars can be maintained in the future with simpler vehicles.
Since 2017, the WRC has used aero-heavy cars weighing 1190kg and equipped with 1.6-liter turbocharged engines. Those engines, introduced back in 2011, will continue to serve as the basis of the new hybrid-incorporating Rally1 ruleset the world championship’s top class plans to bring in by the 2022 season.
The financial implications of the current coronavirus pandemic has led to some in the service park questioning whether the timing of the new ruleset, and its technical requirements, is still appropriate.
In DirtFish Debates, Tänak was asked about the WRC’s future and what the importance of being in the fastest machinery is to top-level drivers.
“More competition with fast cars sounds good,” said Tänak.
“It’s kind of the time that I’m pretty sure if you do well you can still keep the fast cars. They can be maybe a bit more difficult to drive, maybe a bit so-and-so here and there that it doesn’t need to be all active suspension and things like this. A bit more simple. I don’t really think that it’s too difficult to keep the speeds.”
Tänak is used to winning at speed, with his Rally Finland wins in 2018 and ‘19 in the list of the top 10 fastest WRC rounds of all time.
“OK, it needs to be safe, but it just needs to be simple. Even if sometimes the cars are more complicated to drive, they can still be very spectacular.”
It’s not just the simplicity of the cars on Tänak’s mind, with the Hyundai driver also sharing his thoughts on other cost-saving measures for the WRC’s future.
“It’s not only the car and the regulation and the cost of running the car, it’s also many other things. It’s running the team to the races, it’s the way how the race has been built up, it can be a lot more efficient. All these things.”