The 1mm change to transform rallying’s most relevant car

The turbo restrictor size is being increased, which should result in a significant hike in bhp


There’s a case for arguing that M-Sport’s Ford Fiesta Rally3 is the most relevant car in the world of rallying right now. And if it wasn’t, it certainly is now.

Or it will be, providing the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council ratifies a millimeter increase in Rally3 turbo restrictor size. Giving the Fiesta Rally3 – or any other Rally3 car – a 31mm restrictor would mean a hike in power to 235bhp from just over 200bhp.

In terms of torque, it’s an increase from 400Nm to 425Nm. That, combined with four-wheel drive, makes Rally3 more attractive (and relevant) than ever. Potentially.

The driver in this move is to bridge the gap between Rally2 and Rally4. With a Rally2 car knocking on the door of 300bhp, the power differential was felt too significant to help prepare next year’s Junior WRC graduates for the next step.


M-Sport Poland managing director Maciej Woda told DirtFish: “I’m really pleased to confirm we are increasing the size of the restrictor for the Fiesta Rally3, so far the car has been great but it hasn’t quite been in the middle of Rally2 and Rally4.

“We have been working really hard together with the FIA to address this balance and I think we have now found a good middle ground.

“I just have to point out that the increase in restrictor size is still subject to being passed by the FIA World Motorsport Council. We need to remember Rally3 is a totally new category with no previous category to base performance on, so I think steps like this are only natural given we are all learning.

“It does highlight that there is a real effort from FIA to make sure the Rally3 category is in the right position for its intended users.”

But most relevant car in the world of rallying? What about the ground-breaking hybrid Rally1 car? Yes, that’s important too, but that’s the top of the pyramid.

Rally3 is about an ever-widening middle section of the pyramid. Budget-minded as they are – selling for €100,000 ($113,000)– once we start to see these 31mm restricted Rally3 cars coming through into the second-hand market then, as a sport, we’ll really begin to see the benefit.

Words:David Evans