WRC 2022 hybrid testing delayed until next February

The testing window for WRC's new hybrid units has been narrowed to only 11 months

Elfyn Evans and Scott Martin

The FIA has confirmed it doesn’t expect testing of next-generation 2022 Rally1 cars to begin until February next year – a month later than originally planned.

DirtFish outlined the likely delay earlier this month, with the issue centered on what hybrid-supplier Compact Dynamics described as an ‘administration’ issue.

The FIA confirmed its final test for the safety cell – the new cell which will be common to all Rally1 cars from 2022 – was imminent and was expected to be signed off at December’s meeting of the World Motor Sport Council.

Talking about the introduction of the new generation of cars, the FIA stated: “Testing of development prototype Rally1 cars is expected to begin in February 2021. They will feature a 100-kilowatt hybrid system deployable throughout the stage or designed to power the car on-road sections.

“The final Rally1 technical regulations approved by the FIA World Motor Sport Council give details of further safety features that will be incorporated into the cars competing in the top tier of the FIA World Rally Championship from 2022.”

Adding further detail to news of the safety cell, the FIA added: “A secondary hoop will be built into the safety cell behind the driver and co-driver to further increase the roll resistance, while more material will be fitted into the door bars to provide additional protection in the event of a side impact.

In addition, engine regulations have been clarified for the WRC’s new era. The fresh air valve will be removed from the anti-lag system with the intention of simplifying the rules and reducing costs.”

The FIA also confirmed the use of two engines – rather than three – per crew next season. With a 12-event schedule provisionally in place for 2021, that means each engine must last six rallies, a slight increase compared to the 2020 rules despite fewer events compared to this year’s original calendar.

Words:David Evans

Photography:JaanusRee / Red Bull Content Pool