WRC engine allowance set to be reduced in 2022

Proposal would limit three-car teams to two engines per entry for full season

Rally Sweden service

The World Rally Championship’s 2022 new dawn is set to deliver radically revised engine-use regulations as the FIA seeks to drive down the costs of competing at rallying’s highest level.

As DirtFish reported last week, the Global Race Engine will be retained over a cheaper Rally2-based alternative for 2022 and, in an effort to offset those costs, the manufacturers will be permitted to build and use fewer engines each season.

Currently the teams are permitted nine engines each season – three per car for a three-car team.

The new target is to reduce that by a third, offering a three-car team just two engines per car each season, with two-car teams also allowed two engines per car.

Each driver is permitted one extra engine for one event each in the season if they can demonstrate a genuine fault with the existing motor to the FIA.

Previously, a fourth engine has been allowed for each car, but the only justification for using it was the car wasn’t classified in the powerstage results.

One senior source in the championship said the reduction in engine supply wouldn’t come easy for the teams.

“They will find it challenging,” said the source. “These are only targets right now. Obviously, we need to understand how the reliability will play out with the new engines and make a firm plan after that, but six [for a three-car team] and two [for a two-car team] is what we’re looking at.

“This will bring some serious pressure to the teams to make sure everything is absolutely 100%.”

Asked what a current engine could do, one team member told DirtFish: “We’re looking at an engine doing around 3000 kilometers [1864 miles]. We could probably do that with what we’ve got now, but there would need to be a lot more strategy put around the events.

“We see the teams turning the engines up for the powerstage and down if there’s nothing to fight for on a Sunday. We couldn’t really be doing that any more.

“Where this will get interesting is if there’s accident damage to the engine, that kind of thing. It will be a challenge, but it should be a challenge. This is one of the more sensible sides of the regulation change.”

In terms of engine builds alone, such a change could save a three-car team close to €500,000.