WRC teams likely to get more 2022 engine development time

The WRC manufacturers have have had their first hybrid tests delayed, and they could get a reprieve from the FIA

Elfyn Evans

The final homologation date for the 2022 Rally1 engines looks set to be delayed until July 1, with the FIA hosting an e-vote on Monday (January 4).

If the e-vote is passed, the manufacturers would be afforded an additional three months of development on the current engine before the specification is frozen for the following five years.

DirtFish understands the vote gets varying levels of support from the manufacturers, with some closer than others to finalizing the specification of the 2021 unit to be carried forward.

The thinking behind bridging engine regulations from the current cars to their successors coming in 12 months is to avoid manufacturers spending millions on developing a specific engine for the next generation of hybrid-powered cars.

Mating the hybrid components to the 2021 engine is a key aspect of the development of the 2022 cars – but that too has been hit by a delay.

Delivery of the Compact Dynamics-sourced hybrid hardware is understood to have slipped slightly, with week six – the week commencing Monday February 6 – the new target. Initially, the FIA had hoped its single supplier of the electric technology would be distributing parts to the teams at the start of 2021. That moved to the start of February in the second half of last year.

Next year’s cars will provide the final part of the FIA’s pyramid structure in terms of name, with Rally1 cars replacing the World Rally Car nomenclature in 2021.

Rally2, Rally4 and Rally5 are all existing categories, with M-Sport’s Ford Fiesta Rally3 car expected to break cover and kick-start the FIA’s latest four-wheel drive rally car category in the second quarter of this year.

Words:David Evans

Photos:Mahmut Cinci / Red Bull Content Pool