Clear roadmap “crucial” for World RX electric switch: Kristoffersson

Double world champion says electric future is inevitable, but more stability on the timeline is needed from new promoter


World Rallycross Championship points leader Johan Kristoffersson believes a clear roadmap from the category’s new promoter is needed before it makes the full-time switch to electric cars.

World RX had been set to run electric cars alongside the current generation of Supercars from next year , but that decision was deferred to 2022 following a World Motor Sport Council e-vote in April.

The STARD-conceived Projekt E series ran on the support bill of World RX in selected rounds this season, while veteran team Olsbergs MSE is behind the all-electric RX2e feeder series for 2021 alongside QEV. The recently announced Supercharge category is the latest electric rallycross-inspired series to be created.

Kristoffersson says that while there is a willingness to embrace the electric future in the sport, a clearer direction on how and when it is adopted is required.

“It looks like the future of motorsport will be electric, and rallycross is the perfect place for electric because of the format,” Kristoffersson told DirtFish.

“Things need to be a little bit clearer about what exactly is going to happen with electric, which way we are taking and then try to join forces.

“I think the best way forward is to make one good electric regulation that we should follow and try to make the best out of that.

“Then you can try to make it a world championship because if you get too many electric series, I think it’s going to be difficult for the teams to choose where to go and what to put the money into.”


Photo: World RX Media

IMG held the rights to the promotion of World RX before ending its association last month, with the new-for-2020 all-electric Projekt E series also coming under the company’s remit alongside powertrain kit providers STARD.

With IMG out of the picture for the future, World RX is currently looking for a new promoter, while it is understood that Supercharge will be run by former Head of Motorsport at IMG, Rob Armstrong.

When asked by DirtFish whether he felt 2022 was too early to incorporate electric cars at the top level, Kristoffersson said that securing a new promoter should be the primary focus, at least in the short-term.

“Electric is clearly something which is of interest to rallycross which is why it keeps getting talked about left and right, but it would be good if people could pull in the right direction,” Kristofferson added.

“It’s crucial that there is an electric regulation that everyone can work on. Something to say: ‘OK, this is the regulation, this is what we’re going to do, and this is the promoter who will run it’ so that people have something to work with.

“I cannot go to Volkswagen and tell them World RX is going electric without knowing what the engine is going to be, what battery pack it’s going to be.

“Nothing will happen that way, so that is the most crucial part, once we get [a new promoter] that, then we can put a year on when we are going to start with electric.”


Photo: World RX Media

While it remains unclear exactly when electric will be adopted full-time in RX1, Kristoffersson has a clear view on how he wants the cars to be like, with a degree of “showbiz” the main goal.

“When we finally go electric, I think the cars need to at least be as fast as the current supercars, if not faster,” the Swede explained.

“To keep the fans and to bring new ones in, everything needs to be a little bit extraordinary because if it is going to be something similar but without the noise of the current cars, it might be a bit boring.

“I also think the cars should be difficult to drive and that you have to make the difference as a driver. Maybe we have wider tires, more power might be the way to do it.

“And then around the start, where we have the anti-lag now, there can be something else like music or something to make it more exciting. I don’t say that we should go like the US and a “full-on showbiz” format but we need a touch of that to engage the fans I think.”