Triple World Rallycross Champion Johan Kristoffersson fears the electric future of the category will not be sustainable without the increased support of manufacturers.
Manufacturer involvement played a big part in both of Kristoffersson’s World RX titles in 2017 and 2018, with Volkswagen providing quasi-factory support to the PSRX team.
Audi offered a similar program to help Mattias Ekström claim the 2016 title, while Peugeot teamed up with Team Hansen before pulling the plug at the end of 2018 along with Volkswagen.
As it stands, World RX will introduce electric cars in the top RX1 class in 2022, but Kristoffersson believes that gaining the support of manufacturers is key to ensuring its longevity.
“I think it is a good thing to go this way, even though there are pluses and minuses to it, but if you want the best drivers in [electric] rallycross, then you need manufacturers to be part of it too,” Kristoffersson told DirtFish.
“We need the infrastructure which draws the big drivers to the sport because if there is no budget and manufacturers within the sport, then there is no money to pay the drivers to come.
“That would mean going more or less back to family-run teams and the cars would be run completely differently and it will not be at the top level of world rallycross in my opinion.”
Austrian company Kreisel will offer electric conversion kits for current World RX Supercars for around $352,000, with a further $117,000 of support available on top.
Kristoffersson is worried that family-run teams like his own Kristoffersson Motorsport, which ran him to this year’s title, and Team Hansen may be priced out of electric rallycross if quasi-factory partnerships do not return.
“It’s all about [manufacturers],” Kristoffersson added.
“To have the championship run as a world championship, it is impossible to do it without manufacturers.
“That’s what it takes to have rallycross at the highest level. Without them, for a team like us at KMS or Hansen, it would be impossible for us to run the cars without the support of the manufacturers, especially if it’s going to go electric.”
Despite the uncertainty over the eventual adoption of electric at the top level, Kristoffersson was impressed by the performance of the RX2e car, which he tested last month.
“As it’s still quite early [in the development of the RX2e car], they couldn’t give me the full power of the car but even so, I came into it quite quickly,” Kristoffersson explained.
“I started by just doing some turns and then did some laps and I didn’t really think about it being something different to what I normally drive.
“The only difference between the RX2e and a regular RX2 is the regeneration of the energy. You can bias it differently from front to rear, so you can play with that a bit more.
“The weight distribution is also a bit different too, the normal RX2 is like a Porsche with the weight at the rear. The RX2e is more like 50/50 and the supercar is more 60/40 front to rear. It’s different but you just have to adapt.”