The FIA has announced that the planned introduction of electric cars to the top class of the World Rallycross Championship has been delayed by a year to 2022.
The decision, brought about by complications from the global coronavirus pandemic, mirrors the similar decision to postpone Formula 1’s planned regulations overhaul for 2021 by a year.
World RX’s delay was approved earlier today in an electronic vote with the full support of World RX promoter IMG, electrification kit supplier Kreisel and GCK Energy, the approved supplier of energy for the electric World RX concept.
“While the current situation has made it necessary to defer the switch to electric by one year to allow competitors further time to adapt and to invest, the FIA remains committed to a new horizon for World RX,” said FIA president Jean Todt.
“This will create the most cost effective environment and demonstrate the rapidly developing performance capabilities of electric road cars in this FIA championship.”
While the introduction of electric cars to World RX’s premier class has been put back again, the series is still aiming to start a battery-powered junior category in 2021.
An electric switch has been a long-term aim for World RX. The original intention – which did not make it as far as a firm rules package – was for that move to happen this year.
“We support the decision to delay the introduction of electric rallycross to the world championship until 2022,” said Paul Bellamy, senior vice president of motorsports events at IMG.
“At this stage, plans for the new FIA eRX Junior championship remain unaffected by this decision and work towards the electrification of this category will continue for 2021, with a complete car supply and championship organisation on an all-inclusive arrive and drive format.
“While together with the FIA, teams and partners we are committed to an electric future for rallycross, we believe it is prudent to focus on health and well-being during these challenging and uncertain times.”
The eRX category is intended to effectively replace RX2 which uses the Olsbergs-built Supercar Lites chassis, while World RX is still set to introduce the all-electric Projekt E support category this season, once racing commences.
From 2022, electric rallycross cars will compete alongside more traditional Supercars, with the petrol powered cars being phased out over the next few years. European Supercars and Super 1600 meanwhile will remain combustion-powered for the foreseeable future.