WRC Safari excitement grows as 2022 awaits new cars


NAIROBI, Kenya, January 3 – With the 2021 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) finished and dusted off, the ensuing two-month hiatus heralds a period of activity, anticipation and excitement for teams and the purists.

Certainly, the WRC is set to undergo significant environmental changes in 2022 when a portfolio of new technical regulations lead the series to a more sustainable future.

The new seasons highlight the eligibility conditions for crews participating in events which will be simplified and streamlined in a system called the “FIA Rally Pyramid”.

The next level of sport will now be known as “Rally1” which is the WRC car.

The second level will be “Rally2” (the old R5) which will be intended for constructor teams and independent professional teams of the World Rally Championship-2.

Rally 3 is a new class to replace N4 while Rally 4 is the old modified R2, 2WD car.

A Rally 5 is a cheaper class of 2WD cars for beginners.

Sebastian Ogier takes on the Kasarani Super Special at the opening of the WRC Safari Rally

Rally1 will also introduce hybrid transmissions to the sport for the first time. This will take the form of an electric motor producing 100 kW (134.1 hp) mounted on the current 1.6L turbocharged inline-4 engine and is to be used to power the car when traveling through service parks. and in urban areas when driving between stages.

Drivers will be free to use the electric motor to provide additional power when competing in a stage, with the FIA ​​dictating how much power can be used and how long a driver can deploy it.

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-Hybrid system-

The hybrid system and the software governing its use will be standardized for three years to reduce competitive costs.

The system will be supplied by Compact Dynamics, a subsidiary of supplier Schaeffler of the Formula E Audi Sport ABT team.

The championship will also introduce a standardized safety structure with the aim of improving safety standards. This will coincide with the rewriting of homologation requirements to allow teams to fit into a scale chassis based on production cars rather than having to adapt a chassis to fit a road model.

Specific link sections in which the Rallye1 competitors must ride in all-electric mode will be introduced in the championship.

We asked Safari Rally Technical Delegate Musa Locho what hybrid technology entails, and here is his explanation: “A hybrid vehicle is a car that uses two or more separate energy sources to power the car. With the WRC, they will use a combination of an electric power battery and 100% fossil-free fuel. The different energies alternate harmoniously to avoid any inconvenience or loss of power when driving.

Some of the cars and drivers that will participate in the WRC Safari Rally. PHOTO / PSCU

Locho continued, “The motorsport industry has always been of great value in complementing the research and development of the automotive industry. Most of the technologies we see on our street cars are the result of this investment in research and development (R&D).

–Electric zones only compulsory in the hybrid era–

Specific link sections that top-level competitors must drive in fully electric mode will be mandatory during next season’s FIA World Rally Championship. Designated areas near service parks and ceremonial start areas will be highlighted in the roadbook for all rounds of 2022. Rally 1 crews must travel with them in their new era plug-in hybrid cars in format electric.

–Rally3–

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The technical changes also reveal that the “Rally3” will be reserved for private crews and “gentlemen driver” participating in the World Rally Championship-3.

The “Rally4” and “Rally5” entries will not compete in their own dedicated championship, but rather serve as a transition category aimed at making the move from R2 to R5 more manageable by allowing the R2 entries to be fitted with four-wheel drive.

–2022 CMR–

A total of thirteen rallies following the unveiling of the 2022 FIA World Rally Championship calendar will end with the iconic Monte-Carlo event.

The second round will stop at the All Snow Rally Sweden, where the northern town will provide the kind of icy blast the series needs in what is going to be a true winter classic.

–Rallye Safari Kenya–

Croatia had great WRC success last season and the roads through the hills around Zagreb will provide another great spectacle. Portugal and Italy provide a thin and familiar backbone to the calendar, with Kenya continuing a spectacular follow-up to their stunning comeback last year after a 22-year hiatus.

WRC Safari Rally Kenya 2022 will be the first of three rounds outside of Europe leading up to Rally New Zealand and the closest season in Japan.

The Far East will undoubtedly provide a fitting finale to what is sure to be a first-year thriller for all-new Rally1 hybrid cars.

–Team changes–

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Solberg car

M-Sport is expected to enter the championship with a new car based on the Ford Puma crossover, named Ford Puma Rally1, but the car will continue to use the engine from the Ford Fiesta WRC.

Petter Solberg, 2003 World Drivers’ Champion, has announced his wish to enter a constructor team in the 2022 championship.

Toyota Gazoo Racing team principal Jari-Matti Latvala reveals that the team will be able to field a fifth hybrid-powered GR Yaris WRC Rally1 in the second half of next season. The Finland-based team will start the year with Elfyn Evans and Kalle Rovanperä performing a full program in the main team. The third seat will be shared between world champion Sébastien Ogier and Esapekka Lappi.

–Driver changes–

Craig Breen and Paul Nagle signed a two-year full-time program with M-Sport Ford. They should compete for the British team with the crew of Adrien Fourmaux and Alexandre Coria. Gus Greensmith will also remain with the squad and play a full campaign again.

Breen and Greensmith are the two drivers competing in the entirety of the 2022 WRC, but no decision has yet been made on legend Sébastien Loeb and his compatriot and fellow Red Bull driver Adrien Fourmaux.

According to the Dirtfish website, M-Sport declined to comment on the progress of a possible deal with Loeb for next season. The nine-time champion took part in the M-Sport tests in October and will be eager to strike a deal as soon as possible, as he will be busy later this week with Prodrive in Extreme E before leaving with the team in just over two weeks. for the Dakar rally, reports Dirtfish.

Hyundai has chosen the crew of Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja and Thierry Neuville and Martijn Wydaeghe as their two full-time competitors.

Oliver Solberg is expected to join the Hyundai manufacturer’s team to share the third car with the crew led by Dani Sordo. Sordo has announced that he will retire from the sport after the season, ending his seventeen-year WRC career.

Photo / MINTI MOTORSPORT

WRC 2022 CALENDAR

1- January 20 January 23 Rallye Automobile Monte Carlo Monte Carlo, Monaco 301.41 km

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2- February 24 February 27 Sweden Rally Umeå, Västerbotten County SNOW

3- April 21 April 24 Croatia Rally Zagreb, city in the region of Zagreb Tarmac

May 4- 19 May 22 Portugal Rally de Portugal Matosinhos, Porto GRAVEL

5- 2 June 5 June Rallye d’Italie Sardegna Alghero, Sardinia GRAVEL

6- 23 June 26 June Kenya Safari Rally Kenya – Nairobi County Gravel

July 7-14 July 17 Rally Estonia Tartu, Tartu County GRAVEL

August 8- August 7 Rally Finland- Jyväskylä, Central Finland GRAVEL

August 9-18 August 21 TBA TARMAC

September 10-8 September 11 Acropolis Rally Greece- Lamia, Central Greece GRAVEL

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September 11-29 October 2 Rally New Zealand, Auckland region GRAVEL

October 12- 20 October 23 Spain RACC Rally Catalunya de España Salou, Catalonia TARMAC

November 13-10 November 13 Japan Rally Japan Nagoya, Chūbu Region TARMAC

TEAMS

M-SPORT FORD WRT

Ford Puma Rally1

France Adrien Fourmaux / France Alexandre CoriaR

Republic of Ireland Craig Breen / Republic of Ireland Paul Nagle

United Kingdom Gus Greensmith / TBD

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HYUNDAI SOUTH KOREA HYUNDAI SHELL MOBIS WRT

Hyundai i20 N Rallye1

Sweden Oliver Solberg / TBD

Spain Dani Sordo / Spain Cándido Carrera

Estonia Ott Tänak / Estonia Martin Järveoja

Belgium Thierry Neuville / Belgium Martijn Wydaeghe

TOYOTA GAZOO RACING WRT

Toyota GR Yaris Rallye1

Finland Esapekka Lappi / Finland Janne Ferm

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France Sébastien Ogier / France Benjamin Veillas

United Kingdom Elfyn Evans / United Kingdom Scott Martin

Finland Kalle Rovanperä / Finland Jonne Halttunen

Japan Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Next Generation

Toyota GR Yaris Rallye1

Japan Takamoto Katsuta / Republic of Ireland Aaron Johnston

2022 FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP

Support Series Championships:

FIA-2 World Rally Championship

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FIA-3 World Rally Championship

FIA World Junior Rally Championship

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