Hybrid systems are expected to be utilised on every stage of World Rally Championship events next year with several strategies on offer to teams, as more details of WRC's hybrid future emerge.
Toyota GR Yaris Hybrid Rally1 - Photo by: Toyota Gazoo Racing
The WRC will usher in new Rally1 regulations next year which will see all-new faster cars constructed with a plug-in 100kW hybrid system and a much tougher safety cell to protect the driver and co-driver.
Introducing hybrid to the WRC has been a key part in ensuring Toyota, Hyundai and Ford, through M-Sport, will remain in the series for the next three years. All three outfits have been testing their new cars, complete with the Compact Dynamics-designed hybrid system, in recent weeks.
Teams have been given outlines as to how t...
Redbull has unveiled its set of 8 drivers to compete in the upcoming FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) calendar after a 19-year absence. The championship is slated for 24th – 27th June, 2021.
Fresh off his WRC victory in Italy, the current Championship points leader Sebastien Ogier spoke about his preparations for the upcoming Safari Rally. He shared inspiration with young rally drivers in Kenya in a virtual meet-up event presented by Red Bull.
In addition to Sebastien Ogier, international drivers competing in the Safari backed by Red Bull include 2021 title challengers Elfyn Evans for Toyota GR and Thierry Neuville for Hyundai. Japan’s Takamoto Katsuta for Toyota GR, Kalle Rovanpera for Toyota GR, Dani Sordo for Hyundai and Adrien Fourmaux for M-Sport Ford complete the lineup ...
Rose Wachuka, the Chief of Staff at Kenya's Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage, speaks during an interview in Nairobi, Kenya.
The Kenyan Safari Rally will make its much-anticipated return to the World Rally Championship (WRC) calendar in less than three weeks' time after last year's edition was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The event, which will take place in the scenic town of Naivasha in Nakuru County, was restored to the WRC calendar following an intensive campaign led by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Members of the motorsports fraternity and other stakeholders are buzzing ahead of the start of the event and according to Rose Wachuka, the Chief of Staff at the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage, it is a "moment of pride" for the East African na...
After a dominant display from Hyundai’s Ott Tänak and Dani Sordo fell to disaster, Sébastien Ogier rose to the top to lead a Toyota Gazoo Racing 1-2 and win the Rally Italia Sardegna. The result sees the reigning champion extend his lead in the standings to 11 points over Elfyn Evans, who finished the rally 46 seconds behind in a distant second. After five of the FIA World Rally Championship’s 12 events this year, Belgian Thierry Neuville is secured in third in the standings, 28 points ahead of his teammate Tänak and 18 points behind Evans. The Belgian also took third place in the rally, just over a minute behind winner Ogier.
Toyota will be delighted, as they now hold the top two positions in the driver’s standings and to...
Ott Tänak retired from the lead at Rally Italia Sardegna after swiping a rock in Saturday morning’s final speed test.
The Estonian had dominated this fifth round of the FIA World Rally Championship since Friday morning’s start and entered the second pass of the Lerno – Monti di Ala’ test with a comfortable 40.6sec advantage over Sébastien Ogier.
He struck a rock on the inside of a left bend 8.9km into the 22.08km stage and quickly parked his Hyundai i20 World Rally Car with what appeared to be shattered rear suspension.
It’s the second successive rally from which Tänak has retired whilst leading after suffering similar heartbreak in Portugal last month.
Tänak's rally comes to end
His demise left championship leader Ogier 17.5sec clear of Dani Sordo as competitors return...
Mattias Ekström, Emil Bergkvist, Carlos Sainz, Lucas Cruz, Stéphane Peterhansel, Edouard Boulanger
Audi has announced an all-star line-up comprising Stephane Peterhansel, Carlos Sainz and Mattias Ekstrom for its entry into the Dakar Rally in 2022 with an electric car.
Both 14-time winner Peterhansel and triple champion Sainz have been poached from the successful Mini squad run by X-raid, while Ekstrom has been a part of Audi fold for almost the entirety of his professional motorsport career.
The trio will be responsible for developing and testing the electric 4x4 prototype that Audi has been designing for more than a year in collaboration with Q Motorsport, led by X-raid boss Sven Quandt.
The car does drive on electric power, but the battery is recharged by a combustion engine...
Sebastien Loeb has announced Fabian Lurquin as his new co-driver for the 2022 Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia.
Xavier de Soultrait – a starter of the Dakar on six occasions – was also in the frame for the seat.
Loeb said that Lurquin’s experience of rally raid and his knowledge of its inner workings is what “convinced” him.
Both men were asked along to a private test in Dubai earlier this month to help Loeb’s decision making.
Sharing the news via his official Twitter page, Loeb posted: “After several weeks of exchanges, and tests with specialist and experienced rally raid co-drivers, my choice is finally to go with Fabian Lurquin.
“His approach to the race, and his experience of the terrain convinced me. The unveiling of the 2022 Dakar route last week, where navigation will...
Rally Sardinia leader Ott Tanak says he was “quite lucky” after a tyre scare threatened to hamper his run through the final stage of the day.
The Hyundai driver had been imperious for the majority of Friday, winning five of the eight stages to build up a 19.4s lead over team-mate Dani Sordo, with Toyota’s Sebastian Ogier 36.2s back in third.
However, the Estonian suffered a Pirelli tyre delamination towards the end of the second run through the 14.97km Erula-Tula stage. Tanak finished 5.6s behind team-mates Sordo and Thierry Neuville, who posted identical times to top the stage.
The Estonian admitted it was lucky the tyre drama struck on a slow section of the stage, revealing that these issues are always “a bit scary” to manage.
“Apart from the last stage with the tyre iss...
Elfyn Evans is yet to set a timeframe on securing his World Rally Championship future but is happy at Toyota and will begin to look at his 2022 plans soon.
Last year’s WRC runner-up has remerged as a key player in the championship’s silly season now Thierry Neuville and 2019 WRC champion Ott Tanak have put pen to paper on new deals at Hyundai.
Toyota is keen to retain Evans who would be likely to secure the number one driver status in the team next year should Sebastien Ogier reduce his WRC commitments to a partial campaign as the WRC ushers in new hybrid Rally1 regulations for next year.
It is also expected that Kalle Rovanpera will be retained by Toyota.
However, M-Sport is also looking for a team leader for 2022, with Evans, who drove for the British team from 2013 to 2...
Oliver Solberg is expected to receive another top flight WRC run this year with Hyundai Motorsport after COVID-19 protocols forced him to withdraw from this weekend’s Rally Sardegna.
Solberg, the son of 2003 WRC champion Petter, was set to make second outing in a WRC spec Hyundai i20 in Italy before his father contracted COVID-19, forcing Oliver to spend 14 days in hotel quarantine in Porto as per WRC COVID-19 regulations.
The 19-year-old had impressed on his full WRC debut with Hyundai in February, finishing seventh in Arctic Rally Finland.
Although an event is yet to be locked in, Hyundai boss Andrea Adamo confirmed to Autosport that the team plans to reschedule another WRC outing for Solberg.
“Yeah, step by step we will see what the situation will be,” Adamo tol...
The organising team behind Safari Rally Kenya has been preparing the roads for its WRC return next month.
The June 24 - 27 event is back on the FIA World Rally Championship calendar after a 19-year absence. It was regarded as one of motorsport’s most prestigious and celebrated events of its time before it departed the series in 2002.
Following a successful dress rehearsal at the ARC Equator Rally in April - which featured some of the same stages that will be used in June - organisers have been busy preparing the roads.
To ensure stages are in optimum condition when teams arrive, work has been carried out to define the rally route. The tracks have been graded, and earth bunds have been built on the inside of corners.
“The stages are very fast in places,” explained a ...
Sebastien Ogier says it is “my wish to stay” with Toyota long-term after his full-time WRC career ends, with the reigning World Rally champion eyeing up other motorsport challenges.
Ogier will heavily scale back his WRC involvement at the end of this season, having made his WRC debut back in 2008 and collected seven world titles.
The Frenchman does intend to put together a partial programme in 2022 when the new Rally1 regulations come into effect, with Toyota his first choice.
Although it is yet to be seen how many appearances Ogier will make, Rally Monte Carlo appears to be a certainty, and last January he won his home round for a record-extending eighth time.
“About rallies, it is true that I’m not closing the door to still do some rallies maybe, but so far the only one ...