Back to the roots! Hybrids out!

Based on the FIA World Motor Sport Council meeting held on, 28 February 2024. It’s a rainy day for the petrol heads. The introduction of Hybrids in the WRC rally 1 car categories in 2022 introduced an era that was not very much welcomed by the petrol heads. The raw sound of machine parts rubbing on each other with that loud exhaust was something that looked like was gone.

Now it’s a good feeling knowing that we don’t have to wait for a green light to aid a crew when need arises. Before introduction of these hybrids, we saw a number of crews over turn and funs rushed in to their aid without worrying about any incident. However, the introduction of hybrids and its restrictions made this almost impossible. Case in Point of Gus Greensmith in 2022 Safari Rally Kenya where the crew rolled and were stranded in the car for almost 5 minutes, and eventually retiring for the day.

The decision of the Technical Committees to ditch the hybrids is now more than ever much more welcomed among the rally fraternity. Besides getting back our Rawling sounds now we can quickly aid a crew without fear of being shocked, “It was a good Idea to have that WRC fan engagement survey.”

The good news goes on. WRC further decided that private tuners will be allowed to develop rally cars using their own bodywork. “Talk of PROTOs which are currently a favorite in Africa!” Furthermore “Rally2 cars competing on WRC events from 2025 and beyond will have an option to run with a WRC kit consisting of a larger restrictor, a larger exhaust, an optional paddle shift gearbox and a rear wing with the objective of reducing the performance gap between Rally1 and Rally2 cars” I have a feeling that this will see more private teams showing up on the WRC start line to fight for the championship. (

WRC intends to cap the cost of these cars to €400,000 and at the finish parc fermé of a WRC event, WRC manufacturers will be required to make their cars available for purchase. “This must be an exciting day privateers”. In that even with a small budget a crew can reliably go against the WRC1 cars without needing the deep pockets of the manufacturers.

With such recommendations there is no doubt the WRC Working Group, has out done its self. “The future of the FIA World Rally Championship is in Good hands”

We will welcome the WRC electric and Hydrogen fuel technologies categories as and when FIA finds it worthy, but for now the Petrol Heads can celebrate.

The local organizers have also been thought about. FIA now seeks to promote local content in a move where they want the service park set-up to follow a model where are manufacturers allocated locally sourced structures as a working space. This brings new business to local event promoters and yet cuts down the organizers cost.

Until then let’s go to the WRC Safari Rally Kenya ROUND 3 scheduled for THU 28 – SUN 31 MAR 2024 in 23 DAYS from now. There you can watch the crews fight through rocky and rutted tracks amidst an unpredictable weather to make it to that final FF. Good Luck and safe travel!

Pierre-Louis Loubet – Action from WRC Saffari Rally 2023 (Photo Credit WRC Images)

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