Hybrids or electric power “at least five years away” for World Rally Championship
Alternative technology in the World Rally Championship remains at least five years away, according to FIA rally director Jarmo Mahonen.
The FIA has begun investigating ways to incorporate hybrid or electric cars in the championship, but the governing body is keen to offer manufacturers five years’ stability before major regulatory upheaval is introduced.
“We have had internal meetings about this,” Mahonen told MN. “Now we have to start the discussions about the powertrain: is it electric? What is it? We need to talk to the right people from the manufacturers. The big companies have their strategies and we need to see how can we fit in with these?
“But right now, we need stability, there will be no electric cars for five years.”
Mahonen said he had watched with interest as alternative technology arrived in rallycross, but pointed out that the format of short races leant itself perfectly to RX.
“I have seen the discussions in RX, but it’s much easier for them,” he said. “Rallying is, for sure, one of the hardest disciplines to become electric or hybrid. One option could be to use electricity on the road sections between the stages and then use the engine in the stages. We need to talk about this, but everything can be achieved if we all sit around the table.”