Sar­razin will drive new car in anger for the first time in com­pet­i­tive bow

Motor Sport News - - Rally News - By David Evans

ORECA’S new R4 rally car will run in pub­lic for the first time at the Ral­lye du Var in France at the end of the month with Stephane Sar­razin be­hind the wheel.

The R4 kit, which is fit­ted to a Toy­ota Etios – a car only sold in South Amer­ica and In­dia – has com­pleted an ini­tial test pro­gramme of close to 1500 miles on gravel in Italy and as­phalt in the south of France.

The FIA con­firmed ORECA as the sole sup­plier of the R4 kits last year and the French team has two orders al­ready.

ORECA tech­ni­cal chief Matthieu Bas­sou told MN: “We want to take the car to the Ral­lye du Var to show peo­ple where we are with it and what the car can do.”

Bas­sou is also keen to dis­arm peo­ple of the opin­ion that the R4 is meant as a bud­get R5 car. “It’s not that at all,” he said. “The kit for R4 will cost €108,000 (£95,500) and if you work with a tuner who is build­ing a num­ber of R4 cars, we think it will be pos­si­ble to have the com­plete car for around €160,000 (£141,500).

“We know that this will be the price of some sec­ond-hand R5 cars, this is not where the aim is for the R4. The R4 car is aimed at the FIA’S Re­gional Rally Cham­pi­onships and at na­tional se­ries around the world.

“If you want to make an R4 car and run it in Monte Carlo, you can’t – the car is only al­lowed on WRC rounds out­side of Europe next sea­son. I don’t think we will see it reg­u­larly in the WRC un­til 2020, but, like I said, the pri­or­ity is for the re­gions like South Amer­ica – we’ve al­ready had strong in­ter­est from there.”

ORECA’S R4 kit in­cludes an en­gine, gear­box, run­ning gear, some sus­pen­sion and a fuel tank.

“There’s a very wide va­ri­ety of cars which will take the kit,” said Bas­sou, “the small­est we have imag­ined is the Fiat 500 and the big­gest is the Subaru [Im­preza]. We have the Etios as our car, but it re­ally doesn’t mat­ter what it is.”

Sar­razin has un­der­taken much of the de­vel­op­ment test­ing and will drive the R4 in Var.

“It’s a great car to drive,” said Sar­razin. “It’s very re­ac­tive and so ef­fi­cient on gravel and as­phalt. OK, the en­gine is a bit down, but it’s a stan­dard Peu­geot 308 GTI en­gine. Be­cause of that, it will be slower than the R5, we know this, but this is a good com­pro­mise be­cause this is cheaper to buy and to run for the guys mak­ing the step from R2. We’ll know more about where the car is af­ter Var.”

Pho­tos:red Bull Con­tent Pool, FIA ERC

Toy­ota-shelled ma­chine has tested

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.