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World Rally Championship secures approval for car revamp

The International Automobile Federation’s (FIA) World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) has given its approval to a new set of technical regulations that could lead to a major revamp of the cars used in the World Rally Championship (WRC).

Although motorsport’s global governing body stopped short of signing off on a firm set of rules regarding the development of cars used in the WRC, it did give the green light to the principles of technical regulations for 2017 onwards.

Once fully approved the new set of regulations will enable WRC teams to develop new-look cars through an aerodynamic package that includes a larger rear wing and engine power of 380bhp, up from the current notional figure of 300bhp. 

Teams will also be able to use cars that are wider in size and 25kg lighter than current models, while electronically controlled centre differentials have been given an initial go-ahead to return to WRC cars.

“There were three main objectives with these regulations: make the car spectacular, be mindful of costs, and maintain, if not increase safety,” FIA technical director Bernard Niclot said. “The cars will be striking, there is no doubt about that, and there are small but always significant improvements in relation to safety.”

If the FIA gives its full approval to the new set of regulations, the biggest technical overhaul since 2011, they will be put in place in time for the 2017 season.

Reigning WRC champion Sébastien Ogier (pictured) has also spoken out in support of the new changes. He said: “This is also good for the show, because the extra power will definitely make the driving more spectacular for the fans. And it will also make the car look a bit more aggressive with a wider body.”