World Rallycross Championship delays electric switch

The World Rallycross Championship (World RX) has postponed plans to transform into an electric car-racing series as promoter the IMG agency seeks further time to attract manufacturer partners.

In June, the International Automobile Federation (FIA) rubberstamped proposals for World RX to go electric from 2020. However, IMG and the FIA have today (Thursday) said this will be put back a year with manufacturers now having until March 29, 2019 to confirm their commitment to the electric format in 2021.

World RX will continue to be run the current internal combustion engine (ICE) Supercars in 2019 and 2020. Beyond 2020, organisers said these ICE Supercars will remain an important part of the rallycross weekends, as the World Championship becomes an electric series.

Paul Bellamy, senior vice-president of motorsports at IMG, said: “We are on the verge of an exciting new era for motorsport. Electric cars are increasingly important to all areas of mobility, and rallycross is the perfect platform to demonstrate the incredible performance capabilities of electric cars in a fun, competitive and cost effective environment.

“A huge amount has been accomplished in a relatively short time since the first formal meeting in June 2017. A completely new type of rallycross car has been conceived and defined, and so it is worth waiting a little longer to secure the best possible field of competitors. We believe that fans new and old will love what will be a thrilling addition to their favourite events.”

The cars will be based on a carbon fibre monocoque chassis supplied by Oreca and will use batteries from Williams Advanced Engineering. Each car will be powered by two 250kW motors which manufacturers will develop. Manufacturers will homologate their own bodies for the cars.

Independent teams can also enter the championship, either with cars supplied by manufacturers or using their own drivetrains and bodies developed from an FIA approved base design.

IMG and the FIA said there will be opportunities at a number of 2020 World RX events for manufacturers and independent teams to showcase their electric vehicles.