World Rallycross Championship launches new electric series

Plans have been announced for a new electric racing series that will run alongside the World Rallycross Championship.

The initiative, entitled Projekt E, has been launched by IMG Motorsports, World Rallycross’ promoter. The concept will see electric-powered cars compete on the same weekend as the traditional cars.

World Rallycross said the new series will provide fans with a “glimpse of the future” for production-based cars. More details will be released on Projekt E in the coming months, with the Autosport website reporting that it is expected to start in 2020.

The announcement comes after World Rallycross’ plans to switch its main series to electric cars fell through. Last June, the International Automobile Federation (FIA) rubberstamped proposals to electrify the series from 2020.

In August, World Rallycross announced that it would be postponing the introduction of electric cars until 2021 but Autosport reported last week that this will not be the case after a manufacturer vote on the March 29 deadline for the electric series failed.

Discussing the Projekt E plans, Torben Olsen, managing director of World Rallycross for IMG, said: “IMG has pledged as far back as 2017 that electrification would be part of the World RX weekend. Today we can confirm our intention to deliver on that objective.

“Our aim is to showcase, by 2021 at the latest, future mobility and relevant technologies in the tough, competitive environment of rallycross with production-based vehicles that consumers can relate to.

“In terms of the strategy for introduction of electrification to rallycross, we have been in discussions for nearly two years with a number of manufacturers. Ultimately it emerged that the manufacturers were not yet ready to commit in sufficient numbers to make a fully-electric World Championship a reality. However, we believe that Projekt E is a positive step forward to deliver on our 2017 pledge.”

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