World Rallycross the latest to confirm electric car switch, set for 2020 introduction

Autosport

Electric cars will become part of the World Rallycross Championship, and could be introduced as early as 2020.

Series promotor IMG has confirmed it is working with manufacturers and the FIA on plans to introduce electric technology into the mixed-surface discipline.

The cars will not be included in the top-tier Supercar class, and instead will race in a separate category.

“We’re talking to a number of manufacturers and working with the FIA about what it might look like,” World Rallycross managing director Paul Bellamy told Autosport.

“It will be 2020 at the earliest [before an EV introduction] but we’re in discussions about what format the concept might take, what the cars will be like and where it will sit in the World RX weekend.”

In early 2016 Volkswagen revealed it was pushing for an electric rallycross series, while later in the year Austrian firm STARD, owned by Manfred Stohl, tested the world’s first electric rallycross car.

VIDEO: STARD’s electric rallycross car

The Global Rallycross Championship is adding an electric class in 2018, while a series for electric cars called E/RACING is set to get under way later this year in North America.

Peugeot, Volkswagen and Audi all support teams in World RX, and Bellamy said electric rallycross is “what the manufacturers are asking for” because the discipline is perfect for the technology.

World RX events comprise four-lap qualifying races and six-lap semi-finals and finals.

“They understand and see how rallycross lends itself perfectly to electric motor racing, because the races are over quickly and the cars being used relate to the cars that you see every day on the road,” Bellamy said.

He added that the series would not mix electric and internal combustion engine vehicles because the FIA’s “position” is that they “will not race together”.

“They can race at the same events, but not in the same races within those events,” said Bellamy.

“It’s very important for us that the internal combustion engine is here to stay in World RX.

“We’ve invested heavily in rallycross as it currently is, and we’re not going to walk away from that.

“The current formula is a fantastic spectacle and that won’t change, in the same way that Formula E coming in hasn’t changed Formula 1.

“Electric rallycross will not change what we currently have at the top of World RX.”

World Rallycross the latest to confirm electric car switch, set for 2020 introduction

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