FIA outlines changes to WRC Rally1 hybrid regulations

FIA outlines changes to WRC Rally1 hybrid regulations

by WillieSaups
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Hyundai and Toyota led calls for amendments to the new Rally1 hybrid regulations after Ott Tanak and Elfyn Evans were forced to retire from last month’s Rally Sweden due to faults with the control 100kW hybrid unit.

Tanak was fighting for the victory in Sweden when his hybrid unit displayed a red warning light that forced his Hyundai team to retire the car under safety grounds. This was the first time in the Rally1 era where an issue with a hybrid unit has affected the outcome of an event.

The FIA’s newly installed rally director Andrew Wheatley confirmed to that rule change proposals to address the incidents would be discussed at Saturday’s World Motor Sport Council.

As a result, the FIA has ratified a reduction in the penalty issued to crews that restart after retiring due to a hybrid problem.

From next month’s Rally Croatia WRC round, a penalty of two minutes will be imposed for crews that miss a stage start due to a problem with the hybrid system, instead of the 10-minute penalty that was previously issued as the standard penalty.

The reduction of penalty should allow crews to be in a position to fight championship points if a hybrid issue forces a team to retire a car.

Ott TÄNak, Martin JÄRveoja, Hyundai World Rally Team Hyundai I20 N Rally1

Ott Tänak, Martin Järveoja, Hyundai World Rally Team Hyundai i20 N Rally1

Photo by: Austral / Hyundai Motorsport

“The penalty for re-start after retirement as a result of a safety issue to the Rally1 hybrid unit operating within the defined tolerances permitted has been set to two minutes for every stage missed, instead of the normal 10-minute penalty,” read a statement from the FIA.

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The FIA said that in the event of problems with the hybrid system during special stages, in order to allow WRC crews to identify service points and try to repair the fault, custom made signs with the letters HEV on a blue background have been created.

WRC teams competing in the Rally1 class will also be awarded an additional day of testing following a consultation between the FIA and the manufacturers based on the initial development cycles of the Rally1 cars.

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