After 2 years of electric Rallycross: WRX allows combustion engines with "sustainable" fuels from 2024
From 2024, the World Rallycross Championship will no longer be held exclusively with electric car. Instead, RX1 cars with an internal combustion engine will also be permitted, provided they are powered by sustainable fuels.
From 2014 to 2020, internal combustion engines were the standard in the World Rallycross Championship. After support series such as Project E and the RX2e had tested the electric model, the FIA World Championship also switched completely to electric vehicles in 2022. The guiding principle behind this switch was sustainability: "We are in very positive discussions with a number of car manufacturers who share our core values in the area of sustainability," it was stated in a press release at the time.
Combustion vs. electric cars
Now - two years later - this concept is being watered down again: from 2024, combustion engines will once again be allowed to be part of the series, provided they run on "sustainable" fuel. Which fuels this specifically includes is still unclear for the series: "We are still working on the final details, but we want to ensure that the World RX remains a fully sustainable championship," said a spokesperson for the series when asked by e-Formula.news.
So the World Rallycross Championship wants to showcase a "battle of technologies" - in other words, the fight between electric cars and combustion-powered cars. So far, this has only been seen in a few racing series, such as the Dakar Rally.
In order to ensure fair competition, the WRX is working on various measures to ensure that the performance of the two vehicle categories is comparable. This system is to be called "Equivalence of Technologies" and will be customised for each track depending on its character.
Up to 16 cars possible from 2024
This now gives all teams the opportunity to choose their own technology. However, both drivers must use the same technology and cannot switch over the course of the season. "We assume that the teams that have already made the switch to electric cars will stick with it," WRX told us. "Even if they have the option to expand and also use combustion engines."
It can therefore be assumed that the addition of vehicles with combustion engines is primarily relevant for the acquisition of new teams and manufacturers. Within two years, the WRX was only able to inspire five teams to switch to electric cars.
A change to the race format will allow a total of 16 vehicles in 2024. Further adjustments will see championship points awarded in every heat from now on and the result will be determined by position rather than time. As part of this, the SuperPole has also been cancelled and replaced by a fixed starting order for the first heat.
Further information on the race calendar and new teams is expected in the coming weeks.