Should WRC2 replace WRC?
Fact : The queen category of the WRC continues to live thanks to two official manufacturers (Toyota and Hyundai) and a semi-official commitment (Ford with M-Sport). Monte-Carlo revealed a significant lack of entries in Rally1 while the Rally2 class was full of contenders entered in different brands. So is the solution to WRC good health going through the adoption of WRC2 regulations?
YES, by Loïc Rocci
Having only 10 Rally1 at the start of Monte-Carlo and 9 in Sweden gives the answer, because together Rally2 is full. Elite cars are too expensive. This is a certainty before they even put the tires on the specials. However, specifically for questions of the ego, the path of hybridization was followed in these prototypes while knowing that it could be without issue.
However, there are other avenues to explore and it may be in the future if Hyundai unfortunately decides to back off. With so many specialists residing in the various commissions of the FIA, how is it possible that no one has proposed a project that brings together the participants of Rally1 and the makers of Rally2? Was there not a technical solution for manufacturers to maintain their predominance over private companies?
The argument stating that choosing this category will reduce the interest in the rally, because although the cars will certainly be slower, there will be so many of them at the start of the races that it will offer a great watch. In this category, there are already 5 types of models available (i20, C3, Polo, Fabia, Fiesta) and a 6th (Yaris) is in preparation. A slight step back in performance, as happened between 1986 and 1987, would have allowed the WRC to be more in line with the era when budgets were insane compared to spin-offs. This will be beneficial to manufacturers who can field 2 or 3 teams and thus encourage the emergence of future talents, which is impossible in Rally1.
Having about twenty official crews and some preparers (Toksport, PH-Sport, 2C, etc.) at the start of the heats is a dream, but it can be imagined. By offering cars with affordable performance while remaining green and politically correct with a drive mode that is in tune with the times, won’t it also encourage the arrival of new manufacturers? By moving to Rally2, the world championship may lose a bit of spectacle, but it gains a lot!
NO, by Medhi Casaurang
What defines WRC? By its amazing side. And you only have to watch countless beginner videos on YouTube to realize that nothing beats the Rally1’s level of performance.
These really impress the Internet user that I am; So, I can’t imagine the feeling that a Ford Puma, Hyundai i20 or Toyota GR Yaris must give at the highest speed in front of my eyes! Also, I’ve never really been attracted to the R5 and Rally2 compilations.
The category of the queen of rallies should be made a dream of the spectators and the general public. How to interest new sections of the population if cars do not provide these “wow” effects? We can clearly see this in Formula E. Their poor appearance and the resulting lack of spectacle have never succeeded in converting motorsport enthusiasts or laymen who love new technologies.
However, whatever its leaders say, the WRC is struggling to regain its appeal. Keeping the boat afloat must go through maintaining an adequate level of performance. There is no need to exceed reasonable limits, as undoubtedly happened in Rally1 between 2017 and 2021 and their very sharp mechanics.
However, it would be a pity if the World Rally Championship fell to cars as comfortable as the WRCs equipped with 1.6-liter turbo engines between 2011 and 2016. Not only are their mechanics dishonorable, but also appearance of Citroën DS3, Volkswagen Polo Si R and other Ford Fiesta is no surprise. Without the coronations of Sébastien Loeb and Sébastien Ogier, this era of the WRC would have fallen into oblivion in France.
This is why it is absolutely necessary to keep the cars clean in order to dream of the top of the WRC pyramid. Now, the question is whether WRC2 cars can benefit from aerodynamic kits at a lower cost…