The superstars of the FIA World Rally Championship’s ground-breaking new hybrid era will rip the wrapping from the 2022 season at a spectacular year launch in Austria next week.
For the first time, the WRC’s dramatic new-generation Rally1 cars from the three manufacturer teams will be together in Salzburg’s innovative Hangar-7 museum as the series’ new-look sustainable future is unveiled on Saturday 15 January.
Newly-elected FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem will attend the early-evening event.
New liveries will be revealed, big-name drivers and co-drivers from reigning champions Toyota Gazoo Racing, Hyundai Motorsport and M-Sport Ford will talk about their hopes for 2022 and team management will discuss season strategies.
The hour-long event, hosted by familiar faces Kiri Bloore, Becs Williams and Julian Porter, will be streamed live at 18.00 CET on WRC Promoter’s WRC+ platform (http://wrcplus.com/), on Facebook and YouTube. It will also be screened by some WRC television partners (check local listings).
The WRC will undergo major environmental changes this year when new technical regulations drive the series towards a more sustainable future.
Plug-in hybrid-powered Rally1 cars designed around an upgraded safety cell chassis, 100 per cent fossil-free fuel and sustainable energy supplies are key to a commitment to a greener future from the FIA, motorsport’s governing body, and WRC Promoter.
Manufacturers have been racing against the clock for months to develop and test their new hybrid challengers, in which a 100kW electric motor coupled to a 3.9kWh battery complements a competition-proven 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine.
The package raises peak performance levels to more than 500hp whilst also reducing harmful emissions.
FIA deputy secretary general sport Bruno Famin said: “Adopting hybrid power and fossil-free bio-fuel are two of the biggest advances in the sport’s history and a huge step towards achieving our overriding sustainability goals. The FIA has been working very hard on these developments, while also introducing significant safety innovations.”
WRC Promoter managing director Jona Siebel said the new era underlined the commitment to a more environmentally-friendly future.
“It’s fitting these ground-breaking changes should be incorporated for the WRC’s 50th season,” he enthused.
“The new Rally1 cars look fantastic. After so much preparation and hard work across the sport, we’re just days away from the start of the new era – it’s hard to contain the excitement! I can’t wait to see the cars together in Salzburg to mark the start of what will be a thrilling year.”
The launch takes place five days before cars roar into competitive action at the famous Rallye Monte-Carlo (20 – 23 January). The Monaco-based fixture features inhospitable roads in the French Alps where winter weather can be expected to deliver the unexpected.