Opinion: This is the future of rallycross Car News

Remember when rallycross was going to be the “next big thing”? It really was, wasn’t it.

Just a few years ago, manufacturers were lining up at the door to enter, with Audi, Citroën, Ford, Peugeot and Volkswagen all giving their blessing either directly or through the official support of an established team.

With thrilling and powerful cars competing from doorknob to doorknob in a series of frantic sprint races, it was thrilling to watch and, most importantly, simple to capture for a TV audience bored with processional F1. or didn’t have time. or the attention span for multi-day WRC coverage. There were also big names, including multiple champion Petter “Hollywood” Solberg, WRC colossus Sébastien Loeb and internet disruption giant Ken Block. His arrival on the big time was finally heralded when he achieved bona fide FIA ​​World Championship status in 2014.

And then just as suddenly as he became famous, he fell out of favor. The top-notch makers pulled the plug one by one, each citing slightly different reasons, but the scratching beneath the surface revealed an organization that wasn’t quite aware of the post regarding the clean image. and green that OEMs wanted to promote. Series organizers were hesitant when it came to committing to an electrified rulebook, and manufacturers weren’t willing to hang around as options like Formula E gained traction.

Obviously the pandemic didn’t help, but the 2020 World Championship was a shadow of itself and even in the United States, where rallycross was to be even bigger, the engagement of competitors and fans was waning. . And globally, 2021 doesn’t look much better, with just seven pencil rounds and defending champion Johan Kristoffersson isn’t sure if he’ll be able to find the budget to compete.

So is it for rallycross? Of course not. Since the very first race in 1967 at Lydden Hill, the sport has seen its ups and downs. In the UK, it was prime-time fodder in the 1970s, and then it declined until the fiercely fast and recently banned WRC Group B monsters made their way from stages to circuits to the late 1980s, encouraging bettors to tune in everywhere. again, the fire-breathing Ford RS200s wage war against the screaming Metro 6R4s.

All signs are that rallycross will rebound again. There’s a new promoter on board (the same one behind the WRC), while cars like the STARD Ford Fiesta prove that the discipline understands climate change, in every sense of the word. Basically, cars like this can realistically compete without the support of the manufacturer, with the technology delivering the current performance of the ICE supercar in a plug-and-play package that is as accessible to big teams as it is to the competitor of the. well-heeled club.

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This notice was published: 2021-04-20 23:01:24