The FIA World Rallycross Championship has rekindled efforts to move over to electric technology in its top class after new plans were outlined for mixed grids at the FIA World Motorsport Council meeting on Friday.
Original plans to fully convert the series’ Supercar class to electric power fizzled out earlier this year after failing to gain enough interest from manufacturers.
The championship organizers responded by launching Projekt E, a planned separate category that would exclusively feature electric cars while keeping internal combustion engine-powered machines in Supercar.
Now, World RX’s top class is set to include ICE and electric cars side-by-side, with a push for existing privateer teams to electrify their entries.
A combination of EVs and ICEs will compete for at least one year in 2021, with electric privateer teams using an identical specification powertrain and battery kit in order to retrofit and electrify existing ICE Supercars.
The kit will be introduced for a four-year cycle and comprize two motors developing 400-500 kW.
An FIA Junior eRX Championship will also be created for 2021, based on an arrive-and-drive format and featuring four-wheel-drive cars developing around 250 kW.
The future of Projekt E remains unclear after Austrian outfit STARD released details of its electric kit for the series earlier this week.
STARD had become the sole supplier for Projekt E, and the future of this program is ambiguous, although it could simply be given the tender for electrification efforts in the mixed grid
The STARD platform, which was revealed in its Ford Fiesta ElectRX demonstration car, does fit into the new electric World RX technical regulations.
The statement released by the FIA revealed that three tenders will be launched: one for the supply of a retrofit electric kit for Supercars, one for the Junior eRX car and operator, and one for the charging infrastructure of both series.
Each tender covers a four-year period and potential suppliers can respond with bids for more than one tender.
Mixed grids were successful in Trophee Andros last season, with a combination of electric silhouettes and ICE cars competing on a level field in the French ice racing championship.
It is believed to be the first championship in which electric and ICE cars have competed directly side-by-side, although the series’ top class will be fully electrified for 2019-20.
Sam Smith contributed to this report.