The FIA Electric World Rallycross Championship is facing its next deadline for manufacturer commitments in order for the proposed all-electric series to be green-lighted for 2021.
A March 29 cutoff has been established for manufacturers to confirm its participation, following last year’s postponement of the launch after failing to meet commitments from four manufacturers.
E-racing365 believes that the FIA and series promoter IMG are seeking engagements from at least three manufacturers this time in order to move ahead.
Both Peugeot and Audi, which had been backers of the EV switch, however have since withdrawn from the championship, casting questions if the numbers can be met.
It’s understood both Volkswagen and Ford remain active participants in discussions.
Ford Performance global motorsports director Mark Rushbrook, who has been in regular dialogue with IMG, told e-racing365 that “numbers are at risk”.
Rushbrook said he’s pushing for the addition of EVs not only for WRX but also the recenty launched American Rallycross Championship, which is also run by IMG.
“To us, just like IMSA and WEC, we want it to go together and that’s worked for the [Ford] GT program,” Rushbrook said.
“We would want to see WRX and ARX both be electric. That’s very important to us.
“Then it’s also got to be the right manufacturers in both series.
“Hopefully all the manufacturers that come in would do both. It’s really got to be three or more in both series.”
Chassis, Battery Development Still Ongoing
Development of the proposed platform’s single chassis and battery specification has continued despite uncertainty over the launch date.
ORECA and Williams Advanced Engineering were selected as the suppliers EWRX, which was initially set to launch in 2020.
“On all sides we are ready to go,” ORECA technical director David Floury told e-racing365.
“The project is not completely on hold because we have kept some limited resources to keep it going, along with Williams Engineering and the FIA.”
Floury said he still sees “good potential” in EWRX, as the formula is “completely adapted” to EVs.
“At least technically and from a sporting point of view, RX is the best category to showcase electric vehicles,” he said.
“It’s [good] engine, torque and usable range. It’s short ranges and completely adapted to EV cars.
“These kind of races can be in stadiums. I hope it will happen because it’s quite interesting but it’s not in my hands.”