Official WRC thread

I recall Seb said the S2000 cars are going to be fast enough for him if they are fitted with the WRC kits.

It is going to be interesting to hear what the WMSC will come up with today...


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As already announced, the 2010 World Rally Car will be S2000 based. However, the removable kit, already adopted by the WMSC, will be redefined with no electronic benefits, or similar upgrades, to ensure cost reductions. The new S2000-based World Rally Car will only be permitted for use on World Rally Championship events.

The FIA Production Car World Rally Championship will be retained for Group N cars, including the existing S2000 car.
Still... 'No electric upgrades' does not mean that they would remove the turbo from the kit. It has been one of the essential components of the kit from the start and I doubt they are going to change this. I can't really see any point of the kit if it won't offer extra power compared to the normal S2000 car.

On the decisions, once again good decisions are complemented by bad ones. What on earth is the point if limiting the use of these WRC kits to world championship only? Even now WRC cars are used in national championships in countries that can afford them, and those that cannot make do without them. I don't see why this should be changed by FIA.
Having non turbo WRC cars is no problem. BUT they need to make them S3000. That would give them in the range of 360-370hp I imagine which should be quite enough. Think modern day 6R4. S2000 is just not fast enough for an elite motorsport competition. Current S2000 car costs about $250,000-300,000 I believe. Can't see a bigger engine costing any more really (the current 2000 units aren't exactly cheap!) which is a step forward from the $800,000-$1,000,000 the cars cost now.

Agreed with Hazardous on "WRC only" spec as well. Not that it really matters, if one of these cars rocked up to a national event, they would be blown away by the current spec WRC gear anyway.
I could imagine, though, that fitting(or cramming, I should say) 3-litre engines to S2000 cars would be either really hard or impossible. So you'd neet completely different set of cars for WRC, which would wipe out one of the major strongpoints of the whole idea of S2000 based WRC: The ability to use the same cars in both S2000 and WRC guise. I still have not heard anyone saying that the turbo would be out of the WRC kit and until I do I will assume it is part of it. How they are going to make installing the turbo to the S2000 engine easier than an engine swap I'm keen to see but even if it would demand engine swap it's still the same car.

The thing about limiting these cars to WRC events only is that it is going to reduce the number of WRC spec cars available to minimum. Why would you get a WRC kit if you can only use it in the 12 WRC events every year? The factory teams will obviously have them and the privateer teams that do most of the events will also get them, but why would anyone else? And if that happens, how are youngsters going to get to drive the WRC spec machinery to get experience or to compete in WRC spec machinery to show their skills against the big players?

The current WRC cars are expensive but because they are allowed in most national championships there are plenty of them around and if one finds sponsorship and wants to rallies competitive top-class machinery it's not a problem. That's because teams like Bozian, Ramsport and PH-Sport have WRC spec cars that they run for money in whichever championship their clients want to take part in. If the use of the WRC spec machinery is reduced to the 12 WRC events every year, of which propably 8 or so are going to be within the working range of these teams, are these teams going to bother getting the machinery at all without having a full year deal for running them on all those rallies? If the kits are cheap, easy to bolt on and quaranteed not to be outdated every 12 months then they might, but otherwise there is no point in getting them to gather dust in the workshop.
Sorry for double posting but since it's news...

Rumours say that Suzuki is pulling the plug from their WRC team. Apparently the official confirmation is coming tomorrow. Hardly surprising since their car was not competitive this year, is not going to be competitive next year and will be outlawed as the S2000 based cars are brought in the year after that. Still, it's shame to see both Gardemeister and Andersson out of work again. Hopefully both will be able to put a programme together for 2009, as Garde has shown that in a good car he is always a contender if not the fastest guy around, while Andersson has really impressed me this year by matching the pace of his teammate in his first year in WRC machinery.

On a happier note, Gigi is back in action! He took part in the Bettega Memorial event yesterday. Full story here.
I think its a shame as their performance in Japan and Wales showed that the speed was coming and while maybe victories were not possible a podium or two wasn't out of the question!!
Maybe not out of the question but I don't think it would be realistically possible without big problems for top teams. The Suzukis did climb up the leaderboard over the year and were racking up top eight stage times in the latter part of the season, especially in Japan and Wales where the conditions somewhat evened out the performance differences between cars, but they were still stuck battling with the privateers and occasionally Subarus.

It has to be said that their whole programme suffered from extraordinarily poor luck in terms of timing. They had barely made their debut before the speculation began on the rule changes that would ban the current WRC machinery, and I can't help thinking that had a big effect on the team's finances, reducing their development budget and resulting in testing programme which, to my knowledge, consisted precisely no miles of testing during the whole year (apart form shakedown stages during events).
These new regulations seem really fucked up.

It is only causing the few remaining manufacturers to quit instead of attracting new ones.
Okay, Suzuki quit, but it's too early to say whether it will attract new manufacturers since we obviously don't know who are going to be in the 2010 or 2011 championship. However, there are only three manufacturers now (assuming the rumours are true and Suzuki does pull out) and no new ones who could potentially come in(which was also the case before the speculation about S2000 based machinery began, Suzuki aside), which means that something needs to be done. On the other hand. as pointed out earlier in this thread, there are already over half a dozen manufacturers who have S2000 spec cars homologated and they are all potential entries as soon as the new rules come in. Certainly if the kits will be reasonably cheap to develop.
Suzuki confirmed their exit from WRC. Press release here.
That is quite a shame. I really think that if they did some testing and tuned the cars setup, they could have been quite competitive.

So is the S2000 cars rule official yet?

What manufacturers have S2000 cars? I mean, who is likely to join the WRC?

How are these S2000 cars compared to the current ones?
So is the S2000 cars rule official yet?
WMSC confirmed it on Friday so I think it's pretty much official now.

What manufacturers have S2000 cars? I mean, who is likely to join the WRC?
Following cars have been homologated for S2000 rally spec
Fiat Punto
Peugeot 207
Ford Fiesta
Proton Satria (*)
Volkswagen Polo (*)
Toyota Run-X (*)
MG ZR(*)
Skoda Fabia (will be homologated soon)

Those marked with * are not official works projects, they have been developed by national importers or similar without full factory support.

From those I consider Fiat, Peugeot, Ford and Skoda very likely to be involved as the new rules come in. On more speculative grounds, I'd be surprised if Subaru would not get involved, Mitsubishi might as well unless they are happy to stay in PWRC and there has also been some speculation about Volkswagen coming in with a new factory developed Scirocco.

How are these S2000 cars compared to the current ones?
I don't think the contents of the WRC 'kit' has been defined but AFAIK the turbo is still in the plans and according to the current info it'll give extra 50bhp compared to the current S2000 cars.
I just read that Subaru are pulling out tomorrow. Hopefully not true, and would be rather unlikely given they recently confirmed their approach to Gronholm.

An extra 50bhp won't be enough I don't think. More crucial will be the lack of the torque which is the trump card of the current cars.
Bloody hell. That would be unexpected, to say the least...

Finnish broadcaster MTV3 has the story on their site ('according to our sources...') but there's no official word out yet. Registration for next year's championship ended yesterday so whether they are in or not is already sealed, now it's just a case of waiting for the confirmation.

If you look at the economic climate and the fact that Subaru has not carried major sponsorship since BAT left with their 555 sponsorship it's kinda understandable but nevertheless this would be a major blow for WRC.

It'll be interesting to follow how this story unfolds...
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The thing is, that if Subaru offers Gr?nholm full season, he would already be behind the wheel. But their contract offering only 4 races. Gr?nholm said that if they want him to drive for them, they need to offer more than that, and this disagreement between them has basically stopped the negotiations for now.
From what I gather Subaru offered Gr?nholm a full programme earlier but he did not want to take it. He got out of WRC because he did not want to do that much travelling so my guess is he wanted to do a limited programme (all european rallies, propably, or maybe even less), not too much testing and not much PR work either.

In any case, if Subaru will indeed announce that they are out of the sport it does not matter what kind of deal Gr?nholm has been offered.