There will be some minor but important adjustments to the technical regulations, when the new FIA World Rallycross Championship season starts on 14-16 April in Barcelona.
The FIA, the teams competing in World RX, and IMG, who is the commercial rights holders for the series, have decided to implement some changes in the 2018 rules, with the aim to stop the costs skyrocketing.
Since the series started in 2014, the costs has just got bigger and bigger, and with the works involvement from Volkswagen, Peugeot, Ford and Audi, several millions was put into the development of the cars.
But the World RX consists of other teams than the four aforementioned. Ford left after the 2017, since they were no longer interested in spending so much money, and instead returned to support M-Sport in the WRC. It is unsure if Audi returns in 2018.
There are several privateers entering one or two cars, and it’s getting harder and harder for them to compete at the top of the sport. We have to go all the way back to the season finale in 2015, where Robin Larsson won with his private team, to find a truly privateer.
The engines will be reduced from three down to two per season plus only 4 turbo chargers will be allowed for the season, compared to previously 6.
The teams are allowed to register 12 new tires are the first two rounds, and from round three onwards, only 8 new and 4 used tires for each round. Only registered tired are allowed to be used during the event.
The cars will have a technical passport, which is a bit like a homologation. The car maker, model and the position of the gearbox needs to be noted down in that one. Furthermore it needs to be specified if the car has a central differential. There will be a limit of maximum two different gear ratios per season, one type of brake plus only one specification of the rear aerodynamic on the car. Works teams has brought several different specifications of rear wings, depending on the track characteristics, but that has come to an end now.
2018 news regarding teams and drivers has been very silent. Only Team Peugeot-Hansen has announced that they will compete with Sebastien Loeb in 2018, but otherwise no official words from other teams. Even though there are three months until the start of the season, the teams really should have the plans ready by now, since a 12-events calendar across Europe, Canada, USA and South Africa needs a lot of planing at not the least, money. It is slightly worrying that defending Champions PSRX Volkswagen Team Sweden and Johan Kristoffersson haven’t announced their programme either.
None of the teams are represented at the Autosport International show next week, where Petter Solberg has participated for many years. Rallycross was born in Great Britain with the first race being run at Lydden Hill on 4 February 1967. Lydden Hill said goodbye to the World RX in 2017, with the UK round being run at Silverstone from now on, with a brand new Rallycross track behind The Wing, which is the pitlane built for Formula 1.
We can only hope that news regarding 2018 will soon start to flow, so Rallycross lovers, and not the least IMG as organizers, can start to sleep tight at night.