Explained: the all-new Subaru WRX Challenge

Two decades since arguably the most successful one-make Australian Rally Championship series ran, the same manufacturer is again planning for strong competition in 2024.

Gone are the days of the Subaru Impreza RS, and in comes the all-new Subaru WRX, and we chatted to Dean Herridge to get the low-down on the cars and the series.

Herridge, a former Subaru factory driver, commentator and Maximum Motorsport man is one of the leading forces behind the new one-make series that opened for expressions of interest late last week.

He says that the category has had some good interest thus far and explained how they went about building the first of the cars.

“The hardest bit nowadays about building a production car is just how complicated road cars are,” he said. 

“All the things we enjoy and love about new cars, all the mod cons and things, make it really complicated to turn them into a rally car. (That’s) sort of one of the reasons why our timing has to be now. 

“This manual version of a WRX doesn’t run things like our Eyesight technology, our adaptive cruise control systems and all these other things added, which are fantastic for a road car, but make it really complicated to turn into a rally car. 

“That was one part of it. Even pulling this apart, it's got so many things on it that from a fuel efficiency point of view, from reducing wind noise and more aerodynamic, things that make it a beautiful road car, that all work against you in regards to complications as a rally car.”

Herridge’s Maximum Motorsport is in a similar situation to Neal Bates Motorsport in that they’re trying to build a cost-effective production rally or racing car from a new car. 

“It’s very similar if you had a chat to Neal about what he's done with the Toyota 86 series and the new generation of cars, they're doing exactly the same thing,” Herridge said. 

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Luke Whitten

Luke is part of the third generation of the RallySport Magazine team and holds a degree in marketing & communications.
Luke is part of the third generation of the RallySport Magazine team and holds a degree in marketing & communications.

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