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The rise of safer cars, more events, and artificial entertainment

Regulations have been essentially stable in the World Rally Championship since the 2017 regulations came into force, with the increased performance of the 2017-rules cars demanding ever-greater attention on safety issues.

However, there has been continued reluctance from the FIA to allow technical development of equipment, which is becoming increasingly common place in production car manufacture, all in the name of containing the costs of competing in the WRC.

This policy moves the sport away from the tradition that rallying helps develop the production design.

All of this has highlighted the success of Volkswagen Motorsport in designing an electric car for the free-formula Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in the USA, which finished the event as the fastest car of all.

The President of the FIA has long promised “new technology” in the WRC.

For some time Formula 1 and Endurance Car racing has required hybrid cars, and recently this has led to the Formula E racing, and more recently the decision to introduce an electric car formula in rallycross.

Clearly the longer distance character of rallying makes electrical cars impractical at this time.

Meanwhile, the WRC Promoters are currently more interested in increasing the size of the WRC calendar and providing greater, or artificial, entertainment, than respecting the traditional objectives of the sport.


Martin Holmes is widely considered as world rallying's most experienced, and most respected journalist. Martin covers the WRC, ERC and all major rally championships around the world.


After two rounds in the Pacific, the 2018 FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship moves to Asia and the International Rally of Johor. For championship leader Yuya Sumiyama from Japan, his goal is simply to finish and score points:

The AP4 rally car class in the Asia Pacific region is flourishing at a great pace. Back in 2002, however, Australia launched a ‘special’ class into the Australian Rally Championship that enabled Toyota to make a return to the national series.

Hyundai New Zealand has helped power Kiwi driver Hayden Paddon’s career in the World Rally Championship and now they are going to support the entire sport back home.


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