The FIA has revealed that the World Rally Championship will switch to a non-turbo Super 2000 format from the 2011 season.
While the S2000 route was always going to provide the future of the WRC car, the key decision was whether the cars should be modified to run with a turbo fitted to the engine or should remain standard, with the WRC finally electing not to run with a turbo fitted.
Indeed the only chances that will be permissible will be changes to the bodywork of the car by means of removable aerodynamic devices, with the engine remaining standard.
The current WRC machines will be eligible to compete in the series in 2010 alongside the new S2000 machines before the WRC becomes a fully S2000 series in 2011.
“In 2010, cars eligible to score points in the Manufacturers' Championship include the present and future World Rally Cars, and Super 2000 cars,” a statement from the FIA read. “To reflect a need to further reduce and control costs, the proposed technical regulations for the future World Rally Car have been amended.
“For the 2011 and 2012 Championships, the World Rally Car will be based on Super 2000 with the addition of a specified kit restricted to modifications to the bodywork, being removable aerodynamic devices. The car will be subject to specific technical regulations intended to control costs through restrictions on the changing of engines, transmissions and similar components. The maximum 8,500rpm for the engine will be maintained for all World Rally Championship and S2000 cars.
“Present World Rally Cars will not be eligible for the Championship from 2011.”
Moving forward, turbo-charged machines are expected to feature in the WRC from 2013, although those cars will be powered by 1600cc engines as opposed to the 2000cc engines that will be used in the S2000 machines.
“From 2013, it is proposed that the World Rally Car will continue to be Super 2000 based with a cost-effective 1.6 litre turbo engine,” the statement continued. “This is subject to review, based on the specification of the car produced by manufacturers for the mass market.”
Patrik Sandell currently leads the Production World Rally Championship using an S2000 car, having taken victory in both Norway and Cyprus in his Red Bull-backed Skoda Fabia.