Friday | 22 Apr 2022

FIA World Rally Championship fully committed to sustainable future

This weekend’s third round of the most sustainable FIA World Rally Championship season ever roars into action in Croatia today on Earth Day – a global annual event to demonstrate support for environmental protection.

Following the sport’s ‘Rally with Purpose’ strategy, all the top cars starting the Croatia Rally (21 - 24 April) are powered by highly efficient hybrid technology, while all competitors entered in the WRC use fossil-free fuel.

Additionally, the Zagreb-based rally has implemented a research programme to create a comprehensive sustainability report and define strategies to reduce the environmental impact of future editions.

“We are fully committed to a sustainable future of our sport,” affirmed WRC Promoter managing director Jona Siebel. “Hybrid technology for the Rally1 cars and renewable fuel are major steps for the 2022 season.

“We are already working intensively on the next improvements. The Croatia Rally’s initiative to significantly reduce the event’s carbon footprint and reach a three-star rating with the FIA environmental accreditation programme opens up a new chapter.”

Craig Breen's Ford Puma Rally1

The hybrid technology of the WRC’s top-tier cars
The world’s most prestigious rally championship began its 50th season in 2022 with a completely overhauled technical framework for its leading Rally1 category.

Based on the forecast that hybrid cars will make up a third of global car sales by 2030, the WRC chose this advanced technology for its new three-year rules cycle. It means the WRC reduces carbon emissions in alignment with the targets outlined in the Paris Agreement.

The new Rally1 cars are powered by a combination of a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine delivering 380hp and an electric unit delivering an extra 100kW. Thus they can motor with clean electric power only.

This gives organisers the tools to significantly reduce emissions, for example, inside the service park or in urban areas the rally cars pass through en route to competitive sections.

The 3.9kWh battery pack can be charged externally when the Rally1 car is stationary in the team’s service area or on the move through recuperation while braking or coasting.

The hybrid system, including the electric unit, battery pack, inverter and control system, is stored in a ballistic-strength carbon fibre housing mounted behind the seats of the rally car. The case is strong enough to resist forces and impacts of up to 70G in the event of an accident.

Croatia drives towards carbon-free footprint

Croatia drives towards carbon-free ...

Croatia Rally (21 - 24 April) organisers are stepping up initiatives to reduce the carbon footprint of their FIA World Rally ...

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The fossil-free fuel used in all WRC car categories
Since the start of the 2022 season, fossil-free based fuel is used by each competitor eligible to score points at a WRC event. It complies with all quality standards for competition fuels as well as automakers’ requirements for road car fuel.

P1 Racing Fuels, the WRC’s official fuel supplier, produces the cutting-edge sustainable petrol by blending synthetic and bio-degradable elements.

Behind P1 Fuels are the expertise and innovation of major global players in the fields of energy, research and mobility.

PerkinElmer has made available its gas chromatography and infrared spectroscopy platforms to perform fast and reliable analysis of fuels and their chemical compositions – in the lab and at the rallies. It is the first time these technologies will be used to test competitive and fully sustainable fuels.

Ott Tänak's Hyundai i20 N Rally1

OCI, a leading global producer and distributor of hydrogen-based products based in the Netherlands, has delivered fully sustainable bio-methanol made from waste.

Energy giant Aramco has also partnered with P1 Racing Fuels to develop advanced-generation biofuels and sustainable synthetic fuels derived from captured CO2 and low-carbon hydrogen. Aramco will leverage in-house technology expertise to explore improving the efficiency of the rally car’s engines.

Bio-fuels are produced from biological waste such as that originating from the agricultural industry. Synthetic fuels are manufactured completely from scratch, mainly using the chemicals such as green hydrogen and captured carbon from air or industrial processes.

Because the energy for this process usually comes from renewable electric power, they are known as e-fuels, an abbreviation of ‘produced with electricity’.

• Full coverage from the Croatia Rally will be available on WRC+ All Live here, including every stage broadcast as it happens as well as key interviews, features and expert analysis from the service park

Elfyn Evans' Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

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