Sat 29 Jan 2022

Hybrid boss elated with Rally1 Monte-Carlo debut

Hybrid supplier Compact Dynamics labelled last week’s Rallye Monte-Carlo ‘a great success’ after the FIA World Rally Championship’s new Rally1 era began with a thrilling encounter in the French Alps.

For the first time in its 50-year history, the leading competitors in the WRC were powered by something other than an internal combustion engine.

Compact Dynamics and Kreisel Electric teamed up to provide a common hybrid power unit and batteries to all top-tier manufacturers, providing the cars with a spectacular 134bhp (100kW) electric boost.

Compact Dynamics managing director Oliver Blamberger said: “The team worked very hard through some difficult times with the pandemic.

“Through the summer and the autumn, we were really busy, but I think this first hybrid WRC event has been a great success. The feedback we had from the teams is good – they are happy,” he added.

Blamberger admitted the season would still bring challenges – such as next month’s Rally Sweden, the WRC’s traditional winter event which regularly runs in temperatures as low as -20°C.

“We have seen some minus temperatures already,” he said, “and the materials are all working as they should. This is motorsport, if we find some bugs across the first couple of rallies then we can improve things.

“In testing and in the rally, we also saw some strong crashes – especially for the Hyundai [of Thierry Neuville] which ended in a river. The unit is watertight, we had no problem with this or with the shock loads.”

While some drivers registered minor hybrid issues, there were no significant system failures and no retirements came as a direct result of a hybrid problem.

Video: Rallye Monte-Carlo best of action
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