Mon 07 Feb 2022

Reid ‘impressed’ by Rally1 debut

FIA deputy president Robert Reid has praised the introduction of the new hybrid Rally1 regulations following his visit to the season-opening Rallye Monte-Carlo.

Reid, who was voted in alongside president Mohammed Ben Sulayem in December, told he’s looking forward to close competition through the season with the new generation of hybrid-powered cars.

“The new formula looks very good,” said Reid, the 2001 world champion co-driver alongside Richard Burns.

“The hybrid element is something that’s clearly getting a lot of interest. There were some small issues early on in shakedown and early in the event [at Monte-Carlo], but largely speaking I think we’re in really good shape moving forwards.

The rally featured a thrilling battle between the Ford Puma of Sébastien Loeb and the Toyota GR Yaris of Sébastien Ogier. Loeb eventually snared his 80th WRC win after Ogier’s penultimate stage puncture handed the initiative to his fellow Frenchman.

“The performance of the cars was great in Monte and there’s no denying the competition is close. It was a pretty dry rally and we had all three manufacturers scoring fastest times and the M-Sport Ford car and Toyota tied on overall time following the second Saturday stage,” Reid added.

“That, to me, is a good early indicator that nobody’s going to run away with anything here. OK, we all know Monte – even a dry-ish Monte – is reasonably specific. We’ll have more of an idea as the year unfolds on the loose surface rallies, but it’s looking close so far.

“I’m really impressed by how the manufacturers have all embraced these new regulations and run with them. But beyond the hybrid element, it’s also great to see the new fossil-free, sustainable fuel the cars are running this year. This is another great step for the WRC.”

Reid is expected to attend in Umeå later this month for the second round of the season at Rally Sweden (24 - 27 February).

Video: Rallye Monte-Carlo - Asahi Kasei turning point
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