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The World Rally Championship (WRC) remains undecided on how its cars should be powered beyond 2024, according to a report on the Autosport website. The Federation Internationale De L’Automobile (FIA) rally director Yves Matton said the WRC has ‘no clear position’ on the matter.

Currently, all WRC cars are petrol powered, but from 2022, new rules mean that Rally1 cars will be powered by a hybrid system. An internal combustion engine will be combined with a 134bhp electric motor, giving the Rally1 cars just over 500bhp in total. The rules are initially set to apply for three seasons.

When questioned whether the hybrid approach would dampen enthusiasm for the sport, Matton said: "At the moment, it seems that there is no clear position for the future – full BEV [Battery Electric Vehicle], hydrogen fuel cell and e-fuels [synthetic fuels like methanol] all seem to have a place in the following era.”

Matton continues: “What we do know is that motorsport will continue to do what it does best: adapt and embrace the market trends, consumer needs and societal change.” The regulations will be reviewed after three years, to take into account any new developments in technology.

It has been suggested by the FIA that the power from the onboard battery pack can be deployed exclusively on certain sections of the rally, such as pedestrianised urban areas, to limit emissions. At other points on the route, the extra power could be used to enhance performance.

Meanwhile, Rally GB lost its slot in the 2021 schedule, meaning that the UK will not be hosting a round of WRC for only the third time since the origin of the series in 1973. There were hopes that the event would be hosted in Northern Ireland, but talks to secure £2 million in funding came to nothing.

Matton has expressed confidence that the UK will be welcomed back into the calendar, despite the disappoint of this year.

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