The organizers of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) plan to make things a little bit more interesting for 2017 as they recently announced that they will bump the power of the rally cars along while also allowing more tech and aerodynamic features to be installed.
The announcement was made during a council meeting of the motorsport body in Mexico City wherein they approved the big changes that was outlined for the 2017 season. Considered as the biggest change in regulations since 2011, power output of the rally cars will be increased up to 385 PS (300 PS back then) thanks to a bigger turbo restrictor size of 36mm (34mm prior).
Body dimensions and aerodynamics will also benefit from the planned changes as WRC extended the allowable length of cars by up to 55mm, which will also allow the teams to make longer overhangs.
The last major revisions in the motorsport are: each 2017 car will weigh 25 kg lighter than current rally cars and electronically-controlled center differentials will make a return.
FIA chiefs stated that the changes are evolutionary rather than revolutionary.
“There were three main objectives with these regulations: make the car spectacular, be mindful of costs, and maintain, if not increase safety. The cars will be striking, there is no doubt about that, and there are small but always significant improvements in relation to safety,” said FIA technical director Bernard Niclot.
Reigning WRC champion Sebastien Ogier was pleased with the 2017 season revamp.
“As a racing driver you are always looking for more performance. I think the larger wing and new aerodynamics will give the car a bit more downforce, more grip and more speed going into the corners,” said Ogier.
In addition, Ogier stated that the increase in power will make for greater audience impact and better driving experience for the competitors.