World Rallycross to run electric series from 2020

Motorsport promotion reacts after failed vote to switch main series to full electric.

by Joe Levy

World Rallycross to run electric series from 2020

The World Rallycross Championship (WRX) will launch an electric series that will run alongside its traditional format.

Launched by WRX promoter IMG Motorsports, Projekt E will see electric-powered cars compete on the same weekend as regular Supercars races, with the series reportedly starting in 2020, according to industry outlet Autosport.

The move comes after WRX’s proposals to shift the main racing series to electric cars for 2021 fell through after failing to garner enough support in a manufacturer vote in March.

Rallycross is considered by series bosses as the perfect stage for showcasing electrified motorsport. With its short races - the longest is just over five minutes - and use of road cars, it is seen as an ideal shop window for manufacturers to display their electric innovations to the mass market.

Torben Olsen, managing director of World Rallycross at IMG, said: “IMG has pledged as far back as 2017 that electrification would be part of the World Rallycross weekend. Today we can confirm our intention to deliver on that objective.

“Our aim is to showcase, by 2021 at the latest, future mobility and relevant technologies in the tough, competitive environment of rallycross with production-based vehicles that consumers can relate to.”

Speaking in regard to the unsuccessful manufacturer vote, Olsen was still hopeful and relaxed about meeting the targets set out in 2017.

“Ultimately it emerged that the manufacturers were not yet ready to commit in sufficient numbers to make a fully-electric World Championship a reality. However, we believe that Projekt E is a positive step forward to deliver on our 2017 pledge,” he said.

This year's World Rallycross Championship season begins at Abu Dhabi's Yas Marina Circuit this week.