WRC not expecting new manufacturer until 2024 at the earliest

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The WRC will usher in a brand new period subsequent yr because the championship launches its Rally1 ruleset that can produce all-new quicker automobiles that includes a plug-in 100kW hybrid system and a a lot harder security cell to guard the motive force and co-driver.

Hyundai, Toyota and Ford, by way of M-Sport, have reaffirmed their dedication to the collection’ new laws however it’s hoped extra producers will likely be enticed to hitch the WRC because it welcomes in hybrid know-how.

Matton confirmed to Motorsport.com earlier this yr that he expects one other marque to hitch the collection sooner or later and had since revealed that a number of automobile makers are persevering with to ask for particulars as they assess the brand new guidelines package deal for the longer term.

Though, given the time wanted to develop a Rally1 programme from scratch, the previous Citroen WRC boss is just not anticipating any new gamers till 2024.

He additionally admitted that had the WRC not dedicated to herald hybrid know-how, it risked dropping Hyundai, Toyota and Ford.

“For certain with out hybrid know-how I consider that no one of many present producers was actually to be concerned sooner or later. They want this hybrid know-how to maintain rallying a very good advertising and marketing device for them,” Matton advised Motorsport.com.

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“I can inform you that another producers are trying on the laws and they’re for the second finding out them. They don’t seem to be designing a automobile, they’re extra seeking to perceive how these new automobiles might match of their advertising and marketing plan.

“I’d say that for me 2023 is just too shut. I consider that the minimal time and window you could do one thing is 2 years.

“I feel the truth that they’re retaining in contact with class and are going into extra particulars reveals that there’s some curiosity. If there may be curiosity there may be some hope for me,” he added when requested how optimistic the discussions had been to this point.

Of the three marques to join 2022’s new guidelines, Ford is the one one that’s not a full blown works operation. The blue oval has nonetheless elevated its help lately to M-Sport, who used to run the manufacturing unit Ford WRC operation till 2012.

Nonetheless, Matton has reiterated that Ford is placing extra deal with the WRC and is closely concerned within the improvement of M-Sport’s Rally1 automobile.

“From what I do know Ford is deeply concerned within the improvement of the brand new automobile and we’ve a Ford consultant within the completely different working teams, so it reveals they’re actually interested in this new automobile and the subsequent era of automobiles,” Matton replied when quizzed if the brand new guidelines might entice Ford to turn out to be a full WRC producer once more.

“They are going to be very near M-Sport sooner or later.”

Whereas eager to draw new manufacturers to the WRC, the championship is content material with its trio of producers which have dedicated for the subsequent three years.

“I’d say we don’t complain with three producers, for certain extra is best, however if you happen to keep in mind effectively we had for a number of years solely two within the championship and we had some years with 4 producers,” mentioned Matton.

“A very powerful factor was first to stabilise with three producers and to allow them to commit for 3 years, and that has by no means occur earlier than, and this additionally provides some worth to the potential newcomers that they won’t be alone.”

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