Are Rally Cars Now Too Fast After The Regulation Changes?

Are Rally Cars Now Too Fast After The Regulation Changes?

Here at SuperUnleaded, we’ve lauded the new era of the World Rally Championship as the most exciting looking in years.

P-20170211-00997_HiRes JPEG 24bit RGB

More aero bodywork, more powerful engines and more technical gizmos to help them go just that bit faster. All the cars look and sound spectacular on the stages this year.

But following the cancellation of special stage 12 at last weekend’s Rally Sweden, we can’t help wondering if the cars of 2017 have been made too fast too soon?

P-20170210-03945_HiRes JPEG 24bit RGB

With at least 380bhp at his disposal on special stage nine, M-Sport’s Estonian driver Ott Tanak produced the fastest average speed ever on a world rally stage:

85.65mph

On snow, that is mind-bogglingly quick! It’s seven miles per hour faster than any car has completed a stage in history!

But following Tanak’s stupidly quick time, the rally organisers issued a statement saying:

Due to safety reasons, after analysing the average speeds on special stage 9 and on recommendations from the FIA, special stage 12 is cancelled.

Hosted on the snowy and icy back roads of the Swedish forests, this was the first major speed test for the 2017 WRC cars, as Rally Sweden is usually one of the fastest rallies of the season.

P-20170211-00849_HiRes JPEG 24bit RGB

But as more and more cars use the stages, the snow and ice turns to slush and the gravel underneath starts to show through, providing a much tougher test for the cars equipped with snow and ice-specific studded tyres.

P-20170209-00847_HiRes JPEG 24bit RGB

With changing conditions, the drivers would have much less grip, and as they push the envelope of speed and traction, something rather awful could happen.

P-20170212-00416_HiRes JPEG 24bit RGB

As it’s only the second rally with these new cars, we’re sure the FIA is feeling a bit twitchy about letting these cars fully off the leash, so to be honest, we completely understand why it cancelled the stage.

P-20170210-02866_HiRes JPEG 24bit RGB

It was a shame missing an extra part of the rally though, as we’re thoroughly enjoying it this time around!

Images: Red Bull Content Pool

Pssst!
Want to keep up on our latest news?

Subscribe to our email updates now - we promise they're worth it.