Munnich to run electric cars in World Rallycross next year
Munnich Motorsport is planning to run electric cars in the World Rallycross Championship next year, when the series will include electric technology within the top-level Supercar category.
Two-time DTM champion and World RX podium finisher Timo Scheider has been retained by the squad for the preceding 2020 season, and will be joined in a full campaign by team owner Rene Munnich in a second Seat Ibiza RX.
2020 will be the last year that World RX’s top Supercar division is run for only conventional internal combustion engine [ICE] cars. Next year, steel-bodied, four-wheel drive cars similar to the construction of current Supercars will be driven by an electric powertrain kit, developed by Austrian firm Kreisel.
“We recognise the move towards EV mobility in the automotive industry and the fact that motorsport is following a similar path,” said Munnich Motorsport team manager Dominik Greiner. “We welcome the plans for the FIA World Rallycross Championship to phase in electrification from 2021 and we are making plans to be part of this exciting future.”
Since making his rallycross debut in 2015 in a Munnich Motorsport Audi S3, this season will mark Scheider’s third full World RX campaign. While he twice qualified for the final at events last season, running as a single car entrant for the squad. He previously scored a best result of second at the 2017 season-opener in Spain, driving a Ford Fiesta for the MJP Racing team.
“I am super happy to go straight into my second season with Munnich Motorsport,” Scheider said. “Last year we expected to be better, that means our expectations for 2020 are even higher. We should have been on the podium from time-to-time last year but this year podiums are a must-have. The car has been developed over the winter in different areas, so we hope to have taken 2-3 steps forward. Let’s get the season going to see where we are.”
German entrepreneur Munnich, meanwhile, has been a top-flight rallycross regular since 2008. He contested full-time World RX campaigns in 2015 and 2016, but has focused on the European series for the last two years.
He will return to the World RX field this year with a second, updated, Ibiza RX. “I’m glad to be back in World RX, joining Timo in our two-car team,” said Munnich. “Last year the racing in World RX was very competitive and we produced some solid results. We expect the same high level of close racing this season and I am personally looking forward to testing myself against the best drivers in the sport once again.”
Barratt to contest Projekt E
Former World Rally Championship privateer driver Natalie Barratt will also join the World RX package this year, racing a Ford Fiesta in the five-round Projekt E electric support category, using a four-wheel drive powertrain kit developed by Austrian firm STARD.
“Projekt E is a fantastic opportunity and I’m hugely grateful to be part of it,” she said. “I’m looking to complete all five rounds – depending on budget. At moment I am concentrating on getting physically prepared – it’s been a long time since I sat in a race car.”
Barratt will test the car for the first time later this month.
Natalie Barratt and Dale Moscatt
Photo by: Team OMV
Russian World Rallycross round cancelled
Gronholm's team to field updated Hyundai rallycross car