Evans: Battery use "critical" on WRC stage times

Elfyn Evans believes managing the hybrid power correctly will have a "massive effect" on stage times at some World Rally Championship events this year.

Evans: Battery use "critical" on WRC stage times

The WRC will embrace hybrid technology for the first time this season as part of new sweeping Rally1 regulations set to make their debut at the Monte Carlo Rally later this month.

The introduction of hybrid power will present drivers with extra power boosts to be used on each stage, resulting in all-new cars being capable of producing 500 horsepower in short bursts.

The addition of a mandatory Compact Dynamics 100kW hybrid unit to each car has made the machines heavier than their predecessors, while the new Rally1 rules include a tougher safety cell, reduction in aero and suspension travel and the removal of the centre differential. A sequential gearshift has been introduced to replace paddle shift.

However, the extra 130bhp hybrid power is the biggest of the changes, requiring drivers to regenerate power through the stages under braking to receive power boosts that are initiated by using the throttle, and end once the foot comes off the pedal.

Drivers will only receive boosts during the stages if they can regenerate 30 kilojoules of energy under braking to create what is known as a "valid regen", while the amount of extra power available is determined by the FIA, the nature of the stage and its length.

Capped by the FIA, each driver will start every stage with the battery at 80% with the aim of ending the stage with a state of charge of 30%. The battery will return to around 80% through regeneration on the road section before the next stage.

Heading into Monte Carlo drivers and teams are still understanding the full potential of the system, but Toyota's Evans believes managing the hybrid system correctly could prove crucial for stage times at points during the season.

"I think hybrid is something very new that we are all still finding out about," Evans, the WRC runner-up for the last two seasons, told Motorsport.com.

"What we do know is the amount of deployment we have is controlled by the FIA, and of course if the deployment is at a high level, then that has quite an effect on the acceleration of the car.

"If you generate far less of those accelerations, then your stage time is massively hurt by that.

"The battery at its most powerful is worth over 100 horsepower. You only need a few of those accelerations from slow junctions where you don't have it, for it to have a massive effect.

"Of course it is critical element of driving, I think it is going to be probably more critical in some event than others.

"If you are racing in a slippery event then it is less crucial, but if you are on dry tarmac you can make full use of that power."

Elfyn Evans, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota Yaris WRC

Elfyn Evans, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota Yaris WRC

Photo by: McKlein / Motorsport Images

While testing has increased in recent months, Evans says he is still not where "he wants to be" in terms of being comfortable in the new GR Yaris that is significantly different to last year.

"Everything feels very very new and very very different to before. Okay it is still a four wheel drive rally car, but there is still a lot things that are new," he added.

"The whole way the car is working is completely different, and that is even before you consider the hybrid, to be honest. There is a lot of new things and a lot of new sensations let's say on the car and that is something you have to get used to.

"I would say [testing has been] okay. Like always with new cars it is never completely straight forward.

"You never seem to have quite enough time to get through what you need to get through. It is really hard to judge because you have no gauge of where you are.

"Personally I still feel I'm not where I want to be yet, but I'm sure there will be many others in the same position.

Read Also:

"I would consider myself a fussy driver in terms of set up and when things are so new. I appreciate it is going to take some time. I still feel there is some work to do to reach the maximum levels of confidence."

All teams will conduct a pre-event test in France next week ahead of the Monte Carlo Rally from 20-23 January.

shares
comments

Related video

Tanak confident Hyundai can “fight hard” in 2022 WRC
Previous article

Tanak confident Hyundai can “fight hard” in 2022 WRC

Next article

Hyundai becomes first WRC team to launch 2022 Rally1 car

Hyundai becomes first WRC team to launch 2022 Rally1 car
Load comments
Why the WRC's 'modern Group B' era was rallying at its bonkers best Prime

Why the WRC's 'modern Group B' era was rallying at its bonkers best

The World Rally Championship has brought down the curtain on the aggressive, aero-laden generation of cars first introduced in 2017 that have been likened to the 1980s Group B icons. As the championship prepares to begin a new era of Rally1 hybrid cars, its stars explain just why the outgoing machines were so special

WRC
Dec 24, 2021
Ranking the top 10 WRC drivers of 2021 Prime

Ranking the top 10 WRC drivers of 2021

On the eve of a new hybrid era for the World Rally Championship, the 2021 season was a blockbuster fought out between Toyota's two top dogs, with a familiar figure eventually emerging on top after a final showdown at Monza. We pick out the 10 best performers from the top class and its supporting cast

WRC
Dec 21, 2021
Why Ogier's WRC swansong was a season to savour Prime

Why Ogier's WRC swansong was a season to savour

He’s shuffling into semi-rally-retirement, but Toyota star Sebastien Ogier was at the peak of his powers in the final season for the high downforce era-World Rally Championship cars. Despite Toyota's domination, there was still much to enjoy as the old master emerged atop a fierce title fight against teammate Elfyn Evans.

WRC
Dec 19, 2021
How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers Prime

How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers

After winning his eighth WRC title, Sebastien Ogier has drawn the curtain on his full-time rallying career. To understand Ogier's legacy, many of his former rivals, team-mates and colleagues have shared their thoughts on a vastly successful career

WRC
Nov 26, 2021
Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies Prime

Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies

Richard Burns was a determined driver who took on the best rally drivers in the world during a boom period in the early 2000s, and beat them. On the 20th anniversary of his crowning glory in winning the 2001 WRC title, and 16 years on from his death on the same date, we pick out his 10 greatest drives

WRC
Nov 25, 2021
The internal focus that made Burns a legendary world rally champion Prime

The internal focus that made Burns a legendary world rally champion

At the turn of the millennium, WRC was full to the brim with rallying's great and good - and 20 years ago on this day, Richard Burns became England's first world rally champion. Although Burns' natural talent drove him to the top, his steely determination and mental strength was the key attribute behind his title-winning form

WRC
Nov 25, 2021
How Ogier emerged from Loeb's shadow to form his own WRC legend Prime

How Ogier emerged from Loeb's shadow to form his own WRC legend

OPINION: Adding an eighth WRC title to his name, Sebastien Ogier has bowed out from full-time rallying in style. Having been compared throughout his career with nine-time champion Sebastien Loeb, Ogier has convincingly demonstrated that he can stand on his own as one of the greatest rally drivers in history

WRC
Nov 22, 2021
How confronting self-doubt drove Ogier to become a WRC legend Prime

How confronting self-doubt drove Ogier to become a WRC legend

This weekend's Rally Monza marks the end of an era in the World Rally Championship, as Sebastien Ogier prepares to bring down the curtain on his full-time career with an eighth title. For all his enduring success, the Toyota driver reveals in an exclusive interview that lingering insecurities have compelled his quest for perfection

WRC
Nov 18, 2021