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FIA wants hybrids for all world championships

Plans for hybrid technology to be introduced into all world championships have been outlined by FIA president Jean Todt.

Todt explained that it was imperative that motorsport encompass new automotive technologies. He said he hopes that hybrid systems or KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems) will be used in championships other than Formula One in forthcoming seasons.

“At the moment, there is a lot of discussion about electric cars,” he said. “We think energy-recovery hybrid cars are a good first step.

“We have the idea that we can have this in all FIA championships for 2013. For next year, KERS will be used by F1 teams, which will be an important demonstration.”

KERS will return to F1 after the end of a gentleman´s agreement between the teams not to use the technology in 2010. It will not be mandatory, but the wider front tires and higher minimum-weight limit mean it will offer more of an advantage than in 2009.

Todt´s statement on hybrids has met with a mixed response from participants in the other FIA world championships.

Hans Reiter, whose eponymous company has developed the Lamborghini Murciélago for the FIA GT1 World Championship, questioned the merits of off-the-shelf systems.

“If you have one system, it would be nothing more than a marketing gimmick,” he said. “The reason for running hybrids in motorsport is to increase the pace of development.”

Reiter insisted that the development of hybrid systems should be the domain of big manufacturers. He said that “small teams like us don´t have the resources.”

Eric Neve, motorsport boss at World Touring Car Championship entrant Chevrolet, insisted that it was essential that the introduction of hybrid systems did not lead to a significant increase in costs.

“That is an area where you could spend a lot of money,” he said. “If there was open development, it would not fit with the philosophy of the WTCC, but if there was an affordable common system, then we would support it.”

Prodrive, which is developing the Mini for the World Rally Championship next year, echoed Chevrolet´s standpoint.

Prodrive managing director Richard Taylor said: “What we don´t want is a ridiculously expensive system that we are left to develop on our own. If there is a universal piece of equipment at a standard price, then it would make sense.”

Hybrid technology has already raced in the sports-car arena in the American Le Mans Series. Peugeot has confirmed that its 2011 Le Mans contender will be a hybrid.


Posted on Saturday, September 11, 2010 @ 09:12:52 LKT


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