WRC teams modify cars to combat cockpit temperatures
The FIA confirmed last week that it was working with teams to tackle cockpit temperatures in new Rally1 cars which were described as dangerous by crews on Rally Portugal two weeks ago.
The increase in cockpit temperatures stems from the exhaust position being moved from a central position to the right side of the car for the new 2022 Rally1 machines.
As a result, the co-pilot is now exposed to higher temperatures.
Following a series of proposals presented to the WRC Commission, the teams made a series of minor changes, but these were limited by the limited time between the Portugal and Sardinia events.
Drivers are expected to face ambient temperatures that are expected to reach 41 degrees on Saturday.
FIA rally director Andrew Wheatley has confirmed that teams will be allowed to use several strategies to address the issue which have been ratified by the WRC Commission, some of them requiring an accelerated homologation process.
Crews were able to modify roof vents, add vents to windows, and place mirror film over windows to reflect heat. Changes can also be made to the insulation of engine compartments under cars in an effort to reduce temperatures.
“Honestly, it’s a really good example of what motorsport does best in terms of trying to solve a problem,” Wheatley said.
“We have two issues, physical restrictions and we have regulatory restrictions on what we can do. There is no doubt that this weekend will be quite exceptional. The temperatures forecast are going to be huge.
“Immediately after Portugal, the FIA technical team sat down and made two lists.
“The first list was what we can do without any homologation changes and that list was five items and the teams immediately got to work on those issues.
“Then there were three other issues which required an expedited process through the homologation process and which had to be referred to the WRC Commission for a quick response. [the teams] need to get the changes for this weekend.”
Hyundai has opted for perhaps the most visible solution to the problem by installing a gold reflective roof on its i20 N which it hopes will help repel the sun’s heat to reduce cabin temperatures.
Despite the quick fixes, Hyundai team assistant principal Julien Moncet is not confident the measures taken will be sufficient, but the teams revealed were unable to make any significant changes given the time. limited between events.
Ott Tänak, Martin Järveoja, Hyundai World Rally Team Hyundai i20 N Rally1
Photo by: McKlein / Motorsport Images
“He expects a full solution to come only after this month’s Safari Rally (June 23-26) due to limited time to transport cars to Kenya.
“The time was really short between the two events Portugal and Sardinia,” Moncet told Autosport.
“We had discussions last week with the FIA and so on and we agreed on certain measures that will be applied here in Sardinia. Whether that is enough, I think not, but at least it will improve the situation.
“I’m sure all the teams will come up with proposals, but we were allowed to punch holes behind the side windows and mess with the roof vent. We have a golden roof to limit the sunshine.
“We know that the main source of heat comes from the exhaust line, so nevertheless these reflective panels are only effective for the heat coming from the outside, but if we gain a few degrees less, it is more than welcome .
“We need to remove more heat from the inside out, so we’ll see some interesting solutions throughout the weekend.
“At the moment that’s all we can do. We’ll see how much improvement there is this weekend and if that’s not enough we’ll have to go back with the teams and the FIA to decide further stages.
“We only have one week, so we have to be realistic and we can’t do everything in such a short time. We take this very seriously because it is an important issue.
In addition to the modifications made to the cars, the rally organizers will ensure that the crews have access to water at the end of the stage.