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Subaru "Impreza 22B", custom & restore to over 400 horsepower ... Goodwood 2022

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In 1997, due to the regulation change of WRC, many of the participating manufacturers switched to WR cars.

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    Regulation change

    World rally car

    World rally car (World rally car) IsFIAWorld Rally Championship(WRC) competed for the overall victoryRally carstipulations.commonly known asWR car.

    Because it is similar to the series name, there are cases where it is misunderstood as "all vehicles participating in WRC".[1], was in force from 1997 to 2021 to be exactGroup ARefers to the special provisions of


    Enforced in 1997.International Automobile FederationIt is classified as "RC1", which is the highest rally vehicle class regulated by (FIA), and was used in the highest competition class of WRC.on the rulesGroup E It is a category I of (free formula racing car group) and is called "WRC kit variant".

    Although it is based on a commercial vehicle, it is completely different except for the skeleton, and it is a high-output turbo engine.Sequential transmissionTo combine.The base carFFIn the case of4WDIn addition to being changed to , over fenders and large aerodynamic parts are attached to the body, and the suspension etc. are also changed.In addition, it is possible to lower the center of gravity by tilting the engine.

    It was the longest-running provision in WRC history, but from 2022, it will be a pure competition-only design vehicle that does not need to use the frame of a commercial vehicle.Rally 1Ended with the introduction of regulations[2].



    Promoted to WRC main regulation in 1987Group AUnder the regulations, the range of modification from commercial vehicles is limited, andAuxiliary machine・In addition to not allowing changes to aerodynamic parts and drive systems, the requirement was that the base model must produce at least 12 units in 5,000 consecutive months (relaxed to 93 units or more in 2,500).As a result, many Japanese manufacturers, whose home countries have markets with high demand for 4WD, continued to participate in the race, while other European manufacturers withdrew one after another.Furthermore, due to the global recession, even the number of Japanese manufacturers decreased by half.

    そこで量産車を大規模に改造できる新規定WR carが誕生した。年間に25,000台以上が生産された量産モデルのうち、2,500台以上生産された派生車種であれば駆動方式の変更やターボ装着の有無などを自由にできるという条件に緩和された[3][4].This has made it possible for many manufacturers who do not have a high-performance 4WD sports car in their commercial vehicle lineup to enter.

    French car manufacturers initially supported the idea of ​​a 2WD + naturally aspirated engine, which could be entered at a lower cost, and was actually implemented from 2 to 1995 as a lower class vehicle called "F1999 kit car". It also became a place for manufacturers who wanted to participate in the WRC to gain experience, and there was a growing momentum to replace it with Group A, but the existing Japanese manufacturers rebelled and could not keep pace, so it was postponed.[5].


    Stick to commercial vehicles for the first three years after enforcementMitsubishidid not transition to WR cars,Subaruintroduced a WR car that made up for the weaknesses based on the Group A machine, and made a full-scale return in 1998.ToyotaAlsoCorollaThere was still a strong connection with Group A, such as introducing a machine that had a Group A drive system pushed into it.FordAlthough the minimum production volume has not been achieved, it has received FIA special approval on the condition that it is for a limited time.Escort WRCwas put in, but no good results were obtained.Mitsubishi's driver's titleTommi Makinenwon back-to-back titles, but the manufacturers' title was shared by Subaru in 1997, Mitsubishi in 1998, and Toyota in 1999.

    New manufacturers in 1997 Peugeot, in 1998SeatとSkoda, In 2000Hyundai, In 2001CitroenParticipation gradually began, and at one point WR cars were booming, with seven works teams participating.In addition, manufacturers who do not have the know-how of 7WD and engines for competitionPro drive,Pipo MotulBecause he relied on independent constructors such as, the rally world itself was also activated.

    In 2000, Toyota withdrew to switch to F1, but Peugeot, which was a spot entry until the previous year, emerged with the 206 WRC, a full-fledged WR car.Peugeot is Michel Nandan[Note 1]Under the command of , we attacked the limit of the minimum length of 4m for WR cars, and mass-produced 2,500 evolution models equipped with large bumpers on base vehicles that were shorter than that.[Note 2].Corolla WRCIt was the opposite approach to extending the wheelbase to suppress cornering behavior.[6].

    The conventional manufacturers did not look at this with their fingers in their mouths.Subaru, which has a base vehicle with an excellent background, set the year 2000 as a development period, and began full-scale introduction of a mature WR car from 2001.Subaru'sRichard Burnswon the driver's title with a 1 point difference with a stable run with only 2 win. Also in 2003 SubaruPetter Solberg Citroen OfSebastian robeescaped by just one point.In addition, while the budget from the headquarters was cut, Ford secured a long stroke amount with a bold slant arrangement of the suspension in 1 under the designer Christian Loriaud, who has a title experience with Subaru's WR car, and aerodynamically But we introduced the Focus RS WRC, which made full use of its epoch-making design.Although it did not reach the title due to numerous minor troubles, its innovativeness is said to have set the standard for future WR cars.

    On the other hand, Mitsubishi, who stuck to Group A and started late, began to stray. WR cars were introduced at the end of 5, the fifth year since the introduction of WR car regulations, but Mäkinen, who was an absolute ace, withdrew at the end of the same year. In 2001, he took a temporary hiatus to concentrate on machine development.In 2002 and 2003, due to the deterioration of the head office's management, it became a sporadic participation, and WRC activities were completely suspended at the end of 2004.In 2005, SEAT alsoTouring carHyundai also withdrew in the middle of 2003 due to organizational disputes.

    Citroën introduced the Xsara WRC in 2003 after letting its parent company Peugeot enjoy enough glory.This machine, which has been well matured in the domestic championship, won the manufacturer's title in its debut year. In 2004, in addition to manufacturersSebastian robewon the driver's title, and the company will build a golden age for a long time.Especially the 2005 lobeTour de CorseIt was an overwhelming strength that broke the season record with 16 wins out of 10 races in the year, including victory in all SS victories in the[Note 3].Peugeot, by contrast, in 2004GabrioleAlthough the model-based 307WRC will be introduced[Note 4], Lost competitiveness due to poor handling due to lack of body rigidity and frequent minor troubles[7].Also, as the knowledge of each company's WR car development deepens, the degree of freedom in design is low.Horizontally opposed engineとsedanBody Subaru is disadvantageous in terms of front and rear weight balance, andPro driveIt lost its combat power partly due to organizational conflicts with

    The years 2005 and 2006 were a turning point not only in terms of WR car regulations, but also in the history of the WRC. In 2005, Peugeot and Citroën changed their motorsports policy due to the increase in participation costs and the increase in the number of rounds outside their own brand's sales region, and withdrew from works participation at the same time until 2005.[8].In the same year, Škoda also withdrew from works participation due to lack of budget (although all three companies continued as a semi-works system).As mentioned above, Mitsubishi also withdrew in 3, so in an instant there were only two full-works companies, Subaru-Ford, instead of six.

    In response to this situation, in 2006, aroundDifferential gear(differential) and suspensionActivate(Electronic control) was prohibited, and costs were suppressed.[9][10].In addition, Citroën returned to full works in 2007 after clearing the budget problem by solving the logistic cost problem by devising the calendar.[11].Suzuki, who had been participating in the JWRC, also made its long-awaited WR car debut at the end of 2007.

    On the other hand, Peugeot and Skoda also withdrew from Semi-Works at the end of 2006. By the end of 2008Lehman shockDue to the influence of Subaru,Japanese sea bassblitz withdrawal. Mitsubishi, which was aiming to return to the WRC in 2008, was unable to do so, and Japanese manufacturers temporarily disappeared from the WRC.At one point, the WR car regulations rebounded to four companies, but due to another withdrawal and the absence of new entrants, in 4 there were only two companies (Citroen and Ford) again.

    Looking at the records alone, Loeb and Citroën dominated at this time, but Ford was the only one that could compete with them. In 2006 and 2007, the well-developed third-generation Focus RS WRC won two manufacturers' titles in a row, giving back to Citroen's era of power.Also in the driver's titleMarcus Gronholm,Mikko HirvonenAlthough it was not possible to prevent Loeb's consecutive victory, such as playing a close match approaching 1 point difference, it was very close.

    As of 2008, the engine mounting position and mounting angle are free, the number of engines that can be used per year is up to 5, the maximum displacement is 2.0 L, the minimum vehicle weight is 1,230 kg, and the vehicle width is up to 1,800 mm.[Note 5]Was supposed to be[12].


    新規ワークスの参入が困難になってしまっている状況を打開するため、既にIRC(Intercontinental Rally Challenge)やPWRC(Production Car World Rally Championship)で使用されていたSuper 2000Proposal for introduction of regulations emerges[Note 6]。2008年、FIAはスーパー2000をベースとしてWRカーに仕様変更可能な“スーパー2000プラス”を提案。最終的にWTCC(世界ツーリングカー選手権)と共通の規定の元に製作される「グローバル・レース・エンジン(GRE)」(1.6 LDirect injectionTurbo) installed in Super 2000 vehiclesSuper 2000 WRCとすることが決定された。2010年は新旧両規定の混走となり、2011年から新規定に一本化されることになった。

    Under the new regulations, the transmission is electronically controlled 6-speed.Semi ATを機械式6速シーケンシャル、ディファレンシャルギヤはセンターが廃止され、フロント・リアの機械式のみが使用可能となった。サスペンションは前後ともにMacPherson strut typeに限定され、フォードが用いていたような複雑なトレーリングアーム式などは採用できなくなった。その他には純粋なスーパー2000車両との差別化のため、最低重量は1,200 kg[Note 7]The total length was 4,000 mm → 3,900 mm, the vehicle width was 1,800 mm → 1,820 mm, and the air restrictor diameter was 34 mm → 33 mm.[13][14].In addition, paddle shift was prohibited only in 2014.

    By cutting the minimum total length of 4 m, the base vehicle is completelyB segmenthatchbackMoved to[14].

    With this new regulationMini, Hyundai,Volkswagenis a new participant.Among them, Mini debuted earliest in 2011 through a joint venture with Prodrive, but the parent company'sBMWwas reluctant to budget, so it collided with Prodrive. After the opening round of 2012, the Portuguese corporation took over the management of the team as it was.And it was withdrawn from the works within the same year[15][16].

    Volkswagen had made careful preparations with its subsidiary Skoda, which had been participating in the Super 2000 regulations for some time, and then confronted Loeb within Citroen.Sebastian Ogierを引き抜き、一年をかけてオジェに特化したマシンを開発。デビューの2013年から2016年まで完全無欠のドライバーズ・マニュファクチャラーズ4連覇を達成した。しかしフォルクスワーゲンはディーゼル排ガス不正問題が原因で、2017年規定投入寸前で撤退している。

    In the end, only Hyundai, which returned in 2014, was the only new manufacturer to enter the market and survive under this rule. In 2016, he finished second in both the Drivers and Manufacturers rankings, second only to the invincible Volkswagen.

    In 2012, Ford withdrew from the works system and was in charge of operations for a long time.M sportsがフォード車での参戦を引き継いだ。完全無欠のドライバーズ9連覇を達成したローブを2013年で失ったシトロエンは下降を続け、2016年には他カテゴリと新規定マシン開発に集中するため、この年だけワークス参戦を休止するなど、新規参入メーカーとは対照的に古豪たちの凋落が目立つようになった。

    なおこの規定のWRカーをデチューンし、30mm径のエアリストリクターを装着するRRC(リージョナル・ラリーカー)規定も同時に施行されていた。WRカーとスーパー2000/Group R5の中間を埋めるこの規定には、WRカー仕様を持つシトロエン、フォード、ミニが参入。シトロエンとフォードで初期のWRC2(2013年~)を3連覇している。WRC2では2015年までRRCが参戦可能となっていた。


    Due to the sense of crisis about the decline in popularity of the WRC, in order to make the WR car more attractive, we changed the direction from the cost reduction route of the Super 2000 WRC and carried out significant deregulation.[17].

    The changes are as follows.

    • The diameter of the air restrictor has been increased (33 mm → 36 mm), and the maximum engine output has been increased from 315 horsepower to 380 horsepower.
    • Minimum weight relief. (1,200 kg → 1,175 kg)
    • Full width expansion. (1,820 mm → 1,875 mm)
    • The rear diffuser overhang is approved up to 50 mm, and the development of the wing is greatly relaxed.
    • Lifting of the ban on active center differentials.

    The operation of the new privateer WR car was banned because this new WR car is too high performance and dangerous for gentleman drivers, but it was lifted in 2018[18][19].

    Toyota has returned to works since 2017, the first year of the introduction of this regulation.Toyota made full-scale preparations after appointing Makinen as the team representative, and attracted attention with bold aerodynamic parts that made the most of the aerodynamic regulations, and has continued to win the title since 2018.

    Like 2003 and 2006, M-Sport produced a machine that concentrated resources from the previous year.With the participation of the absolute champion Ogier, he achieved the feat of winning the driver manufacturer as a privateer in 2017, and Ford returned as a semi-works "M Sports Ford".However, the lack of resources remains the same, and the pulling out of influential drivers is one after another, and the fighting power is declining. In 2018, it was all that Ogier could do to win the drivers' title.

    Citroën will challenge the competition with the C3 WRC, which is peaky but has speed. In 2019, he succeeded in pulling out Ogier, but Toyota'sOit TanakOgier's winning streak ended.At the end of the same year, Ogier also transferred to Toyota, and Citroën withdrew from losing the chance to win.

    In this way, from 2020 onwards, the two Asian brands of Toyota vs. Hyundai will be the two strongest Asian brands, showing the same aspect as the former Group A.

    The FIA ​​is in line with the recent rise in environmental awareness to encourage the participation of automobile manufacturers.Hybrid systemAnd adopts biofuel, in additionB segmenthatchbackを持たないメーカーでもパイプフレームボディによるスケーリングで参戦を可能とする「Rally 1」規定を2022年から導入し、WRカーの時代は終焉を迎えた。


    注 釈

    1. ^ After being involved in the initial draft of the Corolla at TTE (Toyota Team Europe, now TGR-E), he transferred to Peugeot.After withdrawing from Peugeot, he was involved in Suzuki and Hyundai's WRC activities.
    2. ^ This technique was later imitated by Skoda.
    3. ^ Peugeot in Rally GBMarkko Martin's co-driver Michael Park died in an accident, at which time Loeb deliberately finished third, unwilling to secure the championship at the event.Without this event, he would have won 3 games for the year.Loeb then went on to 11 wins in 2008.
    4. ^ Since 2004, the minimum weight has been stipulated and the side and rear screens can be made of resin.However, for the 307CC, which does not have a roof pillar, the FIA ​​has imposed a condition that the roll cage should be fixed with bolts instead of welding, making it difficult to secure rigidity.A 4-speed transmission was introduced with the aim of reducing weight, but this also did not go well.
    5. ^ When the total length of the base vehicle is 4,200 mm or more.
    6. ^ 2.0 LNAエンジンを使用し、ボディ補強など最低限の改造のみで競技車両を製作するもので、戦闘力はグループN4相当を想定していたが、実際にはN4の速さを大きく上回った
    7. ^ The total weight including the driver and co-driver is 1,350 kg.


    1. ^ The phantom WR car developed by 4WD pioneer Audi with prestige "Audi Sport Quattro RS002" (page 1/2)
    2. ^ "It is decided to introduce a hybrid WR car to WRC from 2022". Rally-X mobile(July 2019, 6). http://rallyx.net/news/2022年からWRCにハイブリッドWRカーの導入が決定-17666/ 2019/9/26Browse. 
    3. ^ “SUBARU WRC HISTORY Vol.61 WRC New Era Start”. SUBARU(July 2009, 5). http://members.subaru.jp/blog/2009/05/subaru_wrc_history_vol61wrc.html 2014/6/25Browse. [Broken link]
    4. ^ "Congratulations! WRC Japan's first held What is the base car of the WR car?”. Carview. As of July 2012, 7original[Broken link]More archives.2014/6/25Browse.
    5. ^ "RALLY CARS Vol.17 SKODA OCTAVIA WRC" July 2017, 7 Published by Sanei Shobo
    6. ^ "RACE CAR Magazine AUTOSPORT June 2022" Released on April 6, 2022 Published by Sanei Shobo
    7. ^ "Racing on WRC plus 2004 Vol.1" News Publishing, March 2004, 3
    8. ^ [WRC 2005] Team Close-Up "Citroen, the champion who will withdraw this season"WebCG viewed July 2022, 7
    9. ^ "WRC machine commentary”. RALLY PLUS.NET. As of January 2015, 1original[Broken link]More archives.2014/6/25Browse.
    10. ^ Kawada, Teru "Highlights of WRC2006" "WRC Plus" Vol. 17, No. 06,News publication, September 2006, pp. 2-43.
    11. ^ Citroën returns to WRC in 2007!Response.jp Retrieved April 2022, 7
    12. ^ "Basic knowledge you need to know / WRC machine explanation”. WRC JAPAN World Rally Championship Japanese Official Site. As of August 2015, 8original[Broken link]More archives.2014/6/25Browse.
    13. ^ “Continuing support as an official supplier! Challenge for the third year of returning to the race”. ENDLESS(2011). http://www.endless-sport.co.jp/EndlessMagazine/motorsports/2011/support_race/wrc2011_1st/index.html 
    14. ^ a b “WRC regulation”. MICHELIN MOTOR SPORTS REPORT(November 2011, 4). originalArchived as of October 2019, 4.. https://web.archive.org/web/20190430051916/http://nihon.michelin.co.jp/motorsports/2011/04/wrc-8.html 2019/4/30Browse. 
    15. ^ Prodrive pulls out of WRC mini works
    16. ^ MINI to withdraw from WRC ... Works activities will end within the year
    17. ^ "Infographic commentary on 2017 WRC regulations!”(May 2017, 4). 2017/8/26Browse.
    18. ^ 2016.06.28 “FIA does not allow privateers to participate in WRC with new machines in 17”. AUTOSPORT WEB. (June 2016, 6). http://www.as-web.jp/rally/25985 2016.06.28 2018/4/15Browse. 
    19. ^ "Privateer's latest WR car can participate from next season". RallyX. (December 2017, 12). http://rallyx.net/news/来季からプライベーターの最新WRカー参戦が可能に-15459/ 2018/4/15Browse. 

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