Audi returns to WRC with A1 Quattro WRC2 rally car
Audi will return to the World Rally Championship via EKS JC Racing
The World Rally Championship is about to welcome back one of its most iconic brands to the WRC2 category, with EKS JC Racing revealing its new Audi A1 Quattro WRC2 rally car. The new car will be raced by a conglomerate team from RallyCross success called EKS JC, and has been built in collaboration with South African company Rally Technic.
Adhering to WRC2 and WRC3 class regulations, the A1 Quattro WRC car will be powered by a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine mated to a five-speed sequential transmission and an all-wheel drive system. As with all entrants in the class, peak power is capped at 260bhp.
The body is bespoke to the A1 Quattro, and takes many of its elements from the road car but combines them with hard points defined by the R1 regulations such as its extended track widths, cooling and aerodynamic devices.
EKS JC will begin testing with 2020 Junior WRC champion Emil Bergkvist, prioritising development on gravel and snow before moving on to tarmac. While the A1 Quattro will not compete in the 2021 WRC2 championship wholesale, it will compete in individual events later this year to further aid its development.
The A1 Quattro will initially only be raced by EKS JC Racing, but project leader and ex- Rallycross world champion Mattias Ekström has suggested it could be available to other privateer teams in future saying “For now, this car is just for our own use, but when we will be satisfied with its performance, we will offer it for rent or purchase to other competitors.”
Audi’s heritage in the world of rally needs little introduction, of course, revolutionising the sport with the development of Quattro all-wheel drive in the ‘80s and winning the overall championship twice in 1982 and 1984. This modern day return to the sport, although without factory support, is a welcome addition to the lesser WRC classes that continue to foster the next generation of WRC stars.