Five months after ORECA was officially appointed by the FIA as exclusive supplier of the FIA R4 Rally kit, the project goes on. Meetings take place at the FIA and ORECA participated a few days ago at the FIA Sport Conference in Geneva to launch in detail to all national federations this new solution for drivers and rally teams from around the world.

Several working meetings have been held in recent months at the FIA with many representatives of different ASNs across the globe to exchange about conditions around the setting up of this new regulation, the central subject being the homologation itself as national federations will all have to deal with this mandatory step. ASNs who were also well represented at the 5th FIA Sport Conference last week in Geneva, a motorsport event now unmissable for the main actors in the world of motorsport and during which ORECA, through its President Hugues de Chaunac, took the floor to present the stakes and the many advantages of the newly created R4 category by the FIA. It was also an opportunity for the French company to disclose the latest details on the construction and homologation process of an R4 to all ASN.

Though the whole process has taken longer than expected, the original plan should not change much. Design and manufacturing of the parts needed to build up the test car continues. The first tests – to be conducted on a Toyota Etios – should be scheduled before the end of summer.

Considering the number of enquiries from the world rallying actors since the launch of the category, the R4 looks promising.

R4 manufacturing process

  • 1st step
    Homologation of the R4 Kit: by the FIA, scheduled between 1st July 2017 and 1st September 2017
    Validity of homologation: 7 years, to be renewed twice for 2 years each time
    ORECA is the exclusive supplier for 2017, 2018 and 2019
  • 2nd step
    Series Production Cars, 2-wheel drive or 4-wheel drive, produced in a quantity of at least 2500 units within 12 consecutive months.
  • 3rd step
    All following items have to be approved by the R4-kit supplier
    – Positioning (coordinates/dimensions) and installation of the R4-kit in the series production bodyshell
    – Installation of the engine & transmission
    – Installation of the fuel tank
    – Bodyshell modifications
  • 4th step
    Template will be issued by FIA including the following information:
    – Overall length & Overall width
    – Width of bodywork at front and rear axle centerline
    – Front and rear overhangs
    – Wheelbase
    – Positioning (coordinates / dimensions) of the R4-kit in the series production bodyshell
    – Bodyshell modification dossier (see article 900-f)
    – Seat supports and anchorages for seat support
    – Safety foam for lateral crash
    – Door pannel
    – Windscreen
    – Longitudinal driveshafts (to be selected within R4-kits)
    – Safety cage
  • 5th step
    Cars fitted with a R4 kit and used on open roads must be officially registered for road use.

Group R4 cars are homologated by the ASN on a standard FIA process which allows the cars to race in:
– All countries where Group R4 is allowed
– All regional FIA Championship
– All WEC events outside Europe

Find Annex J FIA R4 publied by FIA : FIA_R4_20062017 or visit FIA official website.

Découvrez l’Annexe J FIA Groupe 4 publié par la FIA : 

The many advantages of FIA R4 Kit
• R4 is not a competitor to R5 – slower 0,5 to 1 sec/km
• Technical support hotline dedicated to accompany the closest possible the assembly and running of their R4
• A complete new R4 car cost is 15 to 20 % cheaper than R5
• 37 € (42 USD) by kilometer (based on a 6 000 kilometer season).
• Running cost is 35 to 40 % lower than R5
• Design as a single make with a focus on reliability and serviceability
• Standard components easy to source worldwide
• Local production reducing transport cost and taxes
• A road car engine easy to source and rebuild locally
• FIA pricelist for spare parts and R4 kit
• R4 will enable to bring a wide variety of cars to rallying
• R4 will reinstate technical roles for teams and local tuners and generate new business opportunities
• High safety standards
• R4 is a stepping stone into 4WD rallying for young and gentlemen drivers.
• Limited running costs
• Based on models that have no homologation in R5 or WRC : a real potentiel of business activation
• Limited one time investmen and homologation costs
• Good solution to renew the field of old group N cars that is dying
• R4 kit is homologated for 7 years minimum
• No escalation of performance, no performance jokers

Watch video of R4 concept here and download the complete FIA R4 brochure here.

Author Olivier Loisy

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