The NSW Rally Panel has identified the base vehicle for the Hyundai Rally Series, the Hyundai Excel X3, is becoming less plentiful to find in the marketplace, becoming more expensive to procure and also parts are becoming harder to find. A Series for vehicles that are strictly limited in the modifications that can be made, thereby minimising the costs of joining the sport, is fundamental to expanding the grassroots level of competition. To ensure the Series is sustainable and encourages new competitors to the sport, the NSW Rally Panel has decided to expand the vehicle eligibility for the Series but meanwhile attempting to retain minimal performance difference between models. The new eligibility will be as follows:
Each Hyundai or Kia model manufactured by the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group that meet ALL the following criteria are eligible:
- front wheel drive only
- a swept engine capacity of 0-1600cc
- an advertised standard production factory power output of 83kW or less
- originally sold in Australia through the respective new car dealer network
That third criteria is important as there are some 0-1600cc engines in the Hyundai/Kia range with standard factory advertised power outputs of 91kW or 103kW. There are 1400cc variants of these same engines that produce 83kW or less, so they would be eligible. This expanded eligibility will open up a far wider range of second hand vehicles that are more economical to purchase, are more recent models but yet will still retain relative performance parity. It was decided to include Kia models as their drive trains are fundamentally mechanically identical to their Hyundai equivalents.
There will no longer be a Hyundai Open class for vehicles that are modified beyond the normal Hyundai Excel X3 Regulations. Competitors with these vehicles will now be able to compete in the new Pocket Rocket (0-1600cc) class in the Clubman Rally Series, 2WD Category or the equivalent class in the NSWRC if their driver seeding exceeds the threshold for being eligible for Clubman. Therefore, they are not left out.
The 0-1600cc class from Hyundai/Kia to Clubman to State provides a growth path as skills and results improve and more budget becomes available. It is seen as an important catalyst for attracting new grass roots competitors to the sport and shows you don’t need to compete in fully prepared EVOs, WRXs, AP4s or G4 cars with their associated budgets to be recognised for your results and to have heaps of fun.
The changes to formulate the new NSW Hyundai/Kia Regulations from the current Attachment A – Excel Rally cars are available at the following link and will be included in the 2024 NSW Rally Competition Conditions. (to be published shortly)
The NSW Rally Panel will shortly start a concerted level of promotion to attract new competitors to the sport through this revised Hyundai/Kia Rally Series and look forward to it growing in the coming years. The grass roots competitors are the future of our sport.