The 2021 British Rallycross Championship (BRX) is set to introduce electric racers into its top-rung Supercar category, making it "the first series to embrace electric- and conventional-powered vehicles competing together in the UK".
The championship, which as of 2020 is branded as the Five Nations BRX, is planned to get under way on 29 May at Kent's Lydden Hill circuit, before visiting Ireland's Mondello Park, Pembrey in Wales and Knockhill in Scotland, before finishing in December with a debut appearance at Belgium's Spa Francorchamps.
Ahead of the series start, BRX is seeking approval from governing body Motorsport UK to include electric race cars in its events.
The Supercar rallycross category is traditionally the preserve of 600bhp-plus, four-wheel-drive racers based on production hatchbacks and characteristically capable of rapid acceleration, but the electric powertrain being lined up for use in the series should match the petrol-powered cars for pace.
The system will be supplied by Austrian engineering firm Stard and made its motorsport debut in last year's World Rallycross Projekt E category, powering a rally-spec Ford Fiesta with American rally and stunt driver Ken Block at the wheel. A Stard-powered Ford Fiesta claimed a first victory for an electric rallycross car at a stand-alone event in Hungary last year.
Comprising three motors sending a combined output of 613bhp and 739lb ft through a pair of gearboxes to both axles, the Stard system is available as a conversion kit for combustion cars, but teams can also use a Stard-supplied Ford Fiesta or Citroën C3. Precise performance details are yet to be confirmed, but BRX said the powertrain is "on a par with front-running-engined rivals".
Teams switching to electric will be confirmed at a later date, but Natalie Barrat, winner of the inaugural WRX Projekt E series, is "trying to put a team together" ahead of the first event.
Hannah Rynston, Five Nations BRX coordinator, said: "“Rallycross itself was innovative from the outset and lends itself so well to the next era of motorsport. To be the first in the UK to combine the two types of power is very exciting and we’re very much hoping to have a few Stard powertrain-equipped cars on the Lydden grid in May."