If the glove fits
Paul Nagle and Craig Breen will be required to wear special gloves while working on their new Ford Puma Rally1 car this season.
The World Rally Championship is switching to a new petrol/electric hybrid power this year and the Irish team have been signed by Ford M-Sport for the 13-round series.
They will drive an all-new Puma Hybrid Rally1 car starting with this month’s Rallye Monte Carlo.
Ford’s first electrified competition car introduces a next-generation hybrid powertrain that captures energy during braking and coasting and stores it in a 3.9kWh battery, before using it to supplement the performance of the turbocharged 1.6-litre EcoBoost petrol engine with repeated boosts of up to three seconds from a 100kW electric motor.
As part of the High Voltage safety procedures starting in 2022, every Rally1 car must carry on board HV class-0 gloves, which driver and co-driver will be required to wear in an event of an HV issue to ensure a higher level of protection.
The new regulation was announced at last week’s FIA World Council meeting in Paris and applies to all teams competing in the main category of the WRC next season. It is understood that the gloves will have to be worn while the crew are undertaking mechanical work on the car.
“It is all new to me and Craig,” explained Nagle, “We are doing an online training course over Christmas and we will have more training courses in the New Year.”
Insulating gloves are designed to resist electricity and are tested to 1000V AC and 1500V DC. Spectators will be issued with new advisories too and a colour-coded warning light system will be fitted externally to all cars. If the light is a certain colour spectators should not touch a stricken car. Tradition in World Rallying is that fans would often push an off-road car back onto the course but that could be a thing of the past now given the new dangers of electric cars.
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