GRC Europe boss to revolutionize Rallycross

GRC Europe CEO Max Pucher says electric driving is the future, but not electric racing

Mr. Pucher, Peugeot CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato announced the car manufacturer will withdraw from WRX because it doesn’t go electric in 2020. What is your reaction to this decision?

Max Pucher, CEO GRC Europe: „I believe it is a big loss for Rallycross for all the wrong reasons. Even if other manufacturers step in, Volkswagen might pull out of WRX now, not to appear uncommitted to CO2 regulation, even if the above is not the only reason for Peugeot’s withdrawal. Pushing electric endangers the growth and momentum that we have seen in Rallycross over the last five years thanks to WorldRX. But I do hope that VW remains and the growth continues.”

Imparato said except for an e-WRX, no series would make sense to them…
“I believe electric racing is simply not interesting enough for current motorsport fans and it won’t bring any environmentalists to the race track. Which is why we paused our own electric development. It is — as Imparato says — more a matter of appearances and politics. It is not an issue of climate change or CO2 sensitivity but more of how reliable predictions and how trustworthy oversimplified computer models are to justify radical measures. There are other worrying environmental issues visible to everyone, e.g. the condition of our oceans that need immediate pursuing. But there is neither political gain nor money in that.”

Would you not agree that electric cars are the future?
“Yes, I do agree. Before I went into software and artificial intelligence, my education was electrical power engineering, so I am certain that everyday road cars will be mostly electric as they are cleaner, simpler and more efficient once storage and supply infrastructures are developed enough. But I fail to see that largely boring electric racing will do anything to promote electric cars. Possibly the opposite.”

So how can Rallycross be ecological if not electric?
“As growth of Rallycross is our focus we will do every thing that is ecologically effective. It has to be a revolution of common sense. The fuel we use during racing is not at all relevant in proportion. Any (sports and entertainment) event produces CO2 correlating to the number of spectators traveling to it. We plan to offer CO2 saving group travel for those who see it as important.”

Thus, GRC Europe is using combustion engine powered cars…
“Yes, the BE LOUD tagline refers to that with a wink. The reason to create GRC Europe was to revolutionize our beloved sport unhindered by political tampering. BE REAL also means we are not into false virtue signaling. We can be honest environmentalists and still enjoy the most exhilarating motorsport there is. Our job is to give the drivers and teams the platform to deliver the most exciting racing for our fans in a completely new TV format.”

GRC Europe had a fantastic launch. How is the feedback?
“The feedback is highly positive. We have twenty applications for GRC slots reaching us within 24 hours of our announcement. This goes to show that we are doing the right thing at the right time. We will be sending out entry forms in the next few days and slots will be booking in the order the reservation fees reach us. In the following the ranking drivers will be invited to test the new PanteraRX6. We also already took bookings for GRC Supercars. Drivers who want to be part of this Rallycross revolution should not be too late for this amazing opportunity!”

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