Next year the WRC will launch the new Rally1 regulations, which will see Toyota, Hyundai and M-Sport Ford line up new hybrid cars in the premier class of rallying.
There is talk of cars that should be faster and safer than the current WRCs, which will be equipped with a 100 kW plug-in hybrid system and a much more resistant safety cell to protect the crew.
Under current regulations, the championship has 10 cars running full-time, but Matton believes the group could expand to 12, and possibly even beyond, in the second half of the 2022 season.
Toyota is expected to continue to field four cars alongside Hyundai, while M-Sport is working on a plan to expand from two to three for next season, as previously reported.
“With the information I have, I strongly believe that during the year we could also have 12 cars, but not from Monte Carlo,” Matton told Motorsport.com.
“This is the feedback I got from the manufacturers and some riders. I don’t know when, but not from Monte Carlo, maybe it will be in the second half of the year”.
“I think we will start with 10 cars, but that could become 12 and maybe even more in some of the last events of the year”.
Matton added that the idea of allowing manufacturers to field a fourth car to score points in the constructors’ championship, but reserved for young drivers, is a possibility for the future, also confirming that there has been an interest in Rally1 cars. by potential private competitors.
“I am still convinced that the idea of promoting a fourth car for the constructors’ championship could be good for the future, but not mandatory, rather a kind of bonus if they field an extra car for rookies or drivers without a huge level of experience on this type of machines, “he added.
“Surely at the beginning of the year it will be only the manufacturers who will enter the cars, but from the feedback I have had there are also some private individuals who are interested in Rally1”.
Toyota, Hyundai and M-Sport Ford are currently accelerating the development of their 2022 cars, with the start of the new season set at the Monte Carlo Rally, January 21-23.
Toyota tested its new Yaris this month, while M-Sport conducted a gravel test in Finland with its all-new Ford Puma and is completing some on tarmac in France this week.