A new season of the FIA World Rally Championship is fast approaching. There is less than a week to go before the season-opening Rallye Monte-Carlo. With a new set of regulations, WRC teams have been teasing and eventually revealing their new Rally1 cars ahead of the season. Earlier this week, Hyundai Motorsport presented its new i20 N Rally1 with rather sterile press photos. M-Sport decided to display its new Ford Puma Rally1 in its natural habitat, the paved roads of the Alps.
M-Sport posted a video on Twitter of a Rally1 Puma attacking a mountain descent at high speed. Although the pavement seemed to be meticulously clear of snow, the surrounding landscape was a winter wonderland. Are you viewing this through the usual array of onboard broadcast cameras? No. A drone chases the state-of-the-art hybrid rally car down the road.
The DJI FPV drone had trouble keeping up with the hybrid Puma, which is understandable. The drone was only really able to catch the Ford as the rally car took each of the hairpin turns. The acceleration generated by a 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder engine combined with a 100 kW (134 hp) electric motor must be immense. The drone has an advertised 0-100 km/h (62 mph) time of 2 seconds and weighs just 10.5 ounces.
Drone footage like this really shows off the surreal performance abilities of racing cars. It vividly portrays the feeling of speed and how fast the vehicles can accelerate in this level. I would love to see the WRC try to incorporate more drone pictures in television coverage, even if it is not broadcast live.
However, you may have noticed that the Puma still sports a camo livery. M-Sport has stated that it will reveal this year’s livery during the official launch of the World Rally Championship season in Salzburg, Austria. later today.