Saturday, March 2, 2024

CERTT splits T1+ into own category for 2024

T1+ represents the best of the best when it comes to rally raid vehicles with upgraded 4×4 machinery like the twice reigning Dakar Rally victor Toyota GR DKR Hilux. Their success, however, makes the disparity between them and standard T1 cars rather glaring, so much so that the Spanish Cross-Country Rally Championship (CERTT) announced Friday plans to separate T1+ into their own category for 2024.

“During the last meeting of the Delegate Commission, one of the topics proposed within the point reserved for regulatory modifications was the inclusion of Group T1+ vehicles in the Spanish Cross-Country Rally Championship for the next season,” begins a statement from the championship. “In this way, and at the proposal of the Cross-Country Commission, said vehicles will have their own group, not being within the T1 group, and be eligible for the Spanish Cross-Country TT Car Rally Championship.

“The application of this regulation change will begin on 1 January 2024.”

Generally, T1+ is included as a subcategory of T1 for “Modified Cross-Country Cars” as labelled by the FIA. T1+ cars are usually bigger and faster than their T1 counterparts, the latter of which can be split into T1.1, T1.2, T1.3, and T1.4 with variations such as T1.2 permitting 4×2 drive and adhering to 2009 rules, T1.3 meeting SCORE International regulations, and T1.4 for expired homologation.

Examples of T1+ vehicles that have raced in CERTT in 2023 are the Toyota Hilux, Mini JCW Rally Plus, and Ford F-150 EVO, many of which ran the Baja TT Dehesa Extremadura in April as non-CERTT entries since it was the opening round of the FIA European Cup for Cross-Country Bajas. Tiago Reis won that round among the European Cup competitors in a Hilux T1+.

Otherwise, CERTT rounds not held in conjunction with the European Cup are usually won by the other T1 classes. The latest race, the Baja Lorca Ciudad del Sol in May, saw Oscar Fuertes Aldanondo triumph in a Astara Concept 01, which is in T1.2. Another influx of T1+ cars is expected for the next event, the Baja España Aragón on 21/22 July, as the fourth leg of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas; current World Cup leader Nasser Al-Attiyah races a Hilux T1+. Al-Attiyah has also won the last two Dakar Rallies and inaugural World Rally-Raid Championship in the pickup and is currently atop the latter’s points standings.

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