A patent-pending racecar recovery tool has been co-developed by Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE), the official construction equipment supplier and track building partner for the World RX race series, and Sweden-based Granfors Racing and has been adopted by the FIA as part of the electric transformation within the motorsport sector.
The equipment was first trialled during a race weekend in Riga, Latvia, in September 2022 before the FIA decided to adopt it as the recovery solution for the race series.
“With the speedy introduction of this innovative solution, we are living up to our commitment to push both our industry and motorsport forward when it comes to safety and sustainability,” said Arvid Rinaldo, brand communication and partnerships for Volvo CE. “Thanks to this strong partnership with the FIA and Engcon, we are able to accelerate a shift toward electrification that is reliable, efficient and, most vitally, safe.”
“Electric racing is a new technology which brings new challenges around safety – we need to adapt to that and create new tools,” added Benoît Dupont, off-road category manager, FIA. “Volvo CE has been really proactive in helping us, creating a tool that allows us to remove the car in a safe and efficient way. And this is really what we were looking for – to add electric safety on top of efficiency.”
To increase safety levels for marshals, teams, drivers and crew, the FIA has introduced a smart traffic-light system under its latest electromobility safety protocols. If an electric rallycross car leaves the race circuit, a green light on top of the vehicle indicates its safety status. If the light turns red, people nearby know that the vehicle is unsafe and must await official recovery.
Following in the footsteps of the FIA’s traffic light system, both Volvo CE and Granfors Racing designed their own three-fold safety system. Once a driver has gotten out, or been removed from the vehicle, the race car is then picked up by a flat insulated rescue plate. This is controlled, lifted, lowered and angled using a 360° Engcon tilt rotator which is attached to a bio-fueled Volvo EWR150E wheeled excavator. The recovery system was developed in collaboration with Engcon, who provided the tilt rotator attachment.
Morten Fjeld-Nielsen, sales manager, Engcon Norway, added “It’s fantastic to see Volvo CE finding innovative ways to use our tilt rotators in racing – proving how flexible and adaptable our solutions are to any application. Without this type of tool, the ability to rescue cars in the fast and efficient way that we do now maybe wouldn’t even be possible.”
Klara Andersson, a driver for the Construction Equipment Dealer Team, said, “While we always strive to win and every race is an adrenalin ride from start to finish, we know that our safety is always front of mind at World RX, particularly as we navigate this new era for electric racing. With this new robust setup, we can be confident that our safety is in good hands – and that any interruptions to the race are kept to the absolute minimum.”