This weekend, the GCK Motorsport team made motorsport history by becoming the first team to enter a retrofitted electric car in a race counting towards a world championship. A particularly promising start, both in terms of the lap times achieved on the track and the enthusiasm aroused outside.
Who would have thought, a few months ago, that we would one day see the glorious Lancia Delta Integrale in an official competition? Person. And for good reason, this car, invincible in rallying at the turn of the 1980s and 1990s, hadn’t been around for a long time and had even lost its homologation to race in the WRC at the end of 2000. The climate crisis has recently given rise to ideas that no one had thought of before, such as giving a second life to automotive icons by replacing their heat engines with more virtuous electric propulsion. It works perfectly on the road – Guerlain Chicherit and GCK have demonstrated this – so why not give it a go in competition?
Because the car entered by GCK Motorsport is indeed based on an authentic Lancia Delta Integrale body, the kind of chassis that you find second-hand on the classifieds sites. The rest is up to GCK Performance. Ingenious design work and more than 1,200 hours of manufacturing for a sublime result. A car cared for down to the smallest detail, which won unanimous acclaim – from fans and journalists alike – for its first public appearance this weekend at the Nürburgring, the scene of the final round of the 2022 World Rallycross Championship season. Some observers present in Germany even gave it a Group B air with its widened wings and its monumental rear wing. All that remained was to pass it to the developer of the stopwatch, the only one who can decide between a real and a false good idea.
The first practice session ended with a promising 6th time and, above all, with excellent driving sensations for the Guerlain Chicherit driver, whose smile on returning to the pits left no doubt as to his satisfaction at having between the hands a well-born car. The first heat confirmed this first impression, since a 2nd place seemed acquired at the start of the penultimate lap, when the race of the Savoyard driver came to an abrupt end by an impact of 16 G in a wall against which the pushed a competitor, guilty of a maneuver that was hazardous to say the least. Day over.
On Sunday morning, the team could be satisfied with having succeeded in getting the car back on its four wheels, to the delight of the spectators present. The two races of the day were then transformed into life-size test sessions, a unique opportunity to gain experience in real conditions.
One thing is certain: we haven’t finished hearing about this Lancia Delta Evo-e RX, nor about its driver Guerlain Chicherit… And even very quickly concerning the latter, since we will find him again in a few weeks at the start of the Rally Dakar at the wheel of a Prodrive Hunter in GCK Motorsport colours.
Guerlain Chicherit, driver: “I would like to congratulate my team who have worked day and night over the past few weeks to finish the car on time. It is magnificent. Never in my 20-year career have I been so eager to get behind the wheel The results are extremely positive since we are in the game against competitors who have already competed in nine races with these new generation electric cars. Now we are going to take advantage of the winter to analyze the data stored this weekend and make the necessary changes. We will be back next year for a full season, hopefully with two cars.”