- Partnership to help inform development of Fanatec's sim racing wheels
- Comes as WRC prepares to make hybrid switch for the first time
World Rally Championship (WRC) team M-Sport Ford has announced a new partnership with sim racing hardware firm Fanatec ahead of the 2022 season.
The partnership will encompass both sim racing and rally technology to produce steering wheels for M-Sport Ford's new Puma Hybrid Rally1 car, which is set to debut at the Rallye Monte Carlo later this month.
The agreement brings technology from the sim racing space to rallying, while feedback from the M-Sport Ford team will also be used to benefit Fanatec and the wider sim racing industry.
"I remember when I got my first sim wheel over 15 years ago and I have to say the development of this area of gaming is hugely impressive," said Rich Millener, team principal at M-Sport Ford.
"To now have the same steering wheel that is used in a real life Rally1 car also on your home gaming setup is really quite incredible. Although I am not a prolific gamer these days I do keep an eye on what is happening in the sim world because I truly feel that there are genuine benefits that can be transferred from the sim world to the real world.
"I am really excited to be working with Fanatec and see how we can both continue to improve our products from both real life and sim development work, which will end up in better products and better results for both companies."
WRC's top-tier Rally1 class is set for a technical overhaul in 2022 as it makes the switch to hybrid technology for the first time.
The cars will feature new plug-in 100kw hybrid systems and sustainable race fuel as part of the series' aim to become more environmentally friendly.