2018 WRC launch – final countdown

It's less than 24 hours until the official launch of the 2018 World Rally Championship at the Autosport International Show in Birmingham, UK.

All of the WRC's star drivers, co-drivers and teams will gather at the 'National Exhibition Centre' tomorrow (11 January) to officially get the new season underway as part of a packed timetable of events on 'Takeover Thursday'.

Europe's biggest pre-season motorsport show will be officially opened by reigning champions Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia at 08.50, before the media spotlight switches to activities on the Autosport International Main Stage.

The 2018 World Rally Cars from the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team, Hyundai Motorsport, Toyota Gazoo Racing and Citroën Racing will all be unveiled on stage from 10.30.

Ogier, Elfyn Evans and M-Sport boss Malcolm Wilson will take the wraps off the latest Fiesta WRC, while Andreas Mikkelsen, Thierry Neuville, Dani Sordo, Hayden Paddon and team principal Michel Nandan will show Hyundai's 2018 i20 WRC for the first time.

Champions Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia will open the show on Thursday

Toyota's Yaris WRC will be unveiled by Jari-Matti Latvala, Ott Tänak, Esapekka Lappi and team boss Tommi Mäkinen, while Kris Meeke, Craig Breen and Yves Matton will be on hand to reveal Citroën's re-fettled C3 WRC.

The manufacturer drivers and co-drivers will then speak about their expectations for the upcoming season when they are interviewed on the Main Stage between 11.30 and 13.00. They will then head to the WRC stand for an autograph signing session until 13.30.

The main protagonists from the WRC 2 Championship will take to the Main Stage at 14.45, with the latest R5-spec cars from M-Sport, Skoda, Volkswagen, Hyundai, Citroën and Proton all on display during the four-day show.

Evans will support the launch of the Junior WRC at 15.15 when the Welshman is joined by some of the 2018 competitors and championship manager Maciej Woda.

All of the 2018 cars will remain on display for the duration of the show, while the dedicated WRC stand will enable fans to get up to speed ahead of the season start, as well as experience the latest WRC 7 video game and browse the range of official WRC merchandise.

If you're not planning to travel to Birmingham, stay tuned to the WRC and Motorsport TV social media channels as coverage will appear on these platforms throughout the show.


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