WRC launch at Autosport show
The 2018 World Rally Championship will blast off with a high-profile launch at the Autosport International show in Birmingham, UK (11 - 14 January).
The four manufacturer teams representing Citroën, Hyundai, M-Sport and Toyota will provide an exclusive first look at their 2018 World Rally Car liveries on the Autosport main stage during ‘Takeover Thursday’.
All the leading drivers, co-drivers and team principals will be present to share their views on the new season, two weeks before Rallye Monte-Carlo (25 - 28 January) the opening round of the season, gets underway.
A packed day of WRC activities will herald the opening of Europe’s biggest pre-season motorsport show at Birmingham's NEC venue. All cars will stay on display throughout the weekend with top drivers present during the remaining three days.
Customer teams and support category competitors from WRC 2, WRC 3 and Junior WRC are also due to attend, while a dedicated WRC stand will enable fans to get up to speed ahead of the season start.
The initiative to bring the cars and personalities close to the fans follows soaring interest in this year’s series. More powerful, aggressive and noisy new-era World Rally Cars sparked a big rise in rally attendances and season figures will top four million, a record for the modern-day WRC.
The most exciting and unpredictable title fight in a decade also inspired a surge in global TV viewers. Figures covering the first seven rounds from independent analyst Nielsen Sports showed the total audience leaped by 17 per cent.
WRC Promoter managing director Oliver Ciesla said there was no better place to launch the championship than at an event affectionately regarded as the beginning of the new motorsport season.
“We’ll have the stunning 2018 cars, the world’s leading drivers and co-drivers and the team principals altogether in the same location, at the same time. Thanks to Autosport International’s co-operation we have a wonderful opportunity to showcase the 2018 WRC,” he said.
“Thursday will truly be a WRC takeover, but fans attending later in the weekend will still have the opportunity to whet their appetite for the season ahead as the cars will remain on display and there will be plenty of driver appearances.”
Show director Kate Woodley said it was a fantastic chance for fans to be part of the build-up to 2018.
“What an honour and a privilege to have arguably motorsport’s most exciting series in the world launched under our roof. We understand the significance of what’s coming and we fully intend to do it justice,” she said.
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