At a meeting in Paris earlier today, the WMSC approved for the FIA to proceed with an agreement with The Sportsman Media Group and Red Bull Media House to become the new global promoter of the FIA World Rally Championship from 2013.
In a statement, the governing body said: “The promoter will be responsible for investing and developing the WRC with a view to increasing its profile, reputation and commercial value. In particular, the promoter, working in close collaboration with the FIA, will be focused on introducing live television and an innovative digital media strategy in the next years.”
In other exciting developments, the support championship structure has been revamped, while a number of cost-cutting measures have been announced. A summary of other changes for 2013 appears below:
Assistance for WRC Teams
As part of a cost-reduction process and to attract greater entries, the WMSC confirmed WRC Teams competing in the 2013 FIA World Rally Championship will now only have to contest one round outside of Europe. WRC Teams must however still nominate and take part in a minimum of seven events. Current WRC Teams include the Adapta World Rally Team and the Qatar World Rally Team.
WRC-2 is go!
The structure of the support championships has been revised to reflect the interests and demands of the competitors. From 2013, the current Super 2000 World Rally Championship will be replaced by the FIA WRC-2 Championship including cars with four-wheel drive (R5, R4 and S2000). A specific cup for cars in the Group N category will also form part of the WRC-2 Championship, and titles for teams, drivers and co-drivers will be awarded to those who have scored the most points in six of the seven events in which they have taken part.
WRC-3 replaces PWRC
The current Production Car World Rally Championship will be replaced by the FIA WRC-3 Championship, including Group R cars with two-wheel drive (R3, R2 and R1). Titles for teams, drivers and co-drivers will be awarded to those who have scored the most points in five of the six events in which they have taken part.
Junior title returns
The current FIA WRC Academy will be re-named the FIA Junior WRC Championship. The Junior title was dropped when the all-new WRC Academy initiative was introduced for 2011.
For safety reasons and therefore with immediate effect, each crew that is entered with a World Rally Car is permitted to use a route note car on asphalt events.
More cost-cutting moves
To limit costs and encourage participation, from 2013 the use of the latest evolution of parts homologated by manufacturers will not be mandatory for World Rally Cars entered by drivers not scoring points in the Manufacturers’ Championship. This also applies to all cars in the S2000 category with a 1.6-litre turbo engine.
The 2013 WRC calendar was also confirmed and appears in a separate story.