2018 WRC to launch at Autosport International
· British show to host 2018 FIA World Rally Championship launch
· Teams to unveil new-season World Rally Cars at ‘Takeover Thursday’
· All WRC drivers, co-drivers and team principals to attend
Munich, Germany, 8 November 2017 – The 2018 FIA World Rally Championship will blast off with a high-profile launch at the Autosport International (11 - 14 January) show in Birmingham.
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 the prestigious Rallye Monte-Carlo (25 - 28 January) ushers in the opening action in Monaco’s glamorous Casino Square.
A packed day of WRC activities will herald the opening of Europe’s biggest pre-season motorsport show at the NEC Birmingham. 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 be the perfect place for 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.
“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,” he said.
Show director Kate Woodley said it was a fantastic chance for fans to be part of the exciting 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.
“I’ve been going to Autosport International since it began and it really is seen, industry-wide, as the start of the season, so to have an event with this sort of global reach is fantastic for the World Rally Championship.
“I’ve always championed more rally content at Autosport International and next year we’re going to have more than ever!” said Wilson.
Tickets are now available at www.autosportinternational.com
About WRC Promoter GmbH
WRC Promoter GmbH is responsible for all commercial aspects of the FIA World Rally Championship, including TV production and the marketing of global media and sponsorship rights. The Promoter also has responsibility to increase the field of participants and to propose the venues that form the FIA WRC calendar.
The World Rally Championship is the FIA’s premium rally series. WRC showcases authentic motorsport, high performance cars and the world’s best drivers competing in dramatic surroundings ranging from the ice and snow of Scandinavia to the stifling heat of Sardinia. Established in its current format in 1973, WRC participants battle for the drivers’ and manufacturers’ world titles at 13 rallies spanning 15 countries and four continents. Additional championship information can be found at www.wrc.com and www.wrcplus.com.
Next rally: Kennards Hire Rally Australia, 16 - 19 November 2017