With the introduction of a far superior Television and LiveStream package than ever before, this season has seen the FIA European Rallycross Championship expand and venture into new markets. For 2014, IMG Motorsports plan to not only show the events around the world on the box, but to also take the events to the world audience, with the formation of the FIA World Rallycross Championship.
The plans, which are subject to approval by the World Motorsport Council in September, are to continue with the majority of the events seen in RallycrossRX this year, and venture into two other continents on top, to form the basis for a World Championship (which requires events to be held in three continents).
Possible events for 2014 are being considered in Turkey, Morocco, the USA and the Middle East, while other venues continue to be discussed for 2015 and beyond.
Martin Anayi, Managing Director of RallycrossRX has been pleased with the progress of the rallycross this season, and is pushing hard to move the sport on;
“Off the back of an extremely successful year so far this year in Europe, we are pushing hard to deliver an FIA World Rallycross Championship a year earlier than expected in 2014. Subject to World Motorsport Council approval in September the calendar for 2014 will look very similar to 2013 with the likely option being two additional events outside of Europe placed either side of the existing calendar. This would give us events on 3 continents which is required under the Sporting Code and a good base for a more expansive FIA World Rallycross Championship in the coming years. The most likely candidates for races outside of Europe in 2014 are currently venues in the Middle East, Turkey, Morocco and/or the US. We have had great interest from all over the World for RallycrossRX, including Australia, Brazil, China and India, however, we will grow in a sensible and organic manner which means regular consultation with our key stakeholders – being the FIA, drivers and teams predominantly but also our broadcast partners, sponsors and organisers.”
The FIA World Rallycross Championship will cater for the headline Supercar category which is also likely to feature a Team Championship alongside the Driver Championship. A European Rallycross Championship for Supercar will continue to run at selected events, while the Super1600 and TouringCar categories will feature on the full European event schedule. For all European events, as with 2013, drivers will able to enter on a single event basis.
“The sport of Rallycross has taken a considerable step forward in 2013 and with the right guidance it can continue to grow in a sustainable way. People shouldn’t be worried about growth at the top of the sport as this will generate a wider discussion about the development of the sport from a grass roots level at the FIA and ASN level and that is a very good thing for the sport generally,” said Anayi.
Since his return to rallycross this season, former World Rally Champion Petter Solberg has openly explained that his desire to race in RallycrossRX was in part to be involved in the World Championship;
“IMG have a lot of great ideas and plans for how they can make the sport really big. Like me, they are doing everything flat out.”
Other drivers too have welcomed the prospect of a World Championship with open arms. Swedish Skoda Supercar driver Peter Hedstrom made his intentions clear during his home event at Holjes. “This year the sport has already gone up so much. So many people have been asking me what it’s about. I want to do well. Hopefully the sport will become a World Championship. I want to be World Champion, that’s my goal!”
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