The FIA World Rallycross Championship will be under new promotion in 2021. On Thursday, the FIA announced they have partnered with the World Rally Championship Promoter Group to oversee commercial and media rights for WRX on a multi-year deal.
From the series’ inception in 2014, IMG Motorsport had served as its official promoter; the American-based management firm first entered the rallycross realm in 2013 by overseeing the FIA European Rallycross Championship before expanding it into a worldwide championship. Despite being on a ten-year contract, IMG and the FIA parted ways after the 2020 season. IMG is also no longer involved in the electric Projekt E series.
The blueprint for rallycross electrification will continue to be used under WRC Promoter. The FIA and WRC Promoter plan to launch the RX2e Championship, the sanctioning body’s first electric rallycross series and support to WRX, in 2021. The RX1e, an electric version of the current internal combustion-engined Supercar, will become WRX’s permanent vehicle of choice beginning 2022. The ICE cars will continue to be utilised at the European Rallycross level; in January, the FIA began searching for a promoter for the series.
“The FIA and WRC Promoter have reached a common vision on how to work together for the benefit and the growth of rallycross,” said FIA Secretary General for Sport Peter Mayer. “Our respective teams are working on a long-form agreement, look forward to commencing work on the 2021 championship and to the move of the sport towards a bright, more sustainable and greener future.
“We have worked extensively with the company as the promoter of the FIA World Rally Championship for a number of years and we anticipate they will bring the same energy and dynamism to the promotion of rallycross.”
As the name suggests, WRC Promoter primarily holds media rights to the FIA World Rally Championship like television coverage and sponsorship. Officially known as WRC Promoter GmbH, it is a joint venture operated by Red Bull Media House and KW 25 that has overseen WRC since the 2013 season.
“World Rallycross sits on the verge of an innovative and pioneering future,” commented WRC Promoter managing director Jona Siebel. “We see strong growth potential in all areas and WRC Promoter is delighted to be at the forefront of a series focused on sustainable technology and e-mobility.
“Rallycross provides breathtaking thrills and spills and we will build new foundations to create an engaging and progressive platform for our global audience and partners.”
The 2021 WRX season, joined by RX2e, will begin on 22–23 May at Spa-Francorchamps.