The FIA World Rally Championship in 2018 looks set to be the best yet after the thrilling launch at Europe’s biggest pre-season motorsport show in the UK.
All the high-profile drivers including Sébastien Ogier and Thierry Neuville, team principals and cars lined up at the NEC Birmingham to greet the world’s press and rally fans anxious for the real action to start.
Citroën, Hyundai, M-Sport Ford and Toyota showed off their new cars during Takeover Thursday ahead of the season start at the Rallye Monte-Carlo on January 25.
WRC Promoter managing director Oliver Ciesla declared, “Takeover Thursday provided a marvellous opportunity to showcase the 2018 WRC to a global media audience.
“It was a fitting way to kick-off the new season and raise the anticipation ahead of the opening round in a couple of weeks. Let battle commence!”
New developments include more than 25 hours of WRC All Live coverage from each round as a continuous live stream together with every special stage.
Driver announcements featured Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja’s first official appearance in Toyota Gazoo Racing colours as well as Mads Østberg joining Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team for Rally Sweden.
Finally co-driver Carlos del Barrio rejoins Dani Sordo at Hyundai Motorsport as Marc Marti drops out the car.
More about the FIA World Rally Championship
Established in its current format in 1973, it is the FIA’s premium rally series showcasing high performance cars and the world’s best drivers in dramatic surroundings ranging from the ice and snow of Scandinavia to the stifling heat of Sardinia. They battle for the drivers’ and manufacturers’ world titles at 13 rallies spanning 15 countries and five continents.