World Rallycross may add Chinese stop ’as soon as 2019’
By Florence Lloyd-Hughes
Motor racing’s FIA World Rallycross Championship, the series promoted by IMG, the international sports and entertainment agency, could be staging races in China as early as next year, according to Paul Bellamy, managing director of the series.
There are presently 12 stops on the World Rallycross calendar but the series has eyed Asia as a future destination for races.
In an interview with Sportcal, Bellamy said that contract negotiations were under way to host a race in China and a deal could be reached to stage a race “as soon as 2019.”
In 2017, IMG signed a five-year deal with the owners of the Circuit of Americas in Austin, Texas to bring World Rallycross to USA for the first time this year.
Bellamy is also keen on hosting more races in Europe with Berlin and Hungary possible destinations, despite the Germany capital not actually having a suitable race track.
Although IMG has ambitious plans, Bellamy said it was unlikely that the series would be adding more than two new races to the calendar next year as it doesn’t have the resources to compete with the likes of Formula 1 and its 21-race schedule.
Last year, Bellamy told Sportcal that World Rallycross was focusing its expansion plans on the “Far East and Middle East.”
The Killarney race circuit in Cape Town, South Africa made its debut last year as the first championship race to take place in Africa, while Grand Prix Trois-Rivières in Quebec, Canada was previously the only other race held outside of Europe until the deal with COA.
Istanbul in Turkey previously hosted a leg of the championship in its inaugural season in 2014 and in 2015, and Argentina hosted a round during the series’ first three seasons.