(Motorsport-Total.com) – World Rally Championship (WRC) organizers want to add a rally in the Middle East to the WRC calendar – preferably ahead of the 2023 season, as WRC event director Simon Larkin calls it the anti-desert rally. English language version of ‘Motorsport.com’ As a missing piece of the puzzle. The WRC continues to work on an event in the United States.
WRC wants to compete in Middle East again in 2023 (archive image)
“Looking at the calendar, we have a good snow event [Schweden]We have Africa [Safari-Rallye in Kenia]We have the Acropolis Rally in Greece and these are the events we wanted to bring back,” says Larkin.
“I think an event in the Middle East, especially a desert rally, is missing from the puzzle,” Larkin continued. “Our ambition is to bring an event like this to the World Rally Championship, even as early as next year. We are working towards this goal.”
A desert rally is likely to take place in Saudi Arabia
The WRC last appeared in the Middle East eleven years ago. In 2008, 2010 and 2011, Rally Jordan was part of the WRC calendar. Whether Jordan will ever be a viable destination again is questionable. The desert rally is more likely to be held in Saudi Arabia, where the Dakar rally has been held since 2020.
It aims to continue the WRC’s trend of global expansion after the championship was held mostly in Europe for the past two years due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We want to create a calendar that competes on every continent except Antarctica,” says Larkin. “This is what we need for the World Cup, which we had planned for 2020, and we want to get back to full normalcy next year.”
America and the Search for the Perfect Place
America, one of the most important car markets in the world, is another target for the WRC, albeit in the medium term. “The U.S. appeals to every player at the championships,” Larkin said. “We know there’s a big following out there because we see the number of visitors on all our platforms.”
There are already suitable figures for the rally. “There aren’t many countries we go to that have ambassadors like Travis Pastrana and Ken Black who are already involved in the game,” Larkin said.
“We see an event as a great starting point for the WRC. We just need to find the right city for it.” The WRC was last run in the USA in 1988 with the Olympus Rally in Washington State.
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