status for cross-country rallying, with Dakar Rally as its cornerstone; ASO appointed global promoter
Following an e-vote by its members last week, the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) has granted full World Championship status to the FIA’s cross-country rallying discipline. The new World Championship will be launched in 2022 in tandem with an agreement with Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), which will become the exclusive promoter of the championship for a five-year term.
In a landmark development to support the further growth of this spectacular discipline, the legendary Dakar Rally will also launch the beginning of this new era in cross-country rallying as it fittingly becomes the opening round of the 2022 FIA World Championship.
As part of the new agreement, FIA and ASO Sporting and Technical regulations will be aligned, ensuring consistency for competitors across all events. The FIA is also developing technical regulations for new, alternative and experimental technologies within the discipline, in line with its environmental strategy to support climate action, technology and innovation, and sustainable practices. This will prove to be the ultimate challenge in a discipline where the action takes place in some of the most remote and harsh environments in the world.
FIA President, Jean Todt, said: “I am delighted of the outcome of long and fruitful discussions with A.S.O., which becomes the promoter of the FIA World Rally Championship for cross-country rallying, with a calendar that includes the famous Dakar.”
Yann Le Moënner, CEO of Amaury Sport Organisation, said: “At a time when cross-country is undergoing a fundamental transformation, the creation of an FIA World Championship is an excellent news for the development of our discipline. As its exclusive promoter, ASO is proud to integrate the Dakar Rally into the FIA World Championship calendar, and will work to promote the events in order to better showcase the technical expertise of the car manufacturers taking part in these rallies in extreme conditions. The World Championship will accompany them in this progressive transition to alternative energies, with the FIA integrating categories and classifications specific to these new technologies into the technical regulations. Through the FIA World Championship, drivers, manufacturers and organisers will also benefit from year-round exposure, increasing media coverage of the discipline and its audience worldwide.”
The compact 2022 calendar, to be announced later this year, is anticipated to include a maximum of five rounds, including the Dakar Rally, with events still open to T1, T2, T3 and T4 vehicles. The T3 and T4 categories, in particular, will also benefit from further development under this agreement, and new FIA regulations for T5 Prototype Trucks will be published for 2022, ensuring the inclusivity of all vehicle categories for professionals and amateurs in the World Championship.
FIA World Championship titles will be awarded to the overall winning driver, co-driver and manufacturer, while new FIA Championship titles will be introduced for all other categories, including a manufacturers’ title in both T4 and T5.
This new cross-country World Championship becomes the seventh under FIA governance, joining the FIA Formula One World Championship, the FIA World Rally Championship, the FIA World Endurance Championship, the FIA World Rallycross Championship, the FIA Formula E World Championship and the FIA Karting World Championship at the highest levels of the sport.