New WRC Contract for Wales Rally GB

Great news for British rallying - Rally GB's World Rally Championship future has been secured with the completion of a new deal with the Welsh government. The event was thought to be one of the WRC rounds in jeopardy amid teams' push for a return to China, and its place was dependent on renewing the Wales funding but an announcement on Wednesday morning confirmed that Welsh backing; reported to be worth more than 4million over the next three years, would continue until at least 2018.

WRC Promoter chief Oliver Ciesla said the intention was now to keep GB on the schedule and although he would not be drawn on speculation about the date for the rally he said, "I can confirm that it is our intention to propose Rally GB for 2016 to this calendar." It has been tipped to move from November to October, with Australia taking over as the final round of the championship.

Rally GB event managing director Ben Taylor said, "Like I said before, we have no divine right to a place on the calendar, but we believe we are worthy for a number of reasons, it's fantastic to have the three-year extension. We have big plans and becoming the best rally in the world has to be our ambition. If we're not striving to be the best rally in the world then we're not doing our job properly. We need to build on this news. I'm very ambitious and I wouldn't have taken this on if I didn't think we could make some even bigger strides in the future."

FIA WRC manager Michele Mouton said she was pleased to see Wales in for next season. "For me Rally GB is part of our heritage and it's important to have it in the championship," she said. "It's not easy to build the calendar, it's about the balance of the heritage and history and the new markets, which the manufacturers are pushing for."

5th August, 2015