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27 Oct 2012

‘Beast Unleashed’

Category: ERC, News Posted 27.10.12 15:22 by

IMG’s Martin Anayi  speaks frankly about his plans for the European Rallycross Championship: “We want to stay true to the sport.”

 

Rallycross has officially entered a new era. New ten-year promoter IMG yesterday unveiled its plans for 2013 and beyond in a launch event held at Santa Pod Raceway. As well as confirming the championships presenting sponsor ‘Monster Energy’, Managing Director Martin Anayi has finally given fans a glimpse and a sense of what is to come of European Rallycross in the coming years.

In an interview for ‘irallylive.com’ Anayi detailed his optimism for the ten-year deal. “Hopefully its win, win. Its going to be great for us, great for our partners such as Monster Energy, and great for the organisers. But first and foremost it also gives the drivers a chance, again to make a career out of Rallycross.”

When asked about how the FIA European Rallycross Championship will compare to America’s Global RallyCross Championship series Anayi stated that “first and foremost this is still Rallycross. We don’t want to move away from that. For us the most important thing is too stay true to the sport. The sport is interesting, it is thrilling, the sport is the Motorsport of the 21st century, its short, sharp racing, and we don’t need to create something artificial in terms of jumps and spectacular show, actually the racing is the show, and thats what we need to keep.”

Anayi also addressed many fans worries of the championship moving out of Europe, and the idea of a World Rallycross Championship. “Yes absolutely, I think that the most important thing is that we have got the rights from the FIA to expand the championship into a World championship, but what we are not going to do is go away from our roots in Europe. If we are to go outside of Europe we will expand the championship above a ten round championship, we have ambitious plans – but we are not going to do this until we are ready – we are not going to do it until the competitors are ready to come with us.”

Perhaps Anayi’s most certain plan is to expose European style Rallycross to a global audience, and Anayi was sure that the championship will attract big motorsport stars from F1 and WRC. Anayi seemed keen to acknowledge Rallycross’ position in the FIA’s ‘pecking order’ and that there was no potential threat of Rallycross growing larger than stage Rally. “We have built into the mechanism of the SuperCar category the chance for a wildcard entry, so we could have a local hero or a superstar, the likes of Ken Block, Sébastien Loeb or Robert Kubica and this is something that we hope to achieve,” stated Anayi.

ERC legend Kenneth Hansen has stated previously that “it’s sometimes difficult to understand why things should change, but this is the best thing that has ever happened for Rallycross.” Martin Anayi’s comments have perhaps finally brought a sense of security for some anxious fans, and begun to convince them that European-style Rallycross has a strong future in the motorsport world…

 

Read more on the IMG deal here.

 

Photo: ‘Monster Energy’ named as presenting sponsor for the 2013 FIA European Rallycross Championship. © JKR/ERC24