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WRC NEWS 

Red Bull becomes World Rally Championship promoter

Jari-Matti Latvala, Ford, GB 2012Red Bull has been confirmed as the promoter of the World Rally Championship at a meeting of the World Motor Sport Council in Paris.

As exclusively predicted by AUTOSPORT last month, the energy drinks firm will be joined by German company Sportsman Media as the new global promoter of the WRC.

An FIA statement said: "The WMSC approved for the FIA to proceed with an agreement with The Sportsman Media Group and Red Bull Media House to become the new global promoter of the FIA World Rally Championship from 2013.

"The promoter will be responsible for investing and developing the WRC with a view to increasing its profile, reputation and commercial value.

"In particular, the promoter, working in close collaboration with the FIA, will be focused on introducing live television and an innovative digital media strategy in the next years."

This announcement brings to an end months of waiting for the WRC after previous promoter North One Sport went into administration at the end of last year.

AUTOSPORT says...

By AUTOSPORT rallies editor David Evans

Sebastien LoebSo, the deal is done. Or is it?

In its communication above, the WMSC states: "The WMSC approved for the FIA to proceed with an agreement with The Sportsman Media Group and Red Bull Media House to become the new global promoter of the FIA World Rally Championship from 2013."

Proceed with an agreement? So, are we signed or not?

I'm not being overly suspicious here. Reading further down the communication from Paris, a similar deal for IMG to promote the FIA European Championship for Rallycross was also announced this afternoon - and the wording from the WMSC is considerably more concise. Try this: "The WMSC agreed that IMG, one of the leaders in the sports marketing industry, become the Promoter of the Championship for a minimum of 10 years from 2013."

So, if the Red Bull deal's done, for how long?

One thing is certain, this is a mighty step in the right direction, but it's still not the kind of complete clarity we'd been promised back in June. Or should that be March? Or February?

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