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World Rally Championship close to promotion solution

Sebastien Loeb, Citroen, Australia 2011The situation regarding the promotion of the World Rally Championship is close to being resolved, AUTOSPORT has learned.

The future of WRC promoter North One Sport was cast into doubt last month when parent company Convers Sports Initiatives went into administration, following the arrest of CSI's major backer Vladimir Antonov. Since then, NOS has been pursuing alternative buyers or investors for the business.

AUTOSPORT's sources have indicated there are two options for the future of the WRC promotion. The first option relates to multi-year, multi-million pound NOS investment from the Middle East, which would effectively mean the business continuing as it has up until now.

The second option is believed to centre on Eurosport taking on the filming and promotion of the series. Eurosport already works closely with the FIA on the World Touring Car Championship.

When asked if Eurosport was interested in working with the WRC, the firm's motorsport business director Francois Ribeiro said: "We always said from the beginning that we would never let FIA down. There is a promoter [of the WRC] contract in place today. Eurosport would not be able to come in as long as this contract is in place."

Asked about Eurosport's position should the WRC promoter contract not be in place, he replied: "Then everything is possible. It's up to FIA to communicate, they own [the] World Rally Championship and I cannot speak on their behalf. I don't think it will be long [before an announcement.]"

North One Sport declined to comment on the current situation.

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