Norway Bids for WRC Slot

Norway has submitted a bid to run a round of the 2007 World Rally Championship

Rally Norway hopes to be observed by the FIA in February 2006, in to order gain full approval for inclusion on the WRC calendar by 2007.

Norway joins a list of more than 20 events wanting to be observed by the FIA, including high profile bids from Ireland, Jordan and the Czech Republic.

The bid has two strong points in its favour over its rivals: it would double the number of winter events on the calendar and could be paired with the championship's other snow event, the Swedish Rally. The time gap between the two rallies is likely to be only a week and this would significantly decrease travelling costs.

Another snow event would help justify the extra expense teams and tyre companies use to adapt their WRC machines to the icy cold stages.

"All the signals we receive are positive," said Rally Norway managing director Jim Carlsen.  "There are other countries also bidding for new WRC rounds but none of them is a winter rally.  Norway has so much to offer and seems to be a popular choice with the teams and TV producers. 

"In addition to providing beautiful winter roads Rally Norway will meet the need of all the manufacturer teams to reduce spending. Together with the Swedish Rally we can offer as close as it gets to two rallies for the cost of one."

Norway has a current front-runner in the sport in 2003 title-winner Petter Solberg, and the Subaru driver is lending his backing to the bid.

"It's a sportsperson's dream to compete in a world class event hosted by his home nation, so I really hope we get a WRC round in Norway," said Solberg, who hopes to participate in this winter's candidate race.

"I am convinced that it will be a success. There could be no better reward for all the passionate rally fans and the people who have worked hard over the years to develop rallying in Norway." 

A team from Rally Norway attended the recent Rally Finland to gather information and meet with the sport's organisers and participants.

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