Fri 31 May 2024

FIA World Rallycross Championship targeting street circuit race in UK’s ‘Motor City’

World RX is in discussions with MotoFest Coventry organisers with a view to 2025...

The FIA World Rallycross Championship is aiming to host a street race in the heart of the UK in 2025, after engaging in advanced discussions with one of the country’s biggest annual motoring and motorsport extravaganzas – MotoFest Coventry sponsored by E.ON.

Buoyed by the tremendous success of World RX’s inaugural downtown event in Hong Kong last November, Rallycross Promoter is working hard to bring the spectacular dual-surface discipline to more city centres, to introduce its irresistible no-holds-barred blend of fast-paced entertainment and doorhandle-to-doorhandle duels to swathes of new audiences.

The series will this year race full-speed ahead into its eagerly-anticipated new ‘Battle of Technologies’ era, pitting cutting-edge electric RX1e machinery directly against sustainably-fuelled combustion cars for the first time.

There has been no street circuit in Britain since 1990, but a feasibility study conducted by internationally-renowned track designer Driven International has determined that one could be constructed in the UK’s ‘Motor City’ to stage a rallycross event*.

A proposed layout has already been drafted with the support and input of Kevin Hansen, 2023 FIA World Rallycross Championship runner-up, and over the next few months, a period of consultation will take place with partners and importantly local residents to agree how the project can be taken forward.

Celebrating all things automotive past, present and future, MotoFest Coventry is the Midlands region’s most well-attended annual event, attracting in excess of 200,000 visitors, with the 2024 edition taking place this weekend (1-2 June).

Arne Dirks, Managing Director, Rallycross Promoter, said:

“Since being appointed promoter of this championship, one thing that has been clear to us is rallycross’ enormous potential to appeal to new audiences – a point very well-illustrated by the phenomenal success of our inaugural city-centre event in Hong Kong last year. That was a real ‘milestone’ moment and has encouraged us to explore further metropolitan locations.

“MotoFest Coventry has solidly established itself as one of the UK’s most popular car-themed events, and after being introduced to James [Noble – Festival Director] and his team, we quickly agreed that we share a common vision – to bring maximum entertainment to as many people as possible in a dynamic downtown setting. We are excited to continue working together as we investigate the possibility of incorporating World RX into MotoFest in 2025 and beyond.”

James Noble, Director, MotoFest Coventry, said:

“MotoFest Coventry is hugely excited to have entered into advanced discussions with the FIA World Rallycross Championship promoter to stage a World RX round at our 2025 festival weekend. We have made no secret in the past of our ambition to host competitive motorsport on Coventry Ring Road and having successfully delivered closed-road time trials, we are now driving forward with the next phase of that plan.

“With the ambition to stage exhilarating, electric and sustainably-fuelled racing on our unique city-centre sprint circuit, we are taking MotoFest Coventry to the next level by putting the event at the heart of sustainable motorsport for now and the future. This is a massive opportunity to showcase Coventry’s motoring past with a project that will help to secure its future as a city at the heart of transport innovation and development.”

Kevin Hansen, Driver, Hansen World RX Team, said:

“Racing in downtown Hong Kong was honestly a jaw-dropping experience, for us as drivers but even more so for the thousands of fans feeling the close-up excitement of the most action-packed off-road racing series in the world – and we want to do that more!

“Rallycross was born in Britain almost 60 years ago – this is the sport’s spiritual home – and bringing motor racing back to the country’s streets for the first time in decades is a hugely exciting prospect. With its commitment to sustainability, Coventry is the perfect location for the next chapter of the Rallycross 2.0 story. I really hope that this time next year, we will be back here putting on an absolutely epic show!”

Andrew Wheatley, Road Sport Director, Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), said:

“Following the success of World RX’s first event in Hong Kong last year, it’s great to see Rallycross Promoter pushing ahead with its plans to bring the sport to more city centres. The compact footprint and intense, high-energy nature of rallycross make it well-suited to an urban environment, and with its strong sustainability credentials, Coventry would be an ideal location. We look forward to seeing how this exciting project develops.”

*Subject to approval by the FIA World Motor Sport Council

Arne Dirks, James Noble and Kevin Hansen will all be available for interviews following a media briefing on-site at MotoFest Coventry on Friday, 31 May at 14:00 BST. To request an interview, please contact event press officer, Mark McLachlan:

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