British firm Stage 1 Technology has agreed terms with the FIA to supply timing, tracking and results systems to the World Rally Championship for the remainder of the 2012 season.
Contracts were signed on Friday afternoon, with the new agreement starting from next month's Rally Mexico and maintaining a partnership which has been running since 2001.
“This is great news,” Stage 1 MD Simon de Banke confirmed, “Everybody's had quite a stressful start to the season, so to get this deal across the line in what is an exceptionally short space of time is a fair reflection on how much everybody wants it to work. I would like to pay tribute to the speed and ability with which everybody in the FIA has worked to expedite this, and for their foresight and support of the championship in taking the leadership to get our systems back online.”
The agreement has not only guaranteed the supply of the purpose-built WRC timing, results and tracking systems, but it also safeguards the 20 jobs of the dedicated and expert workforce of Stage 1 Technology and associated companies.
That workforce will now travel around the globe to the next eleven rallies, ensuring the teams and rally organisers know precisely where every competitor is on the road and how long they're taking to get there. Stage 1 Technology's state-of-the-art systems will beam timing data around the world via repeater planes and satellites arriving live onto the series' official website and Nokia app, ensuring fans across the planet can enjoy the action at home or out on the stages.
After missing the first round of the 2012 FIA World Rally Championship powered by Nokia, Stage 1 Technology returned for Rally Sweden earlier this month and, while the world rallying community breathed a sigh of relief at the return to normality in Karlstad, meetings began to firm up the future. With the current agreement in place, both the FIA and Stage 1 Technology are keen to begin negotiations to take the partnership forward beyond the end of this year.
“We laid the foundations for this agreement while we were in Sweden,” de Banke revealed, “And we're focused on this year and beyond now. The past few months have been a very tough time for everybody involved in the FIA World Rally Championship, but everything is starting to return to normal now, with our reinstatement being a big part of that. The challenges of the last few months will soon be a distant memory, but for now, we're looking forward to putting the clocks on another stunning year in the most exciting sport on the planet.”