Red Bull could be confirmed as the new promoter of the World Rally Championship as early as Rallye Deutschland later this month, following a three-way challenge for the right to replaced North One Sports.
According to Autosport
magazine, Red Bull Media House, yet another division of the drinks brand's empire, beat off opposition from both IRC promoter/broadcaster Eurosport
and an unnamed South African partnership, having been short-listed by the sport's governing body, the FIA. Eurosport
was widely expected to emerge as the leading candidate, particularly having rallied at short notice to assist in the broadcast of WRC events earlier this season but, according to rallye-magazin.de
, Red Bull's existing role in sports promotion, as well as its financial clout, won out.
The WRC has struggled on since North One was axed as promoter following the collapse of parent company CSI, with serious question marks raised over its future following disputes between the FIA and participating events, and concerns that leading manufacturers Citroen and Ford were maybe poised to end their involvement. It is hoped that the impending appointment of a new promoter will help to steady the ship.
Red Bull is already in the WRC, sponsoring the works Citroen squad and enjoying relationships with specific events, alongside widespread motorsport involvement that includes F1, NASCAR and bike racing.