The FIA has announced that Sistemas Integrales de Telecomunicaci?n will provide the timing and safety tracking services for the FIA World Rally Championship from 2013.

Sistemas Integrales de Telecomunicaci?n will replace British firm Stage 1 Technology, which had looked after the timing, tracking and results since 2001. No explanation was given for the change, although news of it was leaked on Tuesday night.

The full statement published by the FIA today, and confirming the news, read:

"The FIA has entered into exclusive negotiations with Sistemas Integrales de Telecomunicaci?n to provide the timing and safety tracking services for the FIA World Rally Championship from 2013.

"The Spanish sports technology group would also be responsible for delivering this all-important data to the Championship Promoter, the content being an integral part of its vision to develop and enhance the television and digital product.

"Based in Madrid, Sistemas Integrales de Telecomunicaci?n has 78 employees dedicated to providing high-level technology across a broad range of sports. With its own fleet of seven airplanes and eight helicopters, the company's experience in delivering rally-related expertise dates back to 1985.

"Its various telecommunications technology, timing, tracking, results, broadcast transmission and real-time internet services have since been used on the Spanish Rally Championship, Rally Catalu?a, Rally de Portugal, Baja Espa?a, the Race of Champions and La Vuelta a Espa?a, a multi-stage cycling event which is part of the UCI World Tour. The company is also the exclusive Tag Heuer Timing representative for Spain since 1992.

"Sistemas Integrales de Telecomunicaci?n will use proven UHF radio wave technology, familiar within the World Rally Championship and frequently used for television broadcast purposes."