Rally Class has been accepted as an international series by the FIA, the governing body of the World Rally Championship.
The subject was discussed at the FIA World Motor Sport Council meeting that was held in Istanbul last week where it was confirmed that following a successful inaugural season, Rally Class would be recognised as an international series from 2013.
Rally Class competitors use identical Group N-specification Subaru Imprezas and the six-round series is run by Belgian-based Symtech Racing: the same team that helped New Zealand's Hayden Paddon claim the 2011 PWRC title.
Next year's Rally Class will take place over six WRC rounds: Portugal, Greece, Finland, Germany, France and Spain.
The overall winner of next year's Rally Class will get to do four rallies in the 2014 World Rally Championship at the wheel of a Subaru Impreza R4. The runner-up will receive one rally with an R4 Subaru Impreza.
“This is really fantastic news for our series, as it gives Rally Class the international recognition that it deserves and also means that the championship is fully incorporated within the FIA's infrastructure, with all the resulting key benefits in terms of publicity, exposure and career progression for our competitors,” said Symtech Racing's Dirk Van der Sluys.
“With the official backing of both Subaru and the FIA, this allows Rally Class to become the established budget route to the top of the sport, supported at the very highest levels, which is fully sanctioned in a way that no other one-make series at this level has managed to achieve.
“With a generous prize structure and complete publicity package at the disposal of our competitors, Rally Class is a sure way for talent drivers to get noticed and move up the career ladder, with all the prestige that official recognition from the FIA brings.”
Yuriy Protasov won the inaugural Rally Class this year and he will now get to do five rallies in the World Rally Championship in 2013 in a Subaru Impreza R4 will all costs paid.