FIA World Rallycross really has grown up. At least they are now ready to leave their cradle.
2017 will be the last time, at least for now, that WorldRX will participate on the track where it all began on February 4th 1967, Lydden Hill in Great Britain.
That has been announced by the series organizers IMG today.
From 2018 onwards the British round of the Championship will be held at Silverstone, and will be run on a combination of the tarmac that we know from Formula 1 and WEC, and a new prepared gravel part, that will connect the asphalt parts of the lap.
FIA World Rallycross Championship has been in a great expansion and gets more and more popular all over the world. They are currently or has been using parts of Circuit de Catalunya, Hockenheim and the former Formula 1 track, Istanbul Park in Turkey.
IMG organizes all kinds of events all over the world, amongst others SpeedwayGP, where we’ve seen the same trend of moving from traditional race tracks to bigger stadiums – simply to get room for more spectators. In that sport we see some lovers of the sport not liking that trend, due to the commercialisation and half empty stadiums, and today’s announcements has made similar discontent in the Rallycross circles. Because Lydden Hill is where the sport was born, and when the series leaves the track, it leaves a lot of local spectators, who might not want to take the 160 miles trip to the north. They will however be able to show up at their local track for the 50th anniversary of Rallycross this year.
The new Rallycross event at Silverstone will be part of a motorsport festival, without the director of IMG, Paul Bellamy, wanting to go into more details about what part of motorsport will be there. Could it be BTCC, MotoGP or WEC who will be at the track? Because it’s unlikely for it to be Formula 1…
But only time will tell.