WRC signs 10 year deal to go to Saudi Arabia


Today marks a historic moment as WRC Promoter officially announces a groundbreaking ten-year agreement with Saudi Arabia, securing the Middle Eastern nation’s position on the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) calendar from 2025*.

WRC cars seen during the launch at the Hangar 7 in Salzburg, Austria on January 15, 2022. // SI202201150137 // Usage for editorial use only //

Revealed onsite at the ongoing Rally Italia Sardegna, the sixth round of the 2024 WRC season, this transformative deal signifies the WRC’s return to the Middle East for the first time since the 2011 Jordan Rally. More than just a strategic move, the agreement underscores the WRC’s commitment to provide fans worldwide with a fresh and exhilarating experience.

Rally Saudi Arabia promises to showcase the country’s diverse and challenging landscapes on surfaces ranging from volcanic rock to sandy desert terrain, providing a novel test for crews with conditions never previously encountered in WRC history.

While Saudi Arabia is a newcomer to the WRC, it boasts a proven track record as a host for a multitude of international sporting events including the Dakar Rally, Formula 1, football, and golf.

HRH Prince Khalid Bin Sultan Al Abdullah Al-Faisal, Chairman of the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation and the Saudi Motorsport Company, was delighted to welcome WRC to Saudi Arabia: “We are thrilled to host the FIA World Rally Championship for the first time in 2025. The arrival of another racing series of global stature in Saudi Arabia confirms the extent of our transformation into a major hub for motorsport in the region.

“From 2025 we will proudly host Formula 1, Formula E, Extreme E, the Dakar Rally and now WRC and Rally Saudi Arabia in the Kingdom – an extraordinary accomplishment.

“By growing our motorsport portfolio and further increasing our commitment to hosting major motorsport series such as WRC in the Kingdom, we remain true to the goals of Vision 2030 which aims to improve the lives of all Saudis.

“We will use the experience we have gained from delivering so many world-class motorsport events to ensure that the Saudi edition on the WRC calendar is one of the standout events of the 2025 season and beyond.”

FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem added: “This is a great moment for motorsport in the Middle East. It has been over a decade since the FIA World Rally Championship last visited the region, and from my own experience, I know very well the unique challenges that the drivers and co-drivers will face when Rally Saudi Arabia gets underway in 2025.

“It’s going to be a great opportunity for national and regional drivers to showcase their talents on the world stage, and I am very thankful to Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al-Faisal for continuing to push forward and develop our sport in Saudi Arabia.”

WRC Promoter Managing Director Jona Siebel was equally enthusiastic about the championship adding Saudi Arabia to its calendar: “We’re excited by the opportunity to be back in the Middle East and in a country with a proud rallying tradition.

“Each day will offer vastly distinctive challenges to the drivers and highlight everything Saudi Arabia has to offer, from cityscapes to the desert and from the mountains to the ocean.

“We are confident that this is a rally that will add its own unique identity to the championship.”