Great news rally fans! With non-stop action on snow, mud, tarmac, gravel and even sometimes the surrounding countryside, the FIA World Rally Championship radiates adrenalin. The aforementioned great news then is that next year the WRC will be seen for the first time live on Red Bull TV.
The premiere takes place at Rally Monte-Carlo in January, ushering in a new era of unique coverage from Red Bull TV and bringing the breath-taking action to more fans than ever before. It is especially exciting because 2017 ushers in a new breed of rally car that feature more power, more aero and bigger wings. You can never have wings that are too big, that’s my motto.Presented by Mike Chen, Red Bull TV will be broadcasting live on Saturday from each event and will host three stunning new daily highlight shows that feature all the action. Co-presenting the action will be some of the biggest personalities in motor sport, lending a unique perspective to every rally. The first guest will be none other than former F1 and Le Mans driver Mark Webber in Monaco.
All of the programmes will be free-to-air, and will include dedicated 20 to 30-minute highlights shows on the Friday and Saturday evenings of WRC events direct from the service park and a 30-40 minute Sunday evening wrap.
In a groundbreaking new introduction, there will also be a 75-minute Saturday midday special featuring a live stage. This will enable viewers to enjoy unprecedented levels of exhilarating footage as they follow the action in real time from both inside and outside the cars, from the snow-lined speed tests of Monte-Carlo and Sweden to the high-altitude elevation of Mexico and the gruelling gravel forest tracks of Finland, Australia and Wales.
Engaging and informed presenters are promised plus news, interviews and gossip that will set, they say, new standards in WRC broadcasting and bring fans closer to the high-octane action than ever. The sport will be heading into an exciting and unpredictable new era of faster and more powerful cars, myriad driver changes and the return of an ultra-successful WRC stalwart in the shape of automotive giant Toyota, the timing could not be any more apposite.
“It’s really exciting that the WRC will be broadcast on Red Bull TV next year,” enthused long-time Red Bull driver Sébastien Loeb, the most successful driver in the history of the sport. “Fans will now have chance to see the very best coverage of some of the best motor sport in the world entirely for free and at a time that suits them. There’s always a feeling of innovation and excitement around Red Bull, and I’m sure that this will be the case for the new TV package as well.”
The action will rev into life in glamorous Monte Carlo in January, with the oldest and most prestigious event on the WRC calendar certain to serve as a baptism of fire for the new generation of World Rally Cars.
The first dedicated WRC programme on Red Bull TV is 9pm on Friday 20 January following the end of leg one of Rally Monte-Carlo. All shows will remain available to watch on-demand on Red Bull TV once the rally has finished.
Red Bull TV is available to watch entirely free of charge online at redbull.tv and via mobile, laptop or smart television (the app is free to air on Amazon Prime), or on the dedicated Red Bull TV app, available both for iPhone and Android. Stay tuned rally buffs – it’s going to be good. Geoff Maxted
WRC NEWS: As Volkswagen have pulled their works team (rumoured to be because of the financial aftermath of the ‘Dieselgate’ scandal), their star drivers are moving on. Jari-Matti Latvala has crossed over to the new Toyota team and Sebastién Ogier, rather surprisingly, has opted for the M-Sport team driving the 2017 Fiesta (below).
Volkswagen have homologated their 2017 WRC car so may yet offer it out to a privateer team. The cash-rich Qatari driver driver Nasser Al Attiyah is rumoured to be interested.GM