WRC Promoter has announced a new 10-year agreement with Saudi Arabia from the start of the 2025 season. The new event aims “to showcase the country’s diverse and challenging landscapes on surfaces ranging from volcanic rock to sandy desert terrain” and to provide “a novel test for crews with conditions never previously encountered in WRC history.” Asian Motorsport details the announcement of this new addition to the WRC calendar.

By Seb Tirado

Set to be held around Jeddah, Rally Saudi Arabia will mark the championship’s first visit to the Middle East since the 2011 Jordan Rally. Held from 2008 to 2011, the rally took place around the region of the Dead Sea west of the capital city of Amman. The 2011 edition also saw one of the closest results in WRC history when Sébastien Ogier took the overall victory by 0.2 seconds over Jari-Matti Latvala, having won the final Power Stage by an even closer margin of 0.04 seconds over Latvala’s teammate Mikko Hirvonen.

Speaking at the announcement, HRH Prince Khalid Bin Sultan Al Abdullah Al-Faisal – Chairman of the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation and the Saudi Motorsport Company – said that “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.” 

“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.”

Jona Siebel and HRH Prince Khalid Bin Sultan Al Abdullah Al-Faisal at the announcement | Credit: WRC

WRC Promoter Managing Director Jona Siebel also commented with enthusiasm about the agreement. “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.”

FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem added that “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 codrivers 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 HRH Prince Khalid Bin Sultan Al Abdullah Al-Faisal for continuing to push forward and develop our sport in Saudi Arabia.”

Header image credit: WRC

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