British Rally series seeks £1m title sponsorship

Title sponsorship of the British Rally Championship (BRC) could be up for grabs as the series seeks to extend its portfolio of sponsors.

The BRC is sponsored by Kwik-Fit and Pirelli, but is “seeking new partners to take the sport to the next level of popularity”.

A spokesman says that although the BRC is in talks with Kwik-Fit and Pirelli about renewing their deals, it is possible that a new brand could take over the headline sponsorship in a deal that could be worth almost &£1m.

The popularity of rallying in the UK was boosted when Colin McRae won the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) in 1995. Richard Burns repeated the feat in 2001.

Earlier this month, WRC sponsorship director Richard Heaselgrave left to join UEFA in a senior sponsorship role. Global sponsors of the WRC include Sony PlayStation, Lucozade and Puma.

In recent months, the WRC, along with the FIA GT Championship and A1 Grand Prix, is understood to have been contacted by prominent Formula One sponsors concerned by the threat of a breakaway series.

Five F1 manufacturers and seven teams met at the start of the month to discuss the future and concluded that they had no alternative but to set up a rival series because of the way the sport is being run.

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