Motorsport’s World Rally Championship (WRC) has once again surpassed the four million mark for fan attendance, stating that the figures for some its rallies make them the biggest annual entertainment event in their nation.
The WRC said figures compiled by individual rallies from ticket sales and local authority information revealed an attendance of more than 4.1 million fans across the 13 rounds during the 2018 season, the second consecutive year the four million figure has been breached.
WRC Promoter became the Championship’s commercial rights holder from the 2013 season and since that point attendances have increased by more than 30% across the same number of rallies.
The 2018 WRC season drew average attendances of 315,000 across each event weekend, with rallies in Argentina, Portugal and Mexico again the best-attended. WRC Promoter said the traditional season-opening Rallye Monte-Carlo has more than doubled its attendance to nearly 200,000 since 2013.
“WRC spectator numbers compare extremely positively with other world level motorsports,” said WRC Promoter managing director Oliver Ciesla. “Indeed, in some countries our rallies have proved to be the biggest annual entertainment event, larger than other sporting competitions and attractions like music festivals and industry fairs.
“Expanding the WRC to 14 rallies and the introduction of Chile to the 2019 championship offers further scope for growth thanks to the great passion for motorsport we see from fans in Latin America. Such growing visitor numbers bring big benefits for WRC host cities and countries. The direct income provided to the local economy by national and international visitors is significant.”
The 2019 WRC season heads into its fourth round this weekend with the Corsica Linea – Tour de Corse.