As first reported by DirtFish in May, WRC Promoter will take over as promoter of the European Rally Championship from 2022.
Eurosport Events has run the ERC since 2013 when the series merged with the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, which had also been promoted by Eurosport.
Confirmation of the change, which was ratified at an FIA World Motor Sport Council meeting on Thursday, means Eurosport’s contract with the ERC will end one year early.
The addition of the ERC means WRC Promoter has four major championships under its control; the others being the World Rally Championship, World Rallycross Championship and European Rallycross Championship.
WRC Promoter managing director Jona Siebel said: “The FIA has entrusted the group with the commercial rights for an unparalleled fourth major championship.
“Having built a strong track record in promoting the WRC during the last nine seasons, we’re in a perfect position to add the ERC to our portfolio.
“We have a high level of organizational, promotional and broadcast experience in our team and look forward with great confidence to working alongside the FIA to develop the ERC as an integral part of the rally pyramid.
“We see strong growth potential in ERC, focused around Europe’s key markets. Our goal is to further cultivate its own identity, whilst at the same time ensuring it fits hand and glove with the WRC’s structure.”
Head of Eurosport Events François Ribeiro said the group’s “commitment to the ERC family has never diminished” and would be maintained until the end of 2021.
“Our fundamental objective has always been to put the best interests of the ERC at heart,” he added.
“Having maintained the ERC’s heritage yet transformed it into the successful championship it is now, our overriding concern was to ensure the momentum we started nine years ago continues.
“After taking the decision not to seek an extension to our 10-year contract with the FIA as we switch our priority to promoting the FIA’s all-electric GT and Touring Car categories, the correct course of action was to pass on the batten as quickly as possible to the next promoter to ensure a seamless transition.
“We are also following the wish of FIA president Jean Todt for both the ERC and WRC to be organized by one promoter rather than two. The ERC has an exciting future and we have every faith in the team at WRC Promoter being able to drive it forward.”
Like Todt, FIA rally director Yves Matton is keen to see closer alignment between the two series, and told DirtFish last week that a limit on the number of events that can appear on the WRC calendar meant there was a need to “find an attractive solution for the organizers to be part of a high-level championship”.
“My image for the ERC is [to have] a strong championship in Europe with very strong events and events which have a good image and I believe this is what we have to work for in the future,” he said.