New World RX promoter launched with Dirks at the wheel
Arne Dirks, an experienced German sports executive, has been appointed to head up Rallycross Promoter GmbH, the new commercial entity behind the FIA World Rallycross Championship.
The new promotion company is based in Munich, and will work alongside WRC Promoter, the firm that holds the commercial rights to the World Rally Championship.
Rallycross Promoter has been created after the FIA, motor racing’s international governing body, turned to WRC Promoter to replace IMG, the international sports agency, which opted not to continue as World RX promoter beyond 2020.
The 43-year-old Dirks will serve as executive director as World RX prepares for the 2021 season starting in June, and a switch to electric cars in 2022.
He brings almost 20 years of experience from the German sports industry, latterly as managing director of Brose Bamberg, one of the country’s top basketball teams.
Dirks was previously managing director of Deutsche Volleysport Sport, the commercial arm of the German Volleyball Federation.
He said on Wednesday: “My passion for sport also embraces my professional career and I’m honoured to join Rallycross Promoter at such an important time in the growth of World RX, as we steer towards the introduction of the exciting electric era in 2022.
“World RX is on the cusp of a sustainable future focused on e-mobility and transforming the way society views these issues globally. It’s an innovative and pioneering future, but first I can’t wait to lead our fledging team into what I’m sure will be an action-packed 2021 season.”
This year’s eight-round campaign is due to start in Hell in Norway on 12 and 13 June.
Other appointments announced by Rallycross Promoter today include Tim Whittingdon as championship co-ordinator and Russell Atkins as PR and communications manager, and it is also looking to recruit an operations director and operations manager.
IMG had promoted World RX since 2013 when it took on the FIA European Rallycross Championship and converted it into a global series.
However, last October, the FIA announced it was launching a tender process for a new promoter following discussions with the agency "in which IMG... expressed a desire not to continue as the World RX promoter in 2021 and 2022."
Welcoming the launch of the promoter, Peter Bayer, FIA secretary general for motorsport, said on Wednesday: “This is wonderful news for the development of the sport. The FIA World Rallycross Championship is fast approaching a new and exciting electric era and I look forward to sharing ideas and working together with Rallycross Promoter to drive the championship’s growth and foster a bright and more sustainable future.”