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WRC targets 2025 for new 'Command Centre' to bring fans closer to action

The World Rally Championship aims to roll out new technology that will bring more live data and team radio to broadcasts at the start of next season in Monte Carlo.

Elfyn Evans, Scott Martin, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

Elfyn Evans, Scott Martin, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

Dubbed the 'Command Centre', the concept is a part of the WRC Promoter's plan to improve the championship's ability to communicate unfolding stories during events to fans.

The promoter has been working with teams and manufacturers to extract more data out of the cars and increase live interaction between the crews and their teams through Formula 1-style team radio.

Live team radio is utilised by several motorsport categories. In the WRC, every stage is currently broadcast live through Rally.TV, but viewers only hear from the crews at stage ends, and when action or incidents occur during a stage, the audience is often left in the dark as to what has happened.  

The technology is undergoing testing with M-Sport set to carry out further evaluation of the systems in Estonia next week as part of their pre-event running before Rally Poland.

"We will test data and what we want to do is test the technology. We won't create the Command Centre and the outcome of our test until Monte Carlo next year," said WRC event director Simon Larkin, when asked for an update on the championship's plans by Motorsport.com.

"We have tests going on with M-Sport at the evaluation centre and then at their test in Estonia coming up, so actual on-site testing.

"We have a number of technical partners working with us. We have [former Hyundai WRC boss] Andrea Adamo contracted with us to lead the project, so our plan is to test throughout this year but implement for Monte Carlo."

Photo by: McKlein / Motorsport Images

Larkin also revealed that the Command Centre project could eventually develop into a physical structure in the service park where team representatives are housed during rallies.

"It is a name of a concept. It may well end up being a building or a physical structure but what we want to do is to create a roll-out robust useable interesting storytelling technology for Monte Carlo," added Larkin.

"How that looks and feels may not happen in Monte Carlo, but the concept will happen. This is a data storytelling concept."

As previously reported, the WRC is also working with helmet manufacturer Stilo to bring helmet cameras to the championship to provide a driver's eye view of some of the toughest roads in motorsport.

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