Assembly urged over £2m rally deal

Confirmation that the Wales Rally GB will now be part of next year's world championship has led to calls for the Welsh Government to reinstate a £2 million sponsorship deal.

The Assembly pulled funding in April after saying that the 2010 event was not part of the World Rally Championship (WRC).

But after the Motor Sports Association agreed to underwrite the cost, the 2009 rally is now set to go ahead as planned in Cardiff on October 22.

Since the announcement, the sports governing body has confirmed that next year's race would be the 13th and final round of the 2010 WRC calendar.

International Motor Sport (IMS), which organises the event, has now called on the Assembly Government to reinstate the contract to support the UK's only round of the WRC up to 2011.

It threatened to press ahead with legal action if the matter is not resolved by July 8.

IMS chief executive Andrew Coe said: "The inclusion of Wales Rally GB on the 2010 WRC calendar by the FIA World Motor Sports Council effectively addresses each and every one of the concerns of the Welsh Assembly Government in relation to our 2007 to 2011 agreement.

"This finally removes any reason for the Assembly Government to continue withholding funding for the 2009 Wales Rally GB, as well as the remaining events within the terms of our agreement."

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