The International Motorsport Federation (FIA) has announced that it will stage its World Rallycross Championship (World RX) in the US for the first time next year at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas.

The organisation has signed a five-year deal with the venue, with the first event taking place at the facility from September 29-30, 2018. Work to build the World RX circuit will begin in the coming months.

COTA is one of the showpiece motor-racing venues in the US and regularly hosts the country’s Formula One World Championship race, as well as MotoGP motor-cycling events. The facility has a capacity of around 120,000.

Paul Bellamy, World RX managing director for the IMG agency, said: “The United States of America has been on our radar since the World Championship began in 2014, but we were determined to wait for the right opportunity.

“We have been in discussion with a number of venues across the USA but COTA shared our vision for the World Championship and can deliver a key objective of building a first-class rallycross facility. With IMG’s strong presence throughout the US we are confident that the COTA World RX event will be a huge success.”

Bellamy added: “Other elements of the weekend that we are working on include music, food festivals and action sports – allowing fans from a variety of backgrounds to attend and enjoy an action-packed weekend in the “live music capital of the world

Next year, the World Rallycross calendar will feature nine European rounds, as well as stages in South Africa, Canada, and now the US.

COTA chair Bobby Epstein added: “There is no doubt that rallycross is a rapidly growing discipline – the fans can watch races in quick succession and the 600bhp cars are mightily impressive.

“The addition of a world-class rallycross circuit will be a welcome addition to our growing venue, and we look forward to working closely with IMG in making the first ever World RX event in the USA a resounding success.”

Image: Seefrank