BT Sport’s Graeme Swann to drive at World Rally Championship (WRC) Wales Rally GB
Ashes-winning former England off-spinner Graeme Swann, the BT Sport presenter and ambassador, is set to join the exciting finale of this year’s FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) by racing at Wales Rally GB in November. Swann is poised to compete on the same roads as superstar current champion Sebastien Ogier and British motorsport stars Kris Meeke and Elfyn Evans.
Swann will compete at the event in a Ford Fiesta R2 rally car that will be run alongside the M-Sport team that enters two Ford-supported cars in the top WRC class for Elfyn Evans and Mikko Hirvonen. Swann’s training, preparation, as well as the big race week itself will be filmed by BT Sport for an exclusive documentary to be aired later this autumn.
The former England cricket international is a passionate motorsports fan who grew up near to Silverstone and holds an ARDS motorsport licence. Swann has featured in BT Sport’s Moto GP Tonight show this season. Additionally, he is a regular at key motorsports events including the Formula 1 British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
He will undertake rigorous training to gain his national rally licence under the supervision of the MSA, the UK’s governing body for motorsport over the coming month, refine the art of driving the car and learn the unique demands of the Wales Rally GB course located in North and Mid-Wales.
Swann said: “I just cannot wait to get started. I am champing at the bit to train, get my licence and learn the car and the famous Wales Rally GB course. Growing up close to Silverstone meant cars and bikes were never far away from me. I’ve raced sports cars in the past and am never too far away from races and Grand Prix but this is a whole new level for me. Stay tuned to BT Sport to follow my journey.”
Swann’s involvement further expands the former international cricketer’s role with BT Sport. This summer Swann formed part of the commentary team for BT Sport’s coverage of the Caribbean T20 tournament. Additionally, Swann has presented sports debate show BT Sports Panel (BTSP) as well as appearing in a number of the broadcaster’s other programmes.
The documentary further extends BT Sport’s motorsports offering which includes WRC, Formula E, IndyCar and Nascar. BT Sport also has a five-year deal with Dorna Sports for exclusive rights to televise motorcycle racing’s premier contest, the FIM MotoGP™ World Championship.
Grant Best, senior executive channel producer, BT Sport, said: “We are delighted to have Graeme as part of our team working across a number of our sports and shows. We are thrilled that Graeme is embarking on this exciting challenge. Everyone is behind him here at BT Sport and we look forward to following his journey.”
Oliver Ciesla, managing director of WRC Promoter, the company which organises the 13-round WRC, said: "It's hard to envisage a greater sporting contrast than a cricket international tearing down tricky forest tracks in a rally car in the World Rally Championship. Graeme has taken on the toughest of challenges and it will be fascinating to see him competing over the same roads as the world's best rally drivers. It's great to see our partner BT Sport involving itself further in WRC, and widening its exposure across its many outlets."