Wales Rally GB appears guaranteed to be on the World Rally Championship calendar for a 14th consecutive year in 2013.

The Welsh government has reached an in-principle agreement with the organisers, International Motorsports Ltd, to host the event in Wales next year.

Confirming the agreement, Minister for Business Edwina Hart said: "Wales Rally GB is one of Wales' longstanding flagship events and has been exclusively hosted here since 2000.

"In addition to reaching an in-principle agreement for 2013, we have agreed to undertake a full review of next year's event, with a view to extending the agreement for a further two years.

"The value of the relationship between the staging of Wales Rally GB and Wales' automotive sector should not be underestimated.

"Wales Rally GB has significant links with the automotive sector in Wales, which is home to 150 component and systems manufacturing companies."

"The industry in Wales also employs 18,000 people in automotive manufacturing, retail & maintenance and has an annual turnover of £3billion."

The Welsh Government provided a funding package worth £1.4million to support this year's Wales Rally GB event, which began in earnest today following a ceremonial start in Llandudno last night.