Thousands of fans watched the FIA World Rally Championship hit top gear as the stars and cars of the 2019 season appeared together for the first time in Birmingham on Saturday.

Manufacturer teams representing Citroën, Hyundai, M-Sport Ford and Toyota provided a first public look at their 2019 World Rally Cars as the quartet lined up side-by-side at the WRC season launch.

Close season signings, new driver and co-driver partnerships, familiar pairings and team principals unveiled fresh liveries on their cars during the WRC’s very own Super Saturday at Autosport International show.

Each driver also revealed his 2019 competition number, a new feature allowing all drivers to select their individual permanent car number for the year.

Interviews enabled the WRC stars to share with eager fans their excitement about the new season, 12 days before the prestigious Rallye Monte-Carlo (24 - 27 January) ushers in the opening action, and they spent time signing autographs, posing for selfies and meeting showgoers.

Highlights included the first public appearance in Citroën Total World Rally Team colours of Ogier and fellow new signing Esapekka Lappi.

Kris Meeke appeared with new co-driver Seb Marshall and Toyota Gazoo Racing’s Yaris World Rally Car, while Hyundai Shell Mobis and M-Sport Ford World Rally Teams unveiled new liveries on their 2019 challengers.

A packed day of WRC activities also included appearances by support category drivers from WRC 2 and Junior WRC.

“WRC’s Super Saturday was a resounding success and we welcomed huge crowds to the WRC area to introduce the 2019 cars and raise anticipation ahead of the opening round,” said WRC Promoter managing director Oliver Ciesla.

“Seeing the excitement on the faces of fans as they met their heroes highlighted what this type of public event means to people and emphasised the continued growing profile of WRC.”