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2008 Intercontinental Rally Challenge

Posted: January 24, 2008 1:58 PM - 4803 Hits

  • Monte Carlo Rally to join IRC in 2009
  • Istanbul Rally (Turkey) replaces Safari
  • Safari Rally dropped from 2008 IRC calendar
  • Championship Rounds

Posted: January 24, 2008 1:58 PM

Monte Carlo Rally to join IRC in 2009
Michel Boeri, the President of the Automobile Club de Monaco (ACM), and Jacques Behar – the President of Intercontinental Rally Challenge promoter Eurosport Events – announced today at the ACM headquarters in Monaco that the Monte Carlo Rally will form part of the IRC in 2009. ...

The 77th Monte Carlo Rally will open the IRC series in January next year, at the start of a season that will take in between 10 and 12 rallies over three different continents.

René Isoart, the Clerk of the Course for the ACM, commented: "With the new alternation system put in place by the FIA, we looked at a number of possibilities in order to keep the organisation of the Monte Carlo Rally going. The IRC is the perfect solution. In its debut season, this series has demonstrated all its dynamism, value and potential. The idea won us over, so we are very happy to join this intercontinental series in 2009 and benefit from some exceptional media coverage that highlights the fundamental values of rallying: a healthy majority of amateurs, some stunning landscapes, a diverse field, close competition, and the emphasis firmly on the talent of individual drivers and co-drivers. "

Jacques Behar added: "It’s a very big honour for the IRC to start the 2009 season with the Monte Carlo Rally, the most prestigious event in the history of this sport. We have put in place an innovative media strategy around the IRC, the objective of which is to bring rallying to the people, especially via live television. We are going to continue developing this coverage into the future, and we will be delighted to offer all the fans of the Monte Carlo Rally, as well as of sport and rallying in general, live international coverage of this legendary event through the Eurosport network."

Launched in 2007, the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) is an international rally series authorised by the FIA and organised by Eurosport Events, a subsidiary of Eurosport Group that organises, promotes and develops sporting events all over the world. During its first full season, the IRC took in nine rallies with the participation of six registered manufacturers. The IRC is broadcast live over the entire Eurosport Group network, but particularly on the pan-European channel Eurosport, which reaches 240 million viewers in 112 million homes across 59 countries. The 2008 IRC calendar is :

Istanbul Rally (Turkey) replaces Safari
The Safari Rally, originally scheduled to start the season, was withdrawn due to the current political situation in Kenya and replaced with the Istanbul Rally (4-6 April, Turkey)

Safari Rally dropped from 2008 IRC calendar
In view of the political difficulties in Kenya recently, it is with extreme regret that the organisers of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge have decided not to include the Safari Rally on the IRC calendar this year. ...

The Safari Rally will remain part of the African Championship and will run as scheduled from March 21-23.

Jacques Behar, the President of IRC series promoter Eurosport Events commented: “After a great deal of careful consideration, we have decided that we have no choice but to omit the Safari Rally from the calendar this year. I feel very sorry for the event organisers, who have put in so much work to make the rally a success, and we look forward to welcoming the Safari back onto the IRC calendar in 2009 if the political situation has stabilised. The Safari Rally remains an icon of world motorsport, but the safety of our competitors will always be our primary concern. Our decision not to include the Safari Rally this year is no reflection on the event organisers, who are the unfortunate victims of political circumstances.”

The Safari Rally will be given ‘IRC Supporter Event’ status this year, prior to its expected return to the full series in 2009. Highlights of this year’s event will also be shown on Eurosport. The possibility of replacing the Safari’s slot on the IRC calendar with another event in April is currently being considered, with further details to follow.

Championship Rounds
  1. Istanbul Rally (Turkey) - 4-6 Apr 08
  2. Portugal (IRC) - 09-10 May 08
  3. Ypres (ERC & IRC & B) - 27-29 Jun 08
  4. Russia (IRC) - 11-12 Jul 08
  5. Madeira (ERC & IRC) - 31-02 Aug 08
  6. Barum (Czech) (IRC ERC & CZ) - 22-24 Aug 08
  7. Asturias (Spain) (IRC) - 11-13 Sep 08
  8. San Remo (Italy) (IRC) - 25-27 Sep 08
  9. Valais (Switzerland) (IRC) - 23-25 Oct 08
  10. China (IRC & APRC) - 08-09 Nov 08

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