2011 IRC calendar: exciting developments for the new season
Two new countries, France (Corsica) and Hungary added to calendar
Eurosport Events, the promoter of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge is pleased to announce the official calendar for the IRC’s fifth season in 2011. Starting with the legendary Monte Carlo Rally, the schedule will include two new countries, France (Corsica) and Hungary, plus a new event in Argentina.
Comprising 12 all-action rallies, the 2011 IRC calendar will feature a mixture of gravel and asphalt events in Europe plus a return trip to South America for the new gravel-based Rally de los Alerces (Argentina) in March. However, the most notable development is the addition of the world-famous Tour de Corse to the schedule, and the IRC’s first visit to Hungary for the mixed-surface Mecsek Rallye in Pecs, in the south-west of the country.
— The Tour de Corse, affectionately known as the ’Rally of 10,000 Corners’, is one of the longest established asphalt events in rallying and runs again after a one-year gap. Crossing the island from Calvi to Ajaccio, the rally is famed for the stern test it subjects both car and crew to.
— Having successfully applied for IRC Supporter Event status, the Mecsek Rallye organisers have always outlined their desire for the event to achieve a higher profile. With the participation of two Hungarian drivers in some of the IRC rounds this year, the popularity of the series in Hungary and Eastern Europe is set to go from strength to strength.
— As in the past two years, the prestigious Rallye Monte-Carlo will open the IRC season. The asphalt event, which is often prone to wintry and changeable weather conditions, will celebrate its 100th anniversary next season. Eurosport, the IRC’s international broadcast partner, is set to screen extensive live coverage of the event, one of several IRC rallies the network is due to show live in 2011.
— In addition to IRC mainstays such as the events in Madeira, Sanremo, Ypres and Zlin, the rounds in Azores and Scotland are both back for a third season while Rally Islas Canarias Trofeo El Corte Ingles, which joined the IRC family earlier this season, will also return. The season will end for the second consecutive year with the demanding mixed-surface Cyprus Rally.
"The IRC continues to go from strength and the addition of two new territories to the calendar, Corsica and Hungary, will ensure the interest and excitement is maintained when the IRC turns five in 2011," said the IRC’s General Manager Marcello Lotti. "Both events are unchartered territory for the IRC but both enjoy significant public interest and this will only multiply when they play host to the IRC. We hope that confirmation of these new events plus more groundbreaking live television coverage will be just some of the highlights on offer in next season’s Intercontinental Rally Challenge."
2011 IRC calendar*
19-22 January (Monaco): Rallye Monte-Carlo (Asphalt)
04-06 March (Argentina): Rally de los Alerces** (Gravel)
14-16 April (Spain): Rally Islas Canarias Trofeo El Corte Ingles (Asphalt)
06-08 May (France): Tour de Corse (Asphalt)
23-25 June (Belgium): Geko Ypres Rally (Asphalt)
14-16 July (Portugal): Sata Rallye Acores (Gravel)
04-06 August (Portugal): Rali Vinho Madeira (Asphalt)
26-28 August (Czech Republic): Barum Czech Rally Zlin (Asphalt)
09-11 September (Hungary): Mecsek Rallye (Asphalt/gravel)
22-24 September (Italy): Rallye Sanremo (Asphalt)
14-16 October (Scotland): RACMSA Rally of Scotland (Gravel)
03-05 November (Cyprus): Cyprus Rally (Gravel)
*Subject to FIA approval
**Subject to signing the Promoter’s agreement