WRC unveils 2018 calendar, confirms Turkey return

Today’s World Motor Sport Council meeting has ratified a 13-round World Rally Championship calendar for next season – with Turkey returning for the first time since 2010.

The Marmaris-based Rally of Turkey replaces Rally Poland on the schedule of events, but runs in September to close up the current five-week gap between rounds 10 and 11.

Poland’s departure had been telegraphed following the rally’s troubled record with spectator safety.

Rally Turkey’s inclusion comes on the caveat of an acceptable candidate event, which runs next month.

The only other date change for next season involves a switch for Britain and Spain’s rounds, with Rally GB now running ahead of Rally Spain.

Rounds one and two in Monte Carlo and Sweden are both a week later than this year in an effort to offer a longer winter break.

Mexico, Argentina, Portugal, Italy and Australia all have to finalise their agreement with the WRC promoter, but none of the events anticipate any problems.

There remains speculation that the Italian event could move back to the mainland and a northern Italian base.

Thursday’s Paris meeting of WMSC also confirmed there would be no paddle shift on R5 cars and more help to events which receive a ‘yellow card’ on safety grounds.

The communication stated: “The ‘Rally Safety Task Force’ will now be responsible for helping the concerned organiser and/or ASN to reach a satisfactory level of safety for the future.”

The calendar

Rally Monte Carlo, January 25-28

Rally Sweden, February 15-18

Rally Mexico, March 8-11

Tour de Corse, April 5-8

Rally Argentina, April 26-29

Rally Portugal, May 17-20

Rally Italy, June 7-10

Rally Finland, July 26-29

Rally Germany, August 16-19

Rally Turkey, September 13-16

Rally GB, October 4-7

Rally Spain, October 25-28

Rally Australia, November 15-18

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