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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 July 2006, 11:44 GMT 12:44 UK
Ireland to host World Rally round
Latest Rally news
Ireland is to stage a round of the FIA World Rally Championship for the first time in November 2007.

Rally Ireland joins Norway and Portugal as new additions to next year's line-up with Cyprus, Australia and Turkey making way.

The FIA stated that more events could be added to the 2007 calendar.

However, plans to switch the season to run over the European winter from 2007 were scrapped, leaving the campaign in its existing January-November format.

FIA president Max Mosley said the Irish round would bring unique features to the championship, including being the first to run competitive stages cross-border.

Research commissioned by Rally Ireland suggested the WRC could be worth more than 31.6 million to the economy.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Peter Hain, said he looked forward seeing the benefit the rally would bring.

"As a motorsport fan, I am delighted with this decision made by Max Mosley and the FIA," he said.

"Having seen at close hand the impact that Rally Ireland has made to date, I am excited by what hosting a full WRC round will be able to contribute to the economy and the development of social cohesion."

The first Rally Ireland WRC will take place from 16-18 November.

The FIA also revealed that the 'Super Rally' regulations, allowing drivers to rejoin a rally after retiring with only a five-minute penalty per stage, will be shelved.

A bonus-point system will be awarded in 2007 instead while there will be only one tyre manufacturer from the start of the 2008 season.

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