The World Rally Championship calendar for 2018 has been released and as anticipated Rally Australia on the Coffs Coast will retain its position as the season's final round in mid-November.
The confirmation of the 15-18 November WRC date in Australia has a flow-on effect for the Supercars race in Newcastle with Events NSW wanting to avoid any date clash.
“It's great news that fans will be able to watch the fastest and bravest rally drivers in action in a World Championship event here again next year. The WRC offers incomparable excitement and drama,” said Rally Australia Chairman Ben Rainsford.
“But fans don't have to wait until November 2018 to have this experience, as today we're exactly eight weeks away from running the first competition stage of the 2017 Kennards Hire Rally Australia.
“This event will be unmissable, with a likely showdown for the 2017 World Championship and certainly for the CAMS Australian Rally Championship.”
In announcing the 13-round WRC schedule, Turkey has returned to the championship in place of Poland, while the final European round will now be in Spain and not the UK.
The championship begins with the traditional season-opening Rallye Monte-Carlo in January will again feature the wide range of surfaces through the season including gravel, asphalt, snow and ice action across four continents.
Turkey returns to the WRC for the first time since 2010 and is seen as a key event for WRC manufacturers Toyota, Hyundai and Ford; which all have manufacturing facilities in the country.
Rally GB switches from late October and will run three weeks earlier allowing for anticipated better weather.
“The 2018 season brings an enticing blend of WRC tradition and history, in the form of classic and long-standing rounds such as Sweden, Argentina and Finland, with a welcome return to Turkey,” said WRC Promoter managing director Oliver Ciesla.
“Turkey is a hugely important automotive market, in terms of sales and manufacturing. Record sales of almost a million vehicles were recorded in 2016 and the sporting reasons for its reintroduction are matched by a compelling business rationale.
“We offer manufacturers the opportunity to showcase their products in a championship focused on production-based cars, and I'm delighted Turkey's return was unanimously supported by our participating manufacturers.”
2018 WRC Calendar
|25 – 28 January
|15 – 18 February
|8 – 11 March
|5 – 8 April
|26 – 29 April
|17 – 20 May
|7 – 10 June
|26 – 29 July
|16 – 19 August
|13 – 16 September
|4 – 7 October
|25 – 28 October
|15 – 18 November