WRC: 2016 calendar begins to take shape with nine initial rally announcements

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The calendar for the 2016 FIA World Rally Championship has begun to take shape following the announcement of nine provisional events by WRC promoter Oliver Ciesla.

As is tradition, the rally season is poised to kick off in Monaco at the end of January before heading to Sweden for the second round of the year.

Races in Argentina, Australia, Italy, Finland, Mexico, Poland and Spain have also been approved by the WRC promoter, and will appear on the 2016 calendar depending on a smooth 2015 event and ratification by the World Motor Sport Council.

“WRC is unlike other FIA world championship in that it begins in January and so we have the luxury to select the dates for Rallye Monte-Carlo and Rally Sweden in the knowledge there will be no conflicts,” Ciesla said.

“It’s a conscious decision that allows all nine events to start planning and making preparations as soon as possible, and we look forward to final approval of these rallies by the WMSC.”

The four remaining rounds that appear on the 2015 schedule – Portugal, Germany, France and Great Britain – are yet to be confirmed, but Ciesla said that he was open to bringing new events into the series whilst retaining the same number of rounds.

“We also have exciting proposals on the table from countries not currently on the calendar and discussions have started with a view to bringing at least one, and perhaps two, of those events onto next year’s calendar,” he said.

“However, we will most likely aim to maintain the same number of rounds in the championship.”

With rounds in Japan and China also being mooted, the WRC calendar could be poised to change for 2016, but a final decision will be taken by the WMSC in the coming months.