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The Istanbul Rally will open the IRC season this year from April 4-6. Following the decision to drop the Safari Rally from the IRC calendar due to political difficulties in Kenya, the IRC organisers are delighted to welcome Turkey back as its replacement this year.
 
The rally will be based in Istanbul, where two continents meet, and will take in a challenging route of gravel stages similar to last year’s event. The Istanbul Rally will start on Friday, April 4 and finish in the afternoon on Sunday, April 6, opening this year’s IRC season in spectacular style.

Jacques Behar, the President of IRC series promoter Eurosport Events, said: “We are delighted to welcome Turkey back onto the IRC calendar this year, after our reluctant but necessary decision to drop the Safari Rally. We wanted to find an alternative gravel rally for this year as quickly as possible – but of course it had to be of the same excellent quality as the rest of the events on the series.

“I’m very pleased to say that we have now managed to put together a rally that is truly worthy of opening the 2008 IRC season, where we aim to consolidate the success we enjoyed last year.”

The IRC will feature two new rallies – in Portugal and Spain – this year. An improved television package from Eurosport, featuring dynamic live broadcasts straight from the service park, will bring the excitement and scenery of the world’s special stages to 112 million homes across the world in 59 countries.

2008 IRC CALENDAR:

• 04-06 April Turkey Istanbul Rally (g)
• 09-10 May Portugal Rally Portugal (g)
• 27-28 June Belgium Ypres Westhoek Rally (a)
• 11-12 July Russia Rally Russia (g)
• 01-02 August Portugal Rally Vinho di Madeira (a)
• 22-23 August Czech Rep. Barum Rally Zlin (a)
• 12-13 September Spain Principe de Asturias Rally (a)
• 25 -27 September Italy Rally Sanremo (a)
• 23-25 October Switzerland Rally du Valais (a)
• 7-9 November China Rally China (g)
 
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