The calendar for this year's Intercontinental Rally Challenge has been changed after the loss of the Asturias Rally, which has been replaced by Rally Islas Canarias, meaning Spain's IRC round moves forward from September to May.
The Asturias Rally is reported to have been unable to source the cash required to run as a round of the Eurosport series, enabling Rally Islas Canarias, one of the most famous rounds of the Spanish Asphalt Championship, to step up to the IRC.
The organizers of the event are making special arrangements for the IRC regulars to get their cars to the Spanish island of Gran Canaria, which sits just off the coast of Africa. Switching to the Las Palmas-based event has plugged a gap in the IRC schedule, which had previously meant there would be no action between the end of this week's Rally Argentina and the start of Rally d'Italia Sardegna in June.
Marcello Lotti, the General Manager of the IRC, said: "We are grateful to President Carlos Gracia Fuertes, of Real Federacion Espanola de Automovilismo, who supported the IRC in finding a quick and solid alternative solution after Rally Principe de Asturias encountered financial issues. Rally Islas Canarias enjoys a good reputation and benefits from a strong organizational background. We are hopeful this partnership will not be a one-off experience."