World Rally Championship promoter ISC has sought to clarify the position surrounding Italy's round of the series.
Reports had circulated that Sanremo, switching back to its classic part-asphalt part-gravel route from Sanremo to Tuscany next season, would be likely to return to the World Rally Championship. However, ISC chairman Neil Duncanson has denied the story.
At the moment, Italy does not have a committed WRC round in the future – it is a reserve rally for next season and the 2011 calendar has not yet been revealed - – but it is considered one of the blue chip rounds of the series.
Duncanson said: "We have had a lot of discussions with the Italian organisers and they've been very fruitful. The guys over there have come up with some innovative and exciting solutions. We make no bones about the fact that we want to be back on the mainland for this event, but that's unlikely to happen for 2011."
What is likely will be a ceremonial start in Rome on the Thursday afternoon. The cars would then be shipped over to Sardinia where the main rally will run in a format similar to the one we have seen since 2004.
It is, however, possible that asphalt stages in Sardinia could be incorporated into the route.
"The Rome start is an option," said Duncanson. "We're in a period of transition with this event and the Rome start would give us some presence on the mainland. We're still talking about it."
Italy's chances of running a WRC round next season were all but extinguished when Bulgaria was confirmed as a qualifying event last month.