Rallye Monte Carlo, one of the sport's most iconic events will return to the World Rally Championship next season.
Confirmation came at a meeting of the FIA World Motor Sport Council in Barcelona earlier today when the 13-event calendar was rubberstamped by motorsport’s world governing body.
Rallye Monte Carlo celebrated its 100th anniversary this year but hasn’t appeared on the world championship roster since 2008 when Sebastien Loeb secured his fifth victory on the demanding asphalt rally. The event is scheduled to conclude on the weekend of 21/22 January although the exact date and format have yet to be finalised.
The FIA has also published a list of event dates although the exact scheduling for the rounds in Greece and Italy remains subject to confirmation.
Sweden moves from the opening round slot to round two in February with Mexico following one month later. Portugal’s round begins during the final week of March with Argentina taking place one month earlier than it did this year at the end of April.
New Zealand is back on the calendar after missing out on a slot in 2011, while the rounds in Finland and Germany will run one week later than in recent seasons.
Spain will take over from Great Britain as the host of the final round, the first time since 2005 that Britain’s world championship qualifier has not brought the curtain down on the season. Rally GB will now take place in mid-September with Rally de Espana taking place on the first weekend of November.
Abu Dhabi, a long-term partner of the WRC, had appeared on the original list of rounds for 2012. However, the event organiser has been invited to submit a proposal to run an assessed ‘candidate’ rally instead for possible inclusion on the WRC calendar in the future.
The dates and venues for the 2012 FIA World Rally Championship are as follows:
22/01: Monte Carlo
27/05: Greece* (or 03/06)
24/06: New Zealand
16/09: Great Britain
* Dates subject to confirmation