Ireland to host world series for first time

At an FIA meeting yesterday, the sport's world governing body confirmed that Ireland's cross-border event will run for three days from 18 November.

John O'Donoghue, the sports minister for the Republic of Ireland, said: "This is a wonderful success for Irish motorsport and Irish sport in general and all the more so as it is a cross-border initiative.

"The WRC has an annual TV viewership of more than 800 million, so the images of Ireland shown abroad will be of great benefit to the tourism industry."

The Irish round will give the British Isles a double-header conclusion to the season, with Wales Rally GB hosting the finale, starting on November 30. The introduction of the three new events sees the same number drop off the calendar with Cyprus, Australia and Turkey making way.