With 13 rounds the calendar marks return of Turkey after an absence of seven years. It stands in place of Poland in the fixture that was approved by the FIA World Motor Sport Council in Paris a few days ago. The championship begins with the regular season opener in Rallye Monte-Carlo in January.
It features a mix of gravel, asphalt, snow and ice action across four continents to find the world’s best all-round driver. Turkey returns to the WRC for the first time since 2010. The 10th round will be based in the popular international holiday resort of Marmaris on 13 – 16 September.
The gravel fixutre will feature fast to medium-speed special stages including a mix of smooth open roads near Marmaris and demanding rocky mountain passes in Mugla state. Turkish motorsport federation TOSFED will organise the rally. It will be one of the most compact in WRC history with several stages starting or finishing close to the service park.
WRC team manufacturers Toyota, Hyundai and Ford build vehicles in Turkey, Europe’s fifth largest automotive producer last year with almost 1.5 million vehicles produced. The season begins later than in 2017 as Monte-Carlo moves back a week to 25 – 28 January.
The second round in Sweden is also seven days later on 15 – 18 February. Following the seventh round in Italy on 7 – 10 June, there will be a six-week break before the second half of the season begins in Finland on 26 – 29 July. British rally switches from late October and will run three weeks earlier on 4 – 7 October.
Spain swaps with Great Britain to become the final European round. WRC Promoter managing director Oliver Ciesla said the new calendar offers enticing blend of tradition and history, in the form of classic and long-standing rounds such as Sweden, Argentina and Finland, with a welcome return to Turkey.