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WRC calendar 2018: WMSC approves Turkey's return, Poland dropped

Mikko Hirvonen Rally of Turkey WRC 2010

The World Motor Sport Council has ratified a 13-round World Rally Championship calendar for the 2018 season, with Turkey returning for the first time since 2010.

Thursday's WMSC meeting confirmed the Marmaris-based Rally Turkey will replace Rally Poland on next year's schedule, but will be held in September to close up the current five-week gap between rounds 10 and 11.

Poland's departure had been telegraphed following the rally's troubled record with spectator safety.

Rally Turkey's inclusion comes with the caveat of an acceptable candidate event - which will be run next month - being held.

The only other date change for next season involves a switch for Britain and Spain's rounds, with Rally GB running ahead of Rally Spain in 2018.

The first and second rounds of the season in Monte Carlo and Sweden are both a week later than this year in an effort to offer a longer winter break.

Mexico, Argentina, Portugal, Italy and Australia all have to finalise their agreements with WRC Promoter, but none of the events anticipate any problems.

There remains speculation of Italy's round moving back to the mainland and a northern Italian base.

Thursday's Paris meeting of WMSC also confirmed there would be no paddle shift on R5 cars and more help to events which receive a 'yellow card' on safety grounds.

The communication stated: "The 'Rally Safety Task Force' will now be responsible for helping the concerned organiser and/or ASN to reach a satisfactory level of safety for the future."

WRC 2018 calendar

January 25-28 Rally Monte Carlo
February 15-18 Rally Sweden
March 8-11 Rally Mexico
April 5-8 Tour de Corse
April 26-29 Rally Argentina
May 17-20 Rally of Portugal
June 7-10 Rally Italy
July 26-29 Rally Finland
August 16-19 Rally Germany
September 13-16 Rally Turkey
October 4-7 Rally GB
October 25-28 Rally Spain
November 15-18 Rally Australia

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