The Intercontinental Rally Challenge will include a new event on its schedule in 2011 after an agreement was reached between Eurosport Events, the promoter of the IRC, and Chervonenko Racing, the organiser of the Prime Yalta Rally in Ukraine.
Based in the city of Yalta on the north coast of the Black Sea in Ukraine’s Crimea region, the Prime Yalta Rally will form the fourth round of the IRC series from 2-4 June. The agreement is currently for 2011 and includes an option to extend the partnership into 2012.
The Prime Yalta Rally will use all-asphalt stages although there are plans to incorporate some gravel-based tests in the future.
Established as the most prestigious round of Ukraine’s national championship and previously part of the European Rally Cup, the event has gained a reputation for its challenging mountainous route and varying asphalt surfaces. As a result, it attracts up to 100,000 of spectators each year and is popular among competitors, with overseas drivers regularly travelling to the event to compete.
As well as receiving the patronage of the Ukrainian government, the rally will enjoy support from several of the country’s top sports stars including boxing brothers Vitaly and Vladimir Klitschko and footballer Andriy Shevchenko.
Marcello Lotti, the IRC General Manager, said: “We have been in close contact with the Yalta Rally organisers for some time and it gives me great pleasure to be able to confirm the event will be joining the IRC family next season. With its population of more than 45 million people, Ukraine represents a very important and growing market for the IRC and another new territory for our young and innovative rally series.”
Evgeny Chervonenko, the winner of the last USSR Rally Championship in 1991, the President of the Ukraine Motorsport Federation (FAU) and the head of the Yalta Rally organising committee, said: “The Prime Yalta Rally will offer competitors and spectators a high standard asphalt route, stunning mountainous special stages, great scenic views and a full entertainment package including concerts, shows and luxury parties. We invite racers to discover this fascinating route and welcome all true rally fans to join at least 300,000 visitors we expect in Yalta this summer. I am sure that competitors will appreciate the warm Ukrainian hospitality.”

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