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BRC calendar set for 2009.

The organisers of the MSA British Rally Championship have confirmed the schedule for 2009, which will include a new opening round.

Like in previous years, six events will make up the series', however the Wales Rally GB will now be a non-points' scoring event.

In a bid to try and maintain links between the Cardiff-based round and the BRC though, it will host an end of season 'Best of British' celebration.

"By linking with the BRC, the [Wales Rally GB] event organisers are offering incentives and prizes to the newly crowned British overall, junior and class champions and all other registered competitors who have an aspiration to contest the UK's round of the World Rally Championship," explained a statement to the media.

More details on the 'Best of British' celebration will follow later this year.

The 2009 MSA British Rally Championship meanwhile will begin earlier than normal, with the Bulldog International Rally North Wales running at the end of March - preceding the previous season opener, the Pirelli International, by three weeks.

Changes are also afoot with Rally Isle of Man moving a week earlier in the calendar and more significantly, reducing its current three day format down to just two.

Other less significant changes include new stages and a new home in Carlisle for the Pirelli, a Kelso base for the entire Jim Clark Rally and a return to the Friday night and Saturday format.

The Ulster organisers are considering some new stages and host venue too, but negotiations are ongoing and the location is not yet confirmed.

The penultimate round in previous years, Rally Yorkshire, will form the backdrop for the end of season battle. At present this is the only event to remain wholly unchanged, but the organisers are keen to ensure that the rally remains fresh and vibrant.



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