The Association of National Championship Rally Organisers (ANCRO) has confirmed the schedule for the 2009 MSA Gravel Rally Championship, which will incorporate two new events.

While the series will again be made up of eight rounds, the Carlisle-based Pirelli Rally and the popular Woodpecker Rally come in and replace the Eventsigns Mewla Rally and the Bulldog Rally, which now forms the opening round in the 2009 MSA British Rally Championship.

The GRC will begin as normal with the Rallye Sunseeker and that will be followed by successive visits to Kielder Forest with both the Border Counties and Pirelli events using the northern, central and western tracks of the vast complex.

Then it's a trip over the Irish Sea for the unique tarmac of the Manx lanes before the classic forests of mid, central and southern Wales which are incorporated into the Severn Valley, and Swansea Bay.

The tests of the Welsh/English borders comprise the Woodpecker Rally and the season finale takes place in the ultra-fast tracks of the Yorkshire forests with the Trackrod Rally.

"This represents our most comprehensive package geographically and we are delighted to welcome such prestigious events as the Pirelli and Woodpecker rallies into the series," said an ANCRO spokesperson. "We believe the championship will provide one of the biggest challenges in British rallying and we hope to welcome many new competitors, as well as our existing ones in what is going to be a truly memorable year."

Further details regarding sponsorship, regulations and registration details will be available and distributed in due course.

The full 2009 championship calendar is as follows, the 2008 one is shown below as well for easy comparison:

2009 Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship calendar:

27/28 February Rallye Sunseeker - Bournemouth 21 March Border Counties Rally - Jedburgh 18 April Pirelli Rally - Carlisle NEW# 8/9 May RBS International Manx Rally - Douglas 30 May Severn Valley Rally - Builth Wells 18 July Swansea Bay Rally - Swansea 5 September Woodpecker Rally - Ludlow NEW 26 September Trackrod Rally - Pickering#

# denotes part of the MSA British Rally Championship as well.

2008 Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship calendar:

22/23 February Rallye Sunseeker - Bournemouth 5 April Brick & Steel Border Counties - Jedburgh 9/10 May RBS International Manx Rally - Douglas 30 May Severn Valley Rally - Llandrindod Wells 19 July Swansea Bay Rally - Swansea 24 August Eventsigns Mewla Rally - Builth Wells 27 September Trackrod National Rally - Pickering 18 October Bulldog Rally - Oswestry