Jean-Pierre Nicolas, the IRC's motorsport development manager and a former winner of Rallye Monte Carlo, believes the Prime Yalta Rally will be a popular addition to the Intercontinental Rally Challenge schedule next season.

The all-asphalt event, based in the Black Sea city of Yalta in Ukraine's Crimea region, will form round four of the 2011 IRC from 2-4 June.

Nicolas, who completed a preliminary reconnaissance of the event route last week, said he was impressed by the quality of the stages and the location of the service park.

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"The stages were a bit like what we have in Monte Carlo and Sanremo with good asphalt and average speeds of between 90-110kph," said Nicolas.

"Yalta is on the Black Sea and the stages are in the mountains behind the city so the rally will be really compact. In fact there will be more stage kilometres than liaison kilometres. I was also impressed to see the service park, which is right by the sea."

Evgeny Chervonenko, the president of the Ukraine Motorsport Federation (FAU) and the head of the Yalta Rally organising committee, meanwhile is confident the event will deliver.

"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," he added.

"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."

The agreement with the Prime Yalta Rally is just for one-year, although there is an option to extend it.