The 2012 Intercontinental Rally Challenge schedule has been revised, with confirmation that the world famous Targa Florio-Rally Internazionale Di Sicilia has been brought in as a replacement for the Canon Mecsek Rallye.
The Hungarian event was due to have hosted round five of the IRC from June 2-3, but organisers of it were forced to end their two-year agreement with IRC promoter Eurosport Events due to 'economic constraints'.
The Targa Florio, which has its origins in the high-speed road race conquered by legends such as Sir Stirling Moss and Sandro Munari, will now take its place, running from June 14-16.
Based on the Mediterranean island of Sicily, it uses all-asphalt stages over a competitive distance of 170 kilometres.
As well as now counting as a round of the IRC, it is also part of the prestigious Campionato Italiano Rally, the Italian Rally Championship, and competitors from that series will be eligible for IRC points.
“We are delighted to include the famous Targa Florio-Rally Internazionale Di Sicilia in our schedule for 2012,” said IRC Commercial Director Antonello Lodoletti. “While we never like to adjust the calendar once the season is underway, we are delighted to welcome such a strong rally brand into the IRC. Targa Florio-Rally Internazionale Di Sicilia will surely be one of the sporting hits of the season.”
Antonio Marasco, President of ACI Palermo, added: “Being included on the IRC calendar for 2012 is a tremendous opportunity for our rally and our partners.
"We will benefit from strong international television coverage and witness a thrilling spectacle on the stages as the leading competitors from the Italian Rally Championship go head to head with the top drivers from the IRC. This can only raise the competitiveness of Targa Florio-Rally Internazionale Di Sicilia in 2012. We know Eurosport's expertise in producing quality television programmes on the IRC and how this will greatly promote our beautiful region and landscape.”
The event's headquarters are located in Campofelice di Roccella with the permanent service park housed in Termini Imersese. Both locations are east of the capital Palermo.
Details of Eurosport's coverage of the Targa Florio-Rally Internazionale Di Sicilia will be announced in due course.