The 2014 FIA European Rally Championship will begin with two winter rallies in Austria and Latvia while discussions are ongoing over a third snow spectacular, Eurosport Events, the ERC promoter, has announced.

For the third year in a row, the Internationale Jannerrallye in Austria will open the ERC season from 2-4 January with Rally Latvia scheduled from 31 January-2 February.

A third winter event could also be added to the provisional ERC calendar and, if current plans reach fruition, a three-round Winter Challenge will be created and incorporated within the existing ERC framework.

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Both dates remain subject to FIA World Motor Sport Council approval.

Eurosport Events is working in close collaboration with the FIA to secure a harmonised ERC and WRC calendar.

As such, the full 12-round ERC schedule will be revealed following the announcement of the 2014 FIA World Rally Championship calendar.

Francois Ribeiro, Motorsport Business Director, Eurosport Events, said: "Announcing the first two opening rounds of the 2014 season now not only gives our teams and drivers the opportunity to start their preparations, it also whets the appetite of rally fans who can look forward to some serious competition ahead when the 2014 ERC season begins with at least two exciting winter rallies.

"While the J?nnerrallye is well established as one of Europe's leading winter events, Rally Latvia was a completely new event for 2013 and proved to be a tremendous success. We can't wait to take the ERC back to these two rallies.

"The third winter event remains in the planning stages. But if it does go ahead then it will be a truly spectacular affair to ensure a stunning start to next season's ERC."