Eurosport Events, the promoter of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, has confirmed the 2009 IRC calendar, which will be presented to the FIA World Motorsport Council on December 12.

The 2009 schedule will include twelve rounds, two more than in 2008, and it continues the 'tried and trusted formula of combining well-known classic rallies with new events in emerging markets'.

Next year, there is a roughly 50-50 mix of asphalt and gravel rallies, as well as five new events joining the existing line-up.

The 2009 series will start with the world famous Monte Carlo Rally in January - the oldest and most prestigious event in the history of the sport.

Other new events joining the IRC calendar for the first time include the all-new Rally of Curitiba in Brazil, the Sata Rally Acores in Portugal, the Rally Japan and finally the RAC MSA Rally of Scotland in the United Kingdom.

The addition of those events comes at the expense of the Rally China, the Rally du Valais in Switzerland, as well as the Rally of Turkey - which was brought in to replace the Safari '08 - and the Rally Portugal in the Algarve, which will run as part of the 2009 FIA World Rally Championship.

"The IRC has taken a number of major steps forward throughout 2008, with the levels of competition and ground-breaking live television coverage underlining the spectacular rise in the profile of the series. For 2009, we are embarking on our most ambitious season yet," said Geraldine Filiol, managing director of Eurosport Events.

"Not only do we start the year with the legendary Monte Carlo Rally - which is an emblematic event on the world sporting calendar - but we visit the South American continent for the first time, making the IRC a truly global series that is accessible to everyone."

The full provisional calendar for 2009 is as follows, the 2008 calendar is also shown below for easy comparison:

2009 Intercontinental Rally Challenge calendar - provisional:

21-24 January Monaco Monte Carlo Rally#
5-7 March Brazil Rally Internacional de Curitiba
3-4 April Kenya Safari Rally*
7-9 May Portugal Sata Rally Acores#
18-20 June Belgium Ypres Westhoek Rally#
9-11 July Russia Rally Russia
30 July-1 August Madeira Rali Vinho Madeira#
21-23 August Czech Republic Barum Rally Zlin#
10-12 September Spain Rally Principe de Asturias#
24-26 September Italy Rally Sanremo#
22-24 October Japan Rally Japan**
19-21 November UK RAC MSA Rally of Scotland

* To be confirmed
** Dates to be confirmed
# denotes asphalt event, all others gravel.

2008 Intercontinental Rally Challenge calendar:

April 4-6 Turkey Istanbul Rally
May 9-10 Portugal Rally Portugal
June 27-28 Belgium Ypres Westhoek Rally#
July 11-12 Russia Rally Russia
August 1-2 Madeira Rally Vinho di Madeira#
August 22-23 Czech Republic Barum Rally Zlin#
September 12-13 Spain Principe de Asturias Rally#
September 25 -27 Italy Rally Sanremo#
October 24-25 Switzerland Rally du Valais#
December 5-7 China Rally China