Renault has registered as an official manufacturer of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge for the first time, Eurosport Events, the IRC promoter, confirmed this week.

As well as being eligible for IRC manufacturer points, Renault's M?gane N4 European Challenge will support six rounds of the IRC, starting from next month's Donnelly Group Circuit of Ireland Rally.

"We are very pleased that such a prestigious and successful marque as Renault has registered as an official IRC manufacturer and selected six rounds of the IRC as the schedule for its exciting M?gane N4 European Challenge," said Antonello Lodoletti, IRC Commercial Director.

"Renault's involvement in rallying covers several decades and examples of Renault rally cars are in use throughout the world, regularly achieving success with young up-and-coming drivers.

"We trust Renault will enjoy the same benefits of a partnership with the IRC that our existing manufacturer partners do and we hope this is the start of a successful collaboration."

Renault Sport Technologies' Motorsport Director, Rallies, Jean-Pascal Dauce, added: "Renault's involvement in rallying has always been strong, consistent, and characterised by success. Over the course of the years our presence has altered, and it is now entirely dedicated to customer competition.

"By choosing the IRC for our M?gane N4 European Challenge series in 2012, we could not dream of a more beautiful playground for our customers.

"There is nothing better than the competition, challenge and popular support on the IRC to underline the quality and performance of our company and the efficiency of our customer competition engineers."