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Ireland to miss out on 2011 WRC slot

Sebastien Loeb, Citroen, Rally Ireland 2009Rally Ireland looks certain to miss out on a 2011 World Rally Championship calendar slot after Motorsport Ireland confirmed its event was not on the proposed schedule.

WRC promoter North One Sport presented its 2011 calendar proposal to the WRC Commission yesterday.

A Motorsport Ireland statement read: "Motorsport Ireland have been advised by North One Sport, the global promoters of the WRC, that Rally Ireland has not been included in their 2011 calendar proposal to the FIA. The proposal will be considered by the FIA World Council at their meeting in March.

"Motorsport Ireland had presented North One Sport with a detailed plan for the 2011 event at a meeting in London in September 2009. FIA president, Jean Todt, has made it clear that the FIA will control the calendar for each championship but a strong geographical spread is necessary for world championships.

"Rally Ireland will continue to participate as a partner in the World Rally Organisers Group with a view to capitalising on any opportunities that may arise."

Rally Ireland has run twice in the WRC, once in 2007 and then as the opening round in 2009.

The event's finances had recently come under scrutiny with reports that the rally made a substantial financial loss last season. There were also doubts about where the event would be based after the town of Sligo proved both expensive and unpopular with competitors and rally fans alike.

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