Ireland loses European Rally Championship place to Canaries

The Circuit of Ireland has lost its place on next year's European Rally Championship schedule after funding issues hit the Armagh-based event

Ireland loses European Rally Championship place to Canaries

The shock news came at Thursday night's Intercontinental Rally Challenge awards evening in Paris, when Eurosport Events motorsport director Francois Ribeiro announced that the Canarias Rally would be replacing the Circuit as round three of the ERC on the last weekend of March 2013.

The Circuit of Ireland had become a popular addition to this year's IRC and was expected to make the transition to its ERC successor.

Click here for AUTOSPORT's guide to the ERC revival

Event director Bobby Willis said: "This is very recent news. Unfortunately we've lost some of the funding which we had for the event and we simply can't make it happen now.

"It's bitterly disappointing for everybody involved in the event and the championship.

"I would like to pay tribute to Eurosport for the lengths they have gone to try and include us for 2013, but it's sadly not possible."

The Canarias organisers have confirmed they will pay 50 per cent of the logistical costs for teams making the trip to the Spanish island.

Click here to read the story of Robert Kubica's 2013 ERC plans in this week's AUTOSPORT magazine

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Series ERC
Author David Evans
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