Seasons to be run over two years

Rallying's 2008 world championship will be run over two calendar years, starting in August 2007 and ending in May 2008, motor sport's ruling body (FIA) announced on Wednesday

Seasons to be run over two years

The 2007 season will be made up of eight or nine rallies run from January to May. This year's championship began in January and ends in November, a pattern to be repeated in 2006.

The FIA has been under pressure for several years to make the sport more attractive and reduce costs for the teams. Peugeot and Citroen announced 12 months ago they would quit the world championship at the end of this season.

The switch of race dates in 2008 means rallying will not face competition in television schedules from Formula One racing or motorcycling.

Teams were restricted to two-car line-ups in 2004 when the use of reconnaissance cars was banned, fewer tyres were allowed and reduced servicing was introduced. However, the calendar was increased to 16 races.

The 16-race 2006 season will start in Monte Carlo on January 20 and end in Britain on December 3.

With two races left this season, Citroen's Sebastien Loeb has won the drivers' title and the two French manufacturers, Peugeot and Citroen, head the six-strong constructors' championship.

2006 calendar:

20-22 January Rallye Automobile Monte-Carlo 3-5 February Uddeholm Swedish Rally 3-5 March Corona Rally Mexico 24-26 March Rallye de España 7-9 April Rallye de France - Tour de Corse 28-30 April Rally Argentina 18-21 May Rallye Italia-Sardinia 2-4 June Acropolis Rally of Greece 11-13 August OMV ADAC Rallye Deutschland 18-20 August Neste Rally Finland 1-3 September Rally Japan 22-24 September The Cyprus Rally 13-15 October Rally of Turkey 27-29 October Rally Australia 10-12 November Rally of New Zealand 1-3 December Wales Rally GB 
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