Three new events have been included in the 2020 World Rally Championship (WRC) calendar, which was released by the FIA at the end of September.
Kenya, New Zealand and Japan will replace Corsica, Spain and Australia respectively.
Yves Matton, FIA Rally Director, said the new calendar reflected efforts to "globalise" the championship by staging more events outside of Europe. However, he also emphasised the importance of retaining classic European rallies to "preserve the DNA of the sport."
He added: “With the strong interest of many countries to host a WRC round, we had more high-quality candidates than the number of slots available in the calendar, which demonstrates the robust health and popularity of the championship."
All three countries that have been incorporated into the new calendar have previous experience of holding WRC rounds. The championship last visited Kenya for the Safari Rally in 2002, while Japan has been absent from the calendar since 2010. New Zealand is the most recent of the three events to have featured in the WRC, having hosted a round of the championship in 2012.
The loss of Corsica and Spain means that the WRC now has only 2 tarmac events (excluding the Monte-Carlo Rally), the first of which (Rally Germany) will not take place until October. But as part of the FIA's new rotation system for the WRC calendar, Spain is set to return in 2021.
Another consequence of Corsica's removal from the calendar is that it frees up space for an extended leg in North and South America, beginning with Rally Mexico in March, followed by Rally Chile in April and concluding with Rally Argentina in May.
Meanwhile, the UK's round of the WRC has been moved to the beginning of November, compared to its early October date this year. This makes it the penultimate round of the 2020 championship, which will conclude a few weeks later in Japan.
The full 14-round 2020 WRC calendar is as follows:
|1.||26 January||Rally Monte-Carlo|
|2.||16 February||Rally Sweden|
|3.||15 March||Rally Mexico|
|4.||19 April||Rally Chile|
|5.||3 May||Rally Argentina|
|6.||24 May||Rally Portugal|
|7.||7 June||Rally Italy|
|8.||19 July||Rally Kenya|
|9.||9 August||Rally Finland|
|10.||6 September||Rally New Zealand|
|11.||27 September||Rally Turkey|
|12.||18 October||Rally Germany|
|13.||1 November||Rally Great Britain|
|14.||22 November||Rally Japan|