Circuit of Ireland to be part of IRC series in 2012

Kris Meeke
Kris Meeke now competes in the World Rally Championship

The Circuit of Ireland has received a huge boost after it was confirmed it will be part of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) series in 2012.

The rally, which will he staged on 6/7 April, will be the only UK or Irish round in the IRC next year.

THE IRC is the third most popular motorsport series in the world with a global viewing audience of 79 million.

Dungannon driver Kris Meeke won the IRC title in 2009 while Carryduff's Jonny Greer competed in the series last year.

"Hosting such a high profile event here is unbelievable and is fantastic news for rally fans in Ireland," said Meeke.

"The Circuit of Ireland team will deliver a sporting event that will showcase my home country on a global scale.

"As anyone who watched the series, over recent years will testify, it's highly competitive and makes compulsive viewing.

"I'm certain the reigning IRC champion, Norway's Andreas Mikkelsen and all the competitors and teams will receive a warm welcome here next Easter from the thousands that will attend."