The move to the picturesque seaside location is one of a raft of changes that have been introduced for the running of the French island classic in 2019.

Porto-Vecchio, which hosted the finish in 2016 and 2017, will provide the backdrop to the ceremonial start on Thursday evening, with fans able to enjoy free entertainment and see the stars of the WRC cross the start podium.

In other changes to the three-day schedule, more than three-quarters of the three-day event’s special stage distance is either new or returns after a number of years away. Just two tests are retained from this year, but these will run in shorter form.

Once the Porto-Vecchio start is complete, Friday’s competitive action remains in the south of the island with a loop of three stages, totalling 60.91km. These stages are tackled twice with no service, except a tyre fitting zone for fresh rubber at the midpoint.

Only two shortened stages from the 2018 route will be used next season.

The loop consists of the new Bavella test (17.60km), a modified 25.94km version of Valinco – 15.66km shorter than the last time it was tackled in 2015 – and a new stage called Alta-Rocca (17.37km).

On Saturday, the action moves to more familiar territory in the north of the island for another repeated loop of three stages, this time split by a service break at Bastia airport.

The loop begins with Cap Corse (25.62km) – a shortened and renamed version of this year’s Cagnano-Pino-Canari stage – and is followed by the Désert des Agriates (14.45km) test. Completing the loop is the new Castagniccia test – the longest of the rally at 47.18km.

Two stages comprise Sunday’s schedule, with Balagne (31.85km) preceding the 19.34km Calvi Live TV Power Stage which ends just outside the centre of Calvi. The podium ceremony will take place in the town.

In total, the itinerary features 347.51 competitive kilometres, run across 14 special stages.