New clubs hosting WTCR amid calendar reshuffle | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile

New clubs hosting WTCR amid calendar reshuffle

18.10.21

Owing to the mid-season WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup calendar change, three new National Sporting Authorities were given the chance to make their debut hosting rounds of the world’s premier touring car competition.

Due to the continued uncertainty amid the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic and the related travel restrictions, WTCR’s Asian leg has been put on hold for another year.

In order to safeguard the current season, series promoter, Eurosport Events, came up with an alternative, European-based calendar comprising new and challenging circuits to stage the wide-open title chase across the second part of the season.

“In these unprecedented times, calendar changes are something we are prepared for,” said the FIA Touring Car Commission President Alan Gow at the time of the announcement.

"Eurosport Events has therefore put in place a strong schedule of events to complete the season, while also giving three countries and their ASNs the opportunity to host the WTCR for the first time.”

Czech Republic’s Autodrom Most (best known as the mainstay on the FIA European Truck Racing Championship’s schedule) and Circuit Pau-Arnos located in southern France were among the new calendar additions. Both events took place in the second part of October.

Russia’s renowned Formula 1 venue, Sochi Autodrom, completed the trio of the new venues and is set to host top touring car racers on the final weekend of November.

“The calendar additions are venues new to world-level touring car racing, with each having its own unique characteristics. This provides the drivers and their teams with a fresh challenge and gives the fans something extra to look forward to. We are set for a fascinating second part of the season,” explained Gow. 

“After a long break, global motor sport is returning to the Czech Republic,” said Jan Šťovíček, President of the Autoclub of the Czech Republic (ACCR). “This shows out that the coronavirus crisis also brings opportunities.”

“Czech Republic has a great reputation in the world of motor sport. We have a strong tradition in organising sport events, and we are constantly consolidating our successful position. This is why we welcome WTCR as another part of the successful collection of world-class events in our calendar.”

President of the Fédération Française du Sport Automobile (FFSA), Nicolas Deschaux, was equally pleased with France joining the schedule. “It’s a great honour for France to host an international touring car event again, with the WTCR and Pure ETCR final. The world will discover our magnificent circuit of Pau-Arnos,” said Deschaux prior to the WTCR Race of France.

He also emphasised the country’s contribution to world-level touring car racing. “During the WTCC era we had a French round which took place on the Pau-Ville circuit, then later at Paul Ricard. France was worthily represented by Citroën Racing as a manufacturer and by talented drivers such as Sebastien Loeb and Yvan Muller. Touring cars have always been important to us.

“Hosting a touring car series focused on new energies like the Pure ETCR, on a circuit that is part of our national motorsport heritage, will make the event unique. Promoting this mix of innovation and tradition perfectly reflects the FFSA's vision for the coming years,” he concluded.

“It is a great honour for us to host the final stage of the WTCR in Russia and we are pleased that the scope of international competitions in our country is expanding,” said Russian Automobile Federation (RAF) President Victor Kiryanov.

“It will be interesting for Russian motor sport fans to come into contact with the WTCR, to see the best racers with powerful and beautiful cars from famous manufacturers.”

Additionally, to the inclusion of the new events, WTCR Race of Italy, originally planned at the turn of July and August, has been moved the beginning of November.