The Sochi Autodrom will take over as host for the opening round of next year’s WTCC, according to a provisional 2016 calendar seen by Motorsport.com.
The 12-round schedule is set to be ratified by the FIA World Motor Sport Council later this week, and will confirm the Russian Grand Prix venue as the curtain-raiser.
Sochi’s arrival means Moscow Raceway will be dropped, while the remaining 11 rounds from this year’s calendar will continue.
The most significant date change will concern the Argentinian round, which was the season opener in 2015 but will now be moved back to August, taking place after a lengthy summer break.
In a reshuffle of the early season rounds, Paul Ricard will play host to the second round in 2016, with Marrakech becoming the fifth event.
Qatar, meanwhile, will remain the final round of the championship, having taken over as the closing venue from Macau this year.
“The new calendar will be published next week,” WTCC promoter Francois Ribeiro said at last weekend’s Qatar race. “However, the contract [with Sochi] is not yet signed. We are still working on it.
“The countries will be the same but the structure of the calendar will be different. Argentina will go back to August.”
Provisional 2016 calendar:
|3 April||Paul Ricard|
|29 May||Nurburgring (Nordschleife)|
|12 June||Vila Real|
|7 August||Termas de Rio Hondo|