Pandemic forces WTCR calendar reshuffle
The FIA World Touring Car Cup has announced a revised calendar with its season now beginning in June due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
WTCR has confirmed a tweaked eight event schedule that will see the season kick off three weeks later than planned at Germany’s Nurburgring Nordschleife, on the same Nurburgring 24 Hours, 3-5 June weekend.
The event replaces the originally slated opening round in Hungary, with the Hungaroring races moved to 21-22 August, hosting Rounds 9 and 10 in the process.
In addition to that change, the Slovakia Ring, which was set to host the second meeting, has dropped off the calendar and been replaced with Italy’s Adria International Raceway, which will now host Rounds 7-8 on 31 July - 1 August.
The category has stated it hopes to return to Slovakia in 2022.
As result of the changes, Portugal’s Vila Real will follow the Nurburgring Nordschleife opener in June, with a trip to Spain’s Motorland Aragon circuit coming next.
The later start to the campaign has pushed back the beginning of the Asian leg of the series.
South Korea will host Rounds 11 and 12 a week later on 16-17 October ahead of the unchanged final two meetings in China and Macau in November.
“While the COVID-19 vaccination rollout continues to provide hope for all and vital protection to those most at risk, such as the elderly and the incredible frontline workers helping to fight this pandemic, it’s a complex process that takes time to fully implement,” said WTCR Director Xavier Gregory.
“Combined with travel restrictions and other national constraints, and given the WTCR schedule for 2021 is restricted to eight events, delaying the season start to June is the most sensible step to take in order to safeguard the calendar and the WTCR stakeholders and, at the same time, respect the communities and countries hosting WTCR events.
“We thank the FIA and all our partners and promoters for supporting and accommodating these small but unavoidable changes to the calendar ahead of what promises to be another action packed and memorable WTCR season when the new FIA WTCR Female Title and redefined FIA WTCR Junior Title are being launched.”
It was confirmed late last year that WTCR will revert to double header races instead of the three-race weekend format introduced in 2018.
Revised FIA World Touring Car Cup 2021 calendar
Rounds 1-2: WTCR Race of Germany, Nürburgring Nordschleife: June 3-5
Rounds 3-4: WTCR Race of Portugal, Vila Real: June 26-27
Rounds 5-6: WTCR Race of Spain, MotorLand Aragón: July 10-11
Rounds 7-8: WTCR Race of Italy, Adria International Raceway: July 31-August 1
Rounds 9-10: WTCR Race of Hungary, Hungaroring: August 21-22
Rounds 11-12: WTCR Race of South Korea, Inje Speedium: October 16-17
Rounds 13-14: WTCR Race of China, Venue TBC: November 6-7
Rounds 15-16: WTCR Race of Macau, Circuito da Guia: November 19-21
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