The World Touring Car Championship could add India and Russia to the 2013 calendar, with series organisers hoping to start next year at the Buddh International Circuit near Delhi, with the soon to be homologated Moscow Raceway also likely to join the WTCC calendar.
The WTCC has been regularly linked with Russia for the last few years, and now with the F1-grade Moscow Raceway nearing completion it looks set to become a reality, especially with Russian oil giant LUKOIL in the championship as principal sponsors of SEAT and with the potential for a full programme from Lada for 2013.
Series promoter Marcello Lotti also confirmed that the WTCC is in talks with the Buddh International Circuit in regards to staging the opening round of next year’s Championship in India.
“I hope to find a way to finalise India to open the season next year,” said Lotti to TouringCarTimes. “Nothing is done, it’s a completely open discussion. They are interested, we are interested.”
“We are also looking for the homologation of the Moscow Raceway which is the only opportunity for us to be in Russia. I believe there’s an inspection for this in June, if they get the homologation for sure we’ll try to visit Russia next season.”
With two new races being added to the calendar, the question is which rounds may be dropped to make way for them, with Germany and the UK effectively having made way for races in the United States and Slovakia this year, with last week’s Slovakia event a late stand in for the cancelled Argentinean round.
“We chose Slovakia at the last minute, they had 41,000 people (over) the weekend and it was full,” said Lotti. “The President of the country attended…why not keep it in the calendar close to Hungary within a week so it’s not a big mess of logistics for the teams, because we need events like this, full of people and a good welcome from the government.”
Despite this, with China, Japan and Macau now permanent fixtures on the calendar and with Sonoma in a three year deal, and Brazil also set to remain on the calendar, it seems likely more European dates could be at risk if India and Russia are added, with negotiations still to be had with the Slovakiaring and Portugal about next year. Though Lotti doesn’t rule out that the WTCC could expand to a record 14 events in 2013 to accommodate the new additions.