Marrakech season opener dropped with Salzburgring as replacement

The World Touring Car Cup organisation has announced that the season opener on the streets of Marrakech will be cancelled, stating the fact that Moroccan driver Mehdi Bennani will not be in the series this year as the main reason.

Hungaroring will instead host the first race weekend of 2020, with Salzburgring joining the calendar in July.

“With Mehdi Bennani, Morocco’s top racing driver, unfortunately no longer set to race in WTCR, running the event without his participation and the support that he brought means it’s simply no longer possible to deliver a race weekend of the standing and quality we always achieved in Marrakech,” said François Ribeiro, head of Eurosport Events, the WTCR promoter.

The dropping of the Moroccan round means that the season starts three weeks later, at the Hungaroring on April 25-26.

The replacement round will be held at the high-speed Austrian circuit Salzburgring on July 24-26.

“Salzburgring is tailor-made for spectacular touring car racing and was always a WTCC season highlight. Its central location is ideal for the WTCR teams and we are excited to be renewing our partnership with the track and bringing WTCR racing to fans in that part of the world,” said Ribeiro.

The inclusion of Salzburgring in July means that the Chinese round at Ningbo has been moved from September 4-6 to September 18-20 to cater for the delayed shipment of cars from Europe to China.

The WTCC first raced in the Circuit Moulay El Hassan in 2009 and it hosted the season opener for the first time in 2014.

2020 WTCR Calendar:

Apr 26th – Hungaroring, Hungary
May 23rd – Nürburgring, Germany
June 6th – Slovakiaring, Slovakia
June 21st – Vila Real, Portugal
July 5th – Aragón, Spain
July 26th – Salzburgring, Austria
Sept 20th – Ningbo, China
Oct 18th – Inje-Speedium, South Korea
Nov 22nd – Macau, SAR China
Dec 13th – Sepang, Malaysia