Vila Real out for 2020 with revised WTCR calendar due soon
The Portuguese ASN has confirmed that the Vila Real street race will not take place in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The World Touring Car Cup had its second venue planned for the street circuit on June 19-21.
A revised WTCR calendar that aims to deliver a “compact and action-full season” will be submitted to the FIA for approval next week.
François Ribeiro, Head of Eurosport Events, the WTCR promoter, said in a quote supplied to TouringCarTimes: “We perfectly understand the decision to cancel WTCR’s Vila Real round for 2020. We have tried to find solutions with the local organiser but had to admit that the city is facing other priorities to help its local people during the COVID-19 crisis.
“The spirit of the Vila Real event has always been to celebrate motorsport during the weekend of the Festa da Cidade by gathering people together in the streets of the city.
“Obviously, we would have been far away from any festive atmosphere come the end of June, so we took the decision with the Mayor of the city to write-off the 2020 edition and come back stronger next year, when the Vila Real races celebrates its 90th anniversary.
“The revised WTCR calendar is ready and will be submitted next week to the FIA for approval.
“Our teams have been kept informed, and Eurosport Events and the FIA are working hard together to deliver a compact and action-full season from the end of August up to November based on a calendar scenario which will allow the WTCR community to safely go through what is an unprecedented year 2020.”
The president of the Portuguese ASN, ex-DTM driver Ni Amorim, stated that the promoters are aiming for the race to be back in 2021.
“We are sorry to see the event cancelled, but it is the side effect of the pandemic that continues to put Portugal and the world on high alert,” said Amorim.
“I am sure that the municipality of Vila Real and the promoter of the championship will find a good compromise to bring the WTCR back to the magical city circuit of Vila Real.”
The WTCR events in Hungary and Germany have also been lost to the coronavirus pandemic, although Eurosport Events has stated previously that it will do everything possible to maintain a 20-race schedule.