WTCR plan for Asia return and expansion to eight events in 2021
Eurosport Events, the FIA World Touring Car Cup promoter, is planning to expand its calendar back into Asia for 2021.
The amended Europe-only calendar was released yesterday, featuring six events. The plan is to expand the calendar to eight events next year.
“We must be realistic and accept the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic will be felt by society and the automotive and motorsport industries, in particular, for years not months,” said François Ribeiro, Head of Eurosport Events.
“We therefore must deliver a calendar that’s sustainable, not just in 2020 but in 2021 as well and that means fewer events than the traditional 10 per year this year and next year also. We reasonably think 16 races over eight events in two continents would be a good balance for next year.”
A major part in the decision by the WTCR organisation to cancel the Asian leg of the season is to reduce the costs for the teams.
“If we further delay the decision to cancel the Asia leg into June, I can guarantee there will not be any spare slots at European tracks later in the year due to the huge amount of rescheduling that’s required, not just by WTCR but the many other events, series and championships,” said Ribeiro.
“We must also be realistic: the economic impact caused by COVID-19 is massive and will hurt motorsport for a long period, so the running cost reduction is not only an obligation for 2020, but it will also be a priority for 2021.”
While the World Cup status of the WTCR requires races on more than one continent, the FIA Touring Car Department has amended the regulations in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The FIA and President Jean Todt are being very supportive during what is an unprecedented and rapidly evolving global situation and we very much acknowledge this assistance,” said Ribeiro.
“We must also thank the FIA Touring Car Department for the work it has done to amend the sporting regulations so they are applicable to the restructured calendar.”
The WTCR organisation has also confirmed that there will be no official pre-season test this year.