FIA WTCR to end ‘in current format’ after 2022 campaign

The FIA has announced that the World Touring Car Cup ‘in its current format’ is to end at the conclusion of the current season.

The series has endured a difficult 2022 campaign after a number of issues saw defending champions Lynk & Co withdraw its cars part-way through the year.

That resulted in the grid dropping to just twelve cars, leading to questions about the long-term viability of the championship.

Alongside the problems that emerged this season with the Goodyear tyres used in the series, WTCR has also faced a number of issues in recent years as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic – creating a logistical nightmare as races were cancelled and rescheduled at short notice.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine also had an impact on the calendar, with no fewer than five events this season being cancelled – with a similar number of races having been canned in 2021 and only six meetings possible in 2020 due to COVID restrictions.

As such, motorsport’s governing body is to now carry out ‘an in-depth assessment of its World Touring Car category’ before a decision is taken on how a global touring car series will operate moving forwards.

“There is a need to identify and assess what is the best and most sustainable future for top-flight touring car racing as part of the FIA portfolio,” FIA touring car commission president Alan Gow said.

“Our goal would be to maintain a world title for conventionally powered touring cars and ensure the competition is strong and prestigious. Throughout its history, world touring car racing used different formats, with titles decided either through a series or at a single event.

“Currently we are considering all the possibilities, with the priority of ensuring that any competition has a stable base on which it can thrive for its long term future.

“With TCR we have a proven set of technical regulations, with a variety of automotive brands represented and more than 1000 cars racing worldwide. Therefore, the intention would be to continue with this platform going forward.”

The FIA ETCR eTouring Car World Cup is set to continue in unchanged format in 2023.