Bingo it's Ningbo! WTCR Race of China venue set
The WTCR − FIA World Touring Car Cup is set to visit the Ningbo International Speedpark from November 6-7 as the made-for-great-racing track prepares to host WTCR Race of China for a third time.
It follows the signing of an agreement between venue owner MiTime Group and WTCR promoter Eurosport Events.
Inaugurated in 2017, the 4.010-kilometre layout has consistently delivered action-packed entertainment, initially from the FIA World Touring Car Championship before the WTCR came on stream in 2018.
Across two visits by the WTCR, three drivers have won races, while eight others have visited the podium, including top Chinese racer Ma Qinghua, who placed second in Race 1 in 2019.
There was further cause for home celebration that year when Yvan Muller took a win double for Cyan Racing Lynk & Co.
Xavier Gavory, WTCR Director, Eurosport Events, said: “The prospect of the WTCR returning to the Ningbo International Speedpark is very exciting and means the calendar for the 2021 season is now complete. The track’s design promotes great racing, the facilities are to a high standard and we can count on the strong support of our partner MiTime Group to deliver a first-class event.”
Weng Xiaodong, President, MiTime Group, said: “It is a milestone moment that MiTime Group, which has been devoted to motorsports since 2005, could work together with Eurosport Events to make the FIA WTCR event return to China possible. We are very confident to make it the best WTCR event in history. And as Chengdu Tianfu International Speedpark, an FIA grade 2 circuit and a second MiTime track in China, will be put into use in the first half of next year, we are also looking forward to the possibility of meeting the FIA WTCR drivers and teams in Chengdu in the future.”
WTCR Race of China is scheduled as rounds 13 and 14 of the 2021 WTCR − FIA World Touring Car Cup in between the races at Inje Speedium in South Korea and Macau. The three events are dependent on restrictions affecting worldwide travel and freight movement being eased. However, if they do get the green light then it will mark the WTCR’s return to a region synonymous with FIA World Touring Car racing.
Ningbo International Speedpark in 100 words
Located in Chunxiao in the rapidly-expanding Beilun coastal development near Ningbo − a major port and industrial city with a population of more than seven million − in Zhejiang province, the track opened in time for WTCC Race of China in October 2017 following more than a year of construction work at a cost of 950-million CNY (122 million euros). It runs in an anti-clockwise direction, is between 12-18 metres in width and features 22 turns. Esteban Guerrieri and Néstor Girolami shared the wins in 2017, before Thed Björk took a victory in 2018 to mark the arrival of WTCR.
WTCR − FIA World Touring Car Cup 2021 calendar
Rounds 1 and 2: WTCR Race of Germany, Nürburgring Nordschleife: June 3-5
Rounds 3 and 4: WTCR Race of Portugal, Vila Real: June 26-27
Rounds 5 and 6: WTCR Race of Spain, MotorLand Aragón: July 10-11
Rounds 7 and 8: WTCR Race of Italy, Adria International Raceway: July 31-August 1
Rounds 9 and 10: WTCR Race of Hungary, Hungaroring: August 21-22
Rounds 11 and 12: WTCR Race of South Korea, Inje Speedium: October 16-17
Rounds 13 and 14: WTCR Race of China, Ningbo International Speedpark: November 6-7
Rounds 15 and 16: WTCR Race of Macau, Circuito da Guia: November 19-21