Welcome to the 2018 FIA World Touring Car Cup, the new name for the FIA World Touring Car Championship, which is abbreviated to WTCR to reflect the change of regulations from TC1 to TCR under a two-year licensing agreement between the FIA, WTCR promoter Eurosport Events Limited (EEL) and WSC, owner of the TCR concept and trademark.
With a manufacturers’ title no longer up for grabs – drivers and teams only will be rewarded – there has been a change of status from world championship to world cup. This signals the start of an exciting new era for international touring car racing when it is hoped that more affordable technical regulations will trigger a flurry of competitor interest, while building on the existing fan and media following enjoyed by the WTCC.
Subject to FIA World Motor Sport Council and national motorsport federation (ASN) approval, the inaugural WTCR calendar will visit 10 race tracks across four continents in 2018 for a total of 30 races. The provisional calendar is as follows:
- Marrakech (Morocco): 7-8 April
- Hungaroring (Hungary): 28-29 April
- Nürburgring Nordschleife (Germany): 10-12 May
- Zandvoort (Netherlands): 19-21 May
- Vila Real (Portugal): 23-24 June
- Termas de Río Hondo (Argentina): 4-5 August
- Ningbo (China): 29-30 September
- Suzuka (Japan): 27-28 October
- Macau (Macau): 15-18 November
An additional event will be added on either 21-22 July or 6-7 October subject to approval.
The weekend format
In an exciting change to the WTCC race weekend format, each event will consist of three races – an increase from the previous two. One qualifying session and one race will take place on the opening day, with the second day more in keeping with the old WTCC set-up: namely a three-phase qualifying session and two races with the first race utilising a reverse grid.
- Free Practice 1 (30 minutes)
- Free Practice 2 (30 minutes)
- Qualifying (30 minutes),
- Race 1 (top 10 classified finishers score points as follows: 27-20-17-14-12-10-8-6-4-2)
- Qualifying Q1 (25 minutes) ,
- Qualifying Q2 (10 minutes) ,
- Qualifying Q3 (top-five shootout)
- Race 2 (top 10 positions reversed after Q2, top 10 classified finishers score points as follows: 25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1)
- Race 3 (grid as per combined order after Q3, top 10 classified finishers score points as follows: 30-23-19-16-13-10-7-4-2-1)
A maximum of 26 entries will be accepted with priority given to teams from the TCR International Series, which will cease to run, and to teams that previously competed in the WTCC. Two further wildcard entries will be permitted at each event at the discretion of EEL and the FIA. Entries can be lodged with the FIA until 30 January.
Regulated by the FIA and backed up by an experienced race management team, WTCR events will be run to the highest organisational standards possible.
Licensed by WSC to EEL/FIA as the FIA WTCR regulations, the TCR (Touring Car Racing) technical regulations will be frozen until the end of 2019. Only TCR cars homologated by WSC and assigned with the FIA WTCR passport issued by the FIA will be eligible. The FIA and TCR technical departments will determine the balance of performance (BOP) at each event, while success ballast will be allocated per driver. The FIA will be responsible for technical management in consultation with TCR representatives.
TCR technical regulations in short
The TCR technical regulations cater for front-wheel-drive, four/five-door saloons or hatchbacks using turbocharged production engines with a capacity of between 1750-2000cc and with a maximum power output of 350bhp. No fewer than 19 TCR-based championships or series exist around the world while several manufacturers have, or are in the process, of homologating TCR cars including Alfa Romeo, Audi, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, KIA, LADA, Opel, Peugeot, Renault, SEAT, Subaru and Volkswagen. To date, more than 600 TCR racing cars have been built and sold to customer teams.
WTCR promoter Eurosport Events will provide a level of promotional resource similar to that enjoyed by the WTCC to ensure that WTCR benefits from live coverage on Eurosport and more than 50 networks around the world, the expertise of Eurosport Events’ promotional and marketing personnel and a comprehensive social media campaign.