World's most challenging track opens 2021 WTCR season following calendar changes
The Nürburgring Nordschleife’s 64 heart-stopping twists and turns will ensure a more spectacular start to an WTCR − FIA World Touring Car Cup season than ever before following a handful of calendar adjustments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Venue of WTCR Race of Germany from June 3-5, the legendary track and its 25.378-kilometre lap had been due to host the third event of WTCR 2021 as part of the ADAC TOTAL 24h-Rennen weekend.
However, ongoing travel restrictions and the imposing of new national lockdowns while the mass-vaccination programme is rolled out meant delaying the season start to June will help to ensure the planned eight-event schedule can be delivered in full. The changes have been approved by the FIA World Motor Sport Council.
Hungary for heat
WTCR Race of Hungary moves from mid-May to the height of summer with the Hungaroring hosting the action from August 21-22. The new date has been proposed in coordination with the Hungarian government in the hope that as many of the thousands of enthusiastic local fans as possible can attend the event, a highlight of the national sporting year.
Italy set to take its WTCR bow
After missing out on a WTCR date in 2020 when delays were encountered in the readying of the upgraded Adria International Raceway, Italy is set for its WTCR calendar bow from July 31-August 1 in place of Slovakia, a founding WTCR nation. Although the WTCR won’t visit the Slovakia Ring this year due to the consequences of the pandemic, it is hoped a return in 2022 will be possible.
Slight delay to start of planned Asian leg
With the European leg of the WTCR season now set to be completed in late August, the planned return to Asia has been put back by one week. This is necessary to allow for the sea transportation of the competing cars, replacement parts, consumables and equipment to South Korea for the country’s inaugural WTCR fixture, which is now scheduled from October 16-17. The dates of WTCR Race of China and the season-deciding WTCR Race of Macau remain unchanged.
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, Venue TBC: November 6-7
Rounds 15 and 16: WTCR Race of Macau, Circuito da Guia: November 19-21
Xavier Gavory, WTCR Director, said: “While the COVID-19 vaccination rollout continues to provide hope for all and vital protection to those most at risk, such as the elderly and the incredible frontline workers helping to fight this pandemic, it’s a complex process that takes time to fully implement. Combined with travel restrictions and other national constraints, and given the WTCR schedule for 2021 is restricted to eight events, delaying the season start to June is the most sensible step to take in order to safeguard the calendar and the WTCR stakeholders and, at the same time, respect the communities and countries hosting WTCR events. We thank the FIA and all our partners and promoters for supporting and accommodating these small but unavoidable changes to the calendar ahead of what promises to be another action packed and memorable WTCR season when the new FIA WTCR Female Title and redefined FIA WTCR Junior Title are being launched.”