WTCR 2019: what’s new?
Season two of the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO is go and if you liked it in 2018, you’re going to love it in 2019!
New drivers, new cars, a new track and a new point-scoring system are just some of what’s in store during the upcoming campaign when one of motorsport’s big success stories of recent years changes up another gear.
Kicking off in Morocco in early April, WTCR OSCARO season two includes stops in Hungary, Slovakia, Netherlands, Germany, Portugal, China, Japan and Macau with newcomer Malaysia hosting the super-finale.
Standardised points… for top 15
WTCR OSCARO gets a new points system for 2019 with the aim of ensuring more drivers can score points more often. The top 15 drivers according to the final classification of Races 1, 2 and 3 are rewarded as follows:
The same points-scoring system is applied to the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO for Teams. Wildcard drivers are no longer be eligible for points.
First Qualifying pace rewarded with points
Points are distributed not only following Second Qualifying as in 2018 but following First Qualifying as well. The fastest five drivers according to the final classification score as follows:
Entry restrictions introduced
In order to balance participation between the customer racing brands competing in the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO (Alfa Romeo, Audi, Cupra, Honda, Hyundai, Peugeot and Volkswagen took part in 2018 and are joined by Lynk & Co in 2019), a maximum of four cars per brand with two-car teams only are permitted.
Tweaks to testing rules too
To preserve track time equity and avoid budget increases, further testing restrictions are in place for 2019. No testing is allowed on any WTCR circuit prior to or during a race weekend once the season is underway with some exceptions, such as official tests organised by WTCR promoter Eurosport Events and 24h-Rennen sessions during the Nürburgring Nordschleife event.
On-event staff numbers restricted
Ten armbands are issued per car entered and only those operational staff assigned with an armband, having registered with the FIA before each event, are allowed to work on cars for duration of an event.
Free Practice 1 on the move
WTCR OSCARO events typically take place over three days to avoid timetables becoming too congested. As a result, Free Practice 1 takes place on day one, and is extended to 45 minutes to increase track time for teams and drivers.
Q3 running order adjusted
The running order for the Q3 phase of Second Qualifying is adjusted with the driver setting the fastest time in Q2 choosing their starting order in the five-car Q3 shootout. It means the quickest driver in Q2 will no longer have to wait for four other drivers to complete their Q3 runs before attempting their own Q3 run. The change follows feedback from drivers who felt they could be disadvantage by waiting due to the potential drop-off in car performance and tyre temperature, for example.
Who’s in it to win it?
The drivers announced as of 31 December 2018 are as follows:
Mehdi Bennani (MAR), Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR
Thed Björk (SWE), Lynk & Co 03 TCR, pictured
Nicky Catsburg (NED), Hyundai i30 N TCR
Yann Ehrlacher (FRA), Lynk & Co 03 TCR
Augusto Farfus (BRA), Hyundai i30 N TCR
Rob Huff (GBR), Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR
Johan Kristoffersson (SWE), Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR
Norbert Michelisz (HUN), Hyundai i30 N TCR
Yvan Muller (FRA), Lynk & Co 03 TCR
Andy Priaulx (GBR), Lynk & Co 03 TCR
Gabriele Tarquini (ITA), Hyundai i30 N TCR