The FIA World Touring Car Championship and the TCR International Series will cease to exist tomorrow. There will be a new championship – WTCR – from 2018 with new technical regulations, format and name. The FIA World Motor Sport Council approved the change.
From next season, the FIA World Touring Car Championship will become the FIA World Touring Car Cup and abbreviated to WTCR. It will run to the TCR technical regulations under a two-year licensing agreement.
In an exciting change to the existing WTCC race weekend format, each event will consist of three races – an increase from the current two. One qualifying session and one race will take place on the opening day, with the second day more in keeping with the current WTCC set-up: namely a three-phase qualifying session and two races with the first race utilising a reverse grid.
There will be a maximum of 26 entries. Existing TCR International and WTCC teams will have priority. 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 from 15 December until 30 January 2018.
The new name, WTCR, has been introduced to reflect the switch from TC1 to the TCR technical regulations. Meanwhile, the change of status from world championship to world cup signals the start of an exciting new era for international touring car racing. The hope is that more affordable technical regulations will trigger a flurry of competitor interest while building on existing fan and media following.
François Ribeiro (Head of Eurosport Events):
“The combination of the TCR technical regulations, the expertise and neutrality of the FIA and its stringent sporting rules and procedures, plus the promotional strength of Eurosport Events gained since 2005 will deliver a highly competitive grid, exciting racing and a fan-friendly format that can only drive success.”
Marcello Lotti (Chief Executive, WSC):
“We are very proud of this agreement that fully respects the very spirit of TCR. The association with such an experienced promoter as Eurosport Events together with the FIA label on the WTCR represent the ultimate recognition for the TCR concept that we launched three years ago and hasn’t stopped growing since.”
WTCR Weekend format
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)
TCR regulations explained
The TCR technical regulations cater for front-wheel-drive, four/five-door saloons or hatchbacks. They use turbocharged production engines with a capacity of between 1750-2000cc and with a maximum power output of 350bhp. 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.