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WTCC confirms Qatar finale date change

Losail International CircuitWorld Touring Car Championship (WTCC) promoter Eurosport Events have confirmed that the season finale, set to take place at the Losail International Circuit, will change date to Friday 27 November.

The events was originally scheduled for the weekend of the 21st and 22nd November, but has now been moved to Thursday 26th and Friday 27th November at the request of the Qatari government, as there is a conflicting major event taking place on the originally scheduled date.

Although the change, which has been ratified by the FIA World Motor Sport Council in Mexico City on Friday, is principally due to the request from the government, Eurospot Events’ COO François Ribeiro also welcomed the opportunity to boost TV ratings in Europe.

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“Running the WTCC finale in Qatar on Friday late evening is a great opportunity for the championship to deliver high TV ratings in Europe between 19:30 and 21:30 CET, a slot which will also work for Central and South America,” explained Ribeiro. “Friday is also the first day of the Middle East weekend, and late evening cool temperatures should provide ideal racing conditions.

“Moving WTCC Race of Qatar to 15/16 November would have clashed with the WRC Wales Rally GB, the Macau Grand Prix and the live broadcasting of the Brazilian F1 Grand Prix in Europe. And running from 28/29 November would have clashed with live broadcast on Eurosport of FIS World Alpine Skiing in Aspen and Lake Louise – plus the Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix.

“The option we have taken means there will now only be a clash with free practice in Abu Dhabi.

“Obviously changing dates during the season is never ideal. However, I’m glad we have been able to respond to the request from the Qatari government.”

Both races are set to take place under floodlights in what will be the WTCC’s first-ever night races. The event will be the first in a three-year deal for Qatar to hot races of the WTCC.

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