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Marcello Lotti: Initial discussions with the FIA were ‘not about WTCR’

Marcello Lotti

Marcello Lotti admits that his initial discussions with the FIA were not about WTCR, the successor to the WTCC, but instead were about establishing a framework for the regional TCR series’ around the world.

Lotti has been in discussions with the FIA about the TCR technical regulations around the world for the past five or six months, but the WSC boss admits that the idea of allowing the regulations to be leased to the FIA and Eurosport Events for the new WTCR Cup was not initially on the horizon.

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“When we started discussing this with the FIA it was more linked to doing something with the regional series,” said Lotti to TouringCars.Net. “But after the proposal to deal with the international platform, clearly it was probably in my mind that they would come to us.”

Lotti, who has in the past insisted that there has been no direct dialogue with the FIA in the early years of TCR, praised the organisation for being “very fair” with him over the proposals.

“We had discussions open with the FIA for the past five or six months. But at the time it was not linked to the International level. We had to be clear with the FIA in the respect of protecting our rights.

“I want to say the conclusion of this with the FIA was very fair, and to say also that to terminate that era [TC1] was really important to the conclusion of this matter. They understood perfectly our position; It was very fair.”

The TCR regulations will be licenced to Eurosport and the FIA and frozen until the end of 2019, when it is expected that Eurosport will attempt to revive the WTCC for the 2020 season.

Lotti believes that maintaining a top-level international series running TCR regulations is important for the concept, and he hinted at keeping an international platform of some sort after the two-year deal with Eurosport and the FIA expires.

“We have a lot of series around the world and from the management point of view of the TCR concept, for us TCR International was very important in order to be able to promote the TCR concept.

“OK, now it will now be WTCR, but I think after the two years we will keep an international platform, which will probably be with another promoter after the WTCR.

“TCR is a world platform so we need these events and tiers of TCR competition.”

TCR racing in China
Photo: TCR Media

Lotti adds that he is confident about Eurosport respecting the TCR concept which they have been leased.

“Clearly we will collaborate with them [Eurosport]. I think they understand the responsibilities and will not jeopardise the concept.”

In 2018 as well as the WTCR Cup, Lotti will also focus on the development of the TCR Europe Series, which is set to become the main pan-European touring car championship after the ETCC was discontinued by Eurosport at the end of 2017.

Lotti insists that the expansion of the series was not related to the discontinuation of the ETCC, with the increase in events always on the agenda.

“TCR Europe was anyway in our plan from our strategy. This was always in our plan – to establish the national championships in Europe and after that to set up the European TCR.

“There are five events with GT Open. When we had a meeting with our promoter, the first goal was to try not to have dates which clash with the main TCR national championships in Europe, and the second goal was to have a European calendar with the most difficult tracks.

“The promoter [Paulo Ferreira] said to me that this was the best solution, and I have to say that it is not a bad calendar. He has told me that he is quite happy with the level of interest in the series already.”

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