CUPRA will not participate in the 2020 FIA World Touring Car Cup according to sources in Portuguese media, with the Spanish brand not officially supporting any team in the top level of TCR competition.
CUPRA has been present in the first two seasons of WTCR through teams Campos Racing (2018), Zengő Motorsport (2018), Comtoyou Racing (2019) and PWR Racing (2019).
The Spanish marque unveiled its latest-specification León Competición earlier this year, but it has now revealed that it will not support any team in the 2020 WTCR, in part blaming the current coronavirus pandemic.
“Due to the effects of COVID-19, CUPRA decided not to participate in the WTCR 2020 with a team supported by the factory,” said a source to Portuguese publication SportMotores.com.
The team had been understood to be in talks with Swedish outfit PWR Racing to run the new car in WTCR, but an entry into WTCR – which has already seen its first three events cancelled – looks extremely unlikely.
“CUPRA will continue to support its automotive competition customers in all TCR series, providing technical engineering support on all tracks, as well as technical assistance from CUPRA Racing Factory,” said the source.
The absence of CUPRA follows in the footsteps of sister brands Volkswagen and Audi, although the German brands are not releasing new TCR cars to customers this year, unlike CUPRA.
The current WTCR grid has confirmed entries from Hyundai, Lynk & Co, Honda and Audi (through Comtoyou Racing) meaning a current confirmed grid size of 14 cars.
The first event is now scheduled to be at the Slovakiaring on 5 – 7 June, pending the current situation with the coronavirus in Europe.