The Portuguese round of the FIA World Touring Car Cup on the streets of Vila Real has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, once again altering the WTCR calendar.
The event was originally scheduled to take place on 19 – 21 June 2020, and had become the planned second round of the season following the cancellation of events in Morocco, Hungary and Germany beforehand, the latter two also due to the coronavirus crisis.
The race in Vila Real has been cancelled by the Portuguese Car and Karting Federation (FPAK), who released a statement outlining their plans for the event to return in 2021.
“We are sorry to see the great international events in Portugal being cancelled,” said FPAK President Ni Amorim. “But it is the side effects of this pandemic that continues to put Portugal and the world on high alert.
“I am sure that the Municipality of Vila Real and the promoter of the Championship will find a good compromise to bring the FIA WTCR back to the magical city circuit of Vila Real.”
WTCR promoter Eurosport Events has put together a revised calendar for this year’s WTCR, which had been scheduled to get underway on 5 – 7 June at the Slovakiaring following earlier event cancellations.
Head of Eurosport Events, François Ribeiro, supported the decision made by FPAK to cancel its round, and emphasised that the revised WTCR calendar is now with the FIA for approval before publication.
“We perfectly understand the decision to cancel WTCR’s Vila Real round for 2020,” said Ribeiro. “We have tried to find solutions with the local organiser but had to admit that the city is facing other priorities to help its local people during the COVID-19 crisis.
“The spirit of the Vila Real event has always been to celebrate motorsport during the weekend of the Festa da Cidade by gathering people together in the streets of the city.
“Obviously, we would have been far away from any festive atmosphere come the end of June, so we took the decision with the Mayor of the city to write-off the 2020 edition and come back stronger next year, when the Vila Real races celebrates its 90th anniversary.
“The revised WTCR calendar is ready and will be submitted next week to the FIA for approval.
“Our teams have been kept informed, and Eurosport Events and the FIA are working hard together to deliver a compact and action-full season from the end of August up to November based on a calendar scenario which will allow the WTCR community to safely go through what is an unprecedented year 2020.”