The FIA World Touring Car Cup has reopened full-season entries for 2020, after the calendar was heavily revised to feature only European races in a reduced six-event schedule.
The deadline for entries in the 2020 season had originally closed on 6 March 2020, when the series had been planning a ten-event schedule over Europe and Asia, before the COVID-19 pandemic struck.
With the forced change of calendar now restricting the series to events to be run between September and November only in Europe, the FIA and WTCR promoter Eurosport Events have now agreed to reopen full-season entries.
The new deadline for submissions is 14 August, with entries opening from 20 June subject to approval from the FIA World Motor Sport Council, which meets on 19 June.
The move was taken following a vote by FIA Touring Car Commission members to allow registrations from entrants with a single car. Previously, teams had to commit to running two cars.
However, teams wishing to submit an entry for only one car will be faced with restrictions, designed to also protect the interests of existing entrants who had already committed to WTCR prior to 6 March.
The cost-saving benefits presented by the reduced six-event schedule limited to Europe means that the series has attracted new interest from prospective entrants.
“From the outset we have been very aware of the difficulties COVID-19 has caused existing or prospective WTCR teams,” explained Head of Eurosport Events François Ribeiro. “That is why, together with the FIA, we introduced a number of cost-cutting measures to help them.
“These cost savings combined with a Europe-only calendar and our pledge not to reduce the marketing and promotional investment in the series, has led to a number of enquiries from drivers and teams that had not previously considered WTCR.
“However, to be fair to the existing teams, only registrations from single-car entrants can be submitted and these new entrants will not be eligible for the 2020 WTCR − FIA World Touring Car Cup for Teams, although drivers will be able to score points and compete for a coveted FIA world title.
“Furthermore, if existing teams wish to submit an additional entry, they can do so but only for a driver who is eligible for the new Rookie classification.”
Alan Gow, President of the FIA Touring Car Commission added that demand had increased following the cost-cutting measures taken in the revised calendar.
“A considerable amount of hard work has gone into strengthening the WTCR and making it more accessible through implementing a number of cost-cutting measures,” said Gow.
“This has led to a demand for registrations and made moving towards the re-opening of entries a sensible course of action.”
Wildcard entries, on a race-by-race basis, will still be permitted.