The start of the 2021 FIA World Touring Car Cup season has been delayed by three weeks and the season opening event changed to the Nürburgring Nordschleife in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The season had originally been set to get underway at the Hungaroring on 14 – 16 May, but that has now been changed to the infamous Nürburgring Nordschleife on 3 – 5 June, the original date scheduled for that event.
The Hungaroring thus moves to later in the year, whilst the street race in Vola Real, Portugal becomes the second event, on its original date of 25 – 27 June.
MotorLand Aragón retains its date of 10 – 11 July for the third event, before the series moves to new venue Adria International Raceway on 31 July – 1 August for the fourth event.
Adria replaces the Slovakiaring, which no longer features on the calendar, the event originally having been set to be the second event of the year.
The Hungaroring assumes a date of 21 – 22 August, the final European event of the year.
In order to accommodate the shipping of equipment to Asia, thanks to the later end to the European season, WTCR’s first visit to South Korea at Inje Speedium is delayed by a week, to 16 – 17 October.
The final two events of the year, in China at a yet-to-be-confirmed circuit, and Macau, both retain their original dates of 6 – 7 November and 19 – 21 November respectively.
“While the COVID-19 vaccination rollout continues to provide hope for all and vital protection to those most at risk, such as the elderly and the incredible frontline workers helping to fight this pandemic, it’s a complex process that takes time to fully implement,” explained WTCR Director Xavier Gavory.
“Combined with travel restrictions and other national constraints, and given the WTCR schedule for 2021 is restricted to eight events, delaying the season start to June is the most sensible step to take in order to safeguard the calendar and the WTCR stakeholders and, at the same time, respect the communities and countries hosting WTCR events.
“We thank the FIA and all our partners and promoters for supporting and accommodating these small but unavoidable changes to the calendar ahead of what promises to be another action packed and memorable WTCR season when the new FIA WTCR Female Title and redefined FIA WTCR Junior Title are being launched.”
Revised 2021 FIA WTCR Calendar
3 – 5 June – Nürburgring Nordschleife, Germany
26 – 27 June: Vila Real, Portugal
10 – 11 July: MotorLand Aragón, Spain
31 July – 1 August: Adria International Raceway, Italy
21 – 22 August: Hungaroring, Hungary
16 – 17 October: Inje Speedium, South Korea
6 – 7 November: TBC, China
19 – 21 November: Circuito da Guia, Macau