The Hungaroring will replace Zolder on the calendar for the inaugural PURE ETCR season this year, with the event in Belgium being axed due to logistical challenges.
The all-electric touring car series will share the bill with the FIA World Touring Car Cup in Hungary on 21 – 22 August marking the second out of three planned events which will be shared with WTCR in 2021.
The change was necessitated due to ‘logistical challenges’ in sharing the event with the traditional 24 Hours of Zolder, which represents a fully-packed race weekend.
It means that the event in Aragón will now be ETCR’s second event, following the season opener at Vallelunga in Italy on 20 June, with the Hungaroring now being the penultimate event of the year after the Copenhagen street race in Denmark on 8 August.
“Unfortunately, it became extremely complicated to run our planned event at Zolder on July 2-4, so the task was to find an alternative venue,” explained PURE ETCR Director Xavier Gavory.
“Hungarian race fans are some of the most passionate in the world, especially for touring cars. PURE ETCR will give them a totally different sporting experience, with our revolutionary racing format and the knockout competition.
“Touring car fans love to see non-stop, wheel-to-wheel action and with PURE ETCR, that’s exactly what they’ll get.
“To leave Zolder was a difficult decision. But in Hungary, as Eurosport Events, we’ve promoted series that have raced at the Hungaroring since 2011, so we have a fantastic relationship with the management team there.
“As promoter of both WTCR and PURE ETCR, it becomes easier to adapt the event format and the paddock so that both series get exactly what they need.
“Zolder, as a venue, is 100 per cent suitable. It’s a fantastic facility with a great history as well as one that’s pushing hard in areas like sustainability that make it completely aligned with our targets at PURE ETCR.
“But a big challenge has arisen in terms of the logistics and procedures around the July 2-4 weekend, which has created a few complications.
“The plan all along had been to race as part of the Zolder 24 Hours weekend, which was absolutely fine when we set our calendar out in Februray.
“However, since then, pre-season testing has shown that – as an all-new series using new technology – we need to have as much flexibility as possible with both the track schedule and the paddock environment.
“The team at Zolder have been incredibly accommodating to our requests, but with the plans for the 24 Hours already at an advanced stage, it’s just too complicated for them to allow us to do everything we need.
“Therefore we’ve had to make the tough decision to find an alternative venue and event that suits our needs a bit better.”