The FIA World Touring Car Cup’s first planned visit to Italy has been delayed due to adjustment work required at the Adria International Raceway, with the Hungarian round thus becoming the next round for the series.
The WTCR had been set to visit Adria for the first time on 31 July / 1 August, but following recent track extension work, the circuit has not yet been granted the requisite FIA Grade 3 homologation certificate, following an inspection on Monday 12 July.
With additional works being required, likely to take more than two weeks, in order to secure the FIA approval, the round at the Hungaroring, scheduled for 21 – 22 August, will thus become the next event in the calendar.
Eurosport Events and Adria International Raceway held a track inspection on Wednesday 14 July and it was agreed to seek a new date for the event, which will be submitted to the FIA World Motor Sport Council for approval.
“This is obviously not an easy decision to take as we recognise the disruption late changes to the calendar cause,” said Eurosport Events’ François Ribeiro.
“But safety is always paramount and we simply could not risk the essential works running behind schedule and having to make a last-minute cancellation.
“Every effort is being made for the modifications to be completed as soon as possible for the necessary certification to be issued.
“This will enable all the pre-event preparations to continue and allow our stakeholders to prepare for WTCR Race of Italy with confidence.
“As a new addition to the WTCR calendar on a layout untried by all WTCR drivers in competition, racing at Adria is an intriguing prospect and we have no doubt the first WTCR Race of Italy will be a big success.
“For now, we can look back on three action-packed weekends in Germany, Portugal and Spain that produced six different winners from four different customer racing brands and six teams and look ahead with much excitement to WTCR Race of Hungary next month.”
Mario Altoè, Adria International Raceway Owner and Director, is confident in a new date being agreed and a successful event being staged at some point in the future.
“Following the inspection by the FIA on July 12 when adjustment work to the track was requested, considering the limited time span and in agreement with WTCR promoter Eurosport Events, it was decided to postpone the date of WTCR Race of Italy,” added Altoè.
“But we are confident in the success of the event at Adria International Raceway and await the confirmation of the new date.”
Rescheduling the Adria event will be tricky, as after the 22 August Hungaroring date the next round was scheduled to be in South Korea on 16-17 October, effectively requiring the Italian circuit to fit in shortly after Hungary to allow for cars to be shipped to Asia.