A ten-event calendar has been revealed for the 2022 FIA World Touring Car Cup, featuring seven events in Europe and three in Asia, including the retention of several new-for-2021 circuits.
After running an eight event campaign in 2021, promoter Discovery Sports Events is hoping to be able to return to a ten-event season next year, as the Asian leg of the season is planned to return.
Asian races had originally been scheduled for 2020, but the promoter was forced to change these at late notice due to the COVID-19 situation in the region.
That prompted new circuits to be added to the 2020 calendar, including Autodrom Most, Pau-Arnos and Sochi Autodrom.
Two of those circuits have been retained for 2021, with Most scheduled to host the season opener in early April.
Although Pau-Arnos doesn’t feature, Pau is on the calendar thanks to the return of the Circuit de Pau-Ville for the Grand Prix de Pau in early May – a street circuit which hasn’t featured in World Touring Cars since 2009.
The Nürburgring Nordschleife will host the third event of the year in a late May slot, ahead of a return to the Hungaroring in early June.
MotorLand Aragón in Spain features for a third successive season in late June, before a planned return to the streets of Vila Real in Portugal a week later.
The European leg of the season is concluded with a second visit to Sochi in Russia in early August.
South Korea will appear on the WTCR calendar for the first time with a visit to the Inje Speedium two months’ later in October, before a return to Ningbo in China in November and the season finale on the Circuito da Guia street circuit in Macau in mid-November.
The Asian leg of the calendar remains subject to confirmation, pending the pandemic situation at the time. A revised calendar will be presented to the FIA World Motor Sport Council if required.
WTCR − FIA World Touring Car Cup 2022 calendar
Rounds 1 and 2: WTCR Race of Czech Republic, Autodrom Most, April 9-10
Rounds 3 and 4: WTCR Race of France, Circuit de Pau-Ville, May 7-8
Rounds 5 and 6: WTCR Race of Germany, Nürburgring Nordschleife, May 26-28
Rounds 7 and 8: WTCR Race of Hungary, Hungaroring, June 11-12
Rounds 9 and 10: WTCR Race of Spain, MotorLand Aragón, June 25-26
Rounds 11 and 12: WTCR Race of Portugal, Circuito do Vila Real, July 2-3
Rounds 13 and 14: WTCR Race of Russia, Sochi Autodrom, August 6-7
Rounds 15 and 16: WTCR Race of South Korea, Inje Speedium, October 8-9
Rounds 17 and 18: WTCR Race of China, Ningbo International Speedpark, November 5-6
Rounds 19 and 20: WTCR Race of Macau, Circuito da Guia, November 18-20
As well as the calendar, a tweaked event format has also been announced for next year, which are subject to confirmation at the FIA WMSC meeting in December – details will be revealed at a later date.
“It was always the intention increase the number of events following the reduced calendar of the last two seasons, a direct result of the global health pandemic,” said Head of Discovery Sports Events François Ribeiro.
“We are therefore very pleased we have been able to achieve this target by working in partnership with the FIA.
“We also thank our stakeholders and acknowledge their commitment in support of what we hope will be the gradual return to a more normal calendar scenario with races in Europe and Asia.
“Being able to include the Grand Prix de Pau weekend within the WTCR framework for the first time is very exciting and provides an opportunity to race on another iconic street track in a year when we will also make our comeback in Vila Real.
“Once again, every effort is being made to return to China and Macau following our planned first visit to South Korea in the autumn.
“But, as before, this will only be possible if travel restrictions and quarantine arrangements allow.
“However, a contingency plan is in place should we have to wait for one more year before returning to this important part of the world.
“That said, the calendar for 2022 presents new challenges and new opportunities and provides more reason for positivity as we step up preparations for the fifth WTCR season.”