Zolder to open FIA World Touring Car Cup season

Zolder to open FIA World Touring Car Cup season

WTCR still set to fire up from September 12-13, but in Belgium instead of Austria following a switch of venues.

WTCR promoter Eurosport Events had been preparing for the upcoming season to begin in Austria from September 12-13 with Salzburgring a key component in the formation of the Europe-only WTCR calendar for 2020, developed in response to restrictions resulting from COVID-19.

However, following the decision of the circuit operator not to run the event, Eurosport Events is delighted to have reached an agreement with Circuit Zolder to host the inaugural WTCR Race of Belgium as the opening two races of the 2020 WTCR − FIA World Touring Car Cup season. The change of venues has been ratified by the FIA.

Perfect venue for WTCR 2020 season kick-off

Having hosted the Eurosport Events-promoted FIA World Touring Car Championship and FIA European Touring Car Cup in the past, Circuit Zolder is an excellent venue for staging the opening weekend of the 2020 WTCR season. A layout ideal for touring car racing, the FIA Grade Two circuit is 4.010 kilometres in length. It’s located in northeast Belgium, approximately one hour driving time from the capital Brussels.

Ensuring a strong start to the 2020 WTCR season the priority

François Ribeiro, Head of Eurosport Events, the WTCR promoter, said: “Having to change venues less than three weeks before the start of the season was very unexpected but the immediate priority was to present an alternative solution and we thank the FIA and President Jean Todt for approving the new season-opening plan at such short notice.

“While adjusting the schedule at short notice is not ideal, we have, from the outset, always strived to maintain the maximum number of events possible. This is to ensure the credibility of the sporting contest with the best interests of all our stakeholders at heart. The partnership with Circuit Zolder, which has a strong record of staging international motorsport events, provides this opportunity.

“Together with the FIA and the Circuit Zolder management, we are monitoring the situation regarding the spread of COVID-19 in Europe to help ensure the participation of all the WTCR teams coming from different European countries.”

Big touring car interest past and present in Belgium

Belgium is a country with a strong interest in touring car racing past and present. Comtoyou Racing, from Waterloo, is a founding WTCR entrant and will field a three-strong team in 2020 with RACB National Team driver Gilles Magnus part of the line-up. RTBF has broadcast WTCR across Belgium since the series began in 2018 with extensive live programme and highlights packages.

WTCR Race of Belgium is set to run behind closed doors with full timetable and broadcast details due soon. The WTCR Official Test will take place at Zolder on September 10 with no public access.

Pooling of resources allows WTCR season to get on track
The 2020 WTCR season getting underway has been made possible by the joint efforts of the FIA, series promoter Eurosport Events, the local event organisers and local health authorities.

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