Earlier than the delivery up of the 2020 WTCR – FIA World Touring Automobile Cup season this weekend at Zolder in Belgium, Alan Gow, President of the FIA Touring Automobile Commission, discusses the steps that had to be taken this twelve months by the FIA Touring Automobile Commission, in shut collaboration with the WTCR promoter Eurosport Events, in repeat to stable the return of the competition in this type of difficult time for motor sport.
After this type of solid season in 2019, that contains 10 events and 26 fleshy season entries, became as soon as 2020 anticipated to be remarkable of the related till the pandemic hit?
FIA Touring Automobile Commission President, Alan Gow: Motor sport is a cyclical replace with highs and lows, and there are times when it’s provocative to desire that stage.
Earlier than the pause of ultimate season, we learned that some of the crucial manufacturers enthusiastic were re-evaluating their motor sport strategies.
Then in January, the Moroccan authorities withdrew their monetary serve for the Skedaddle of Morocco at very unhurried examine after the tournament had been a mainstay on the WTCC and WTCR calendars for plenty of years. , we had to obtain another option to the gap spherical at true a few months’ examine, which at the time became as soon as no longer expedient, nevertheless appears to be like straightforward after we examine serve at what has took location since.
In the wake of these trends, the FIA and Eurosport Events had already began to work collectively on a option of price discount measures in repeat to entice extra ardour, with some scheduled to be launched straight away and others staggered till 2021.
The COVID-19 pandemic represents a risk for all motor sport disciplines, with categories racing across diverse continents finding themselves in a difficult location. What steps had to be taken to make obvious WTCR could presumably well sprint forward this twelve months?
AG: Our first aim is to give protection to the successfully being of the contributors, nevertheless the restart all over a virus represents no longer handiest a broad logistic direct, nevertheless we also must safe into consideration its impact on the automobile and motor sport industries. Therefore, the steps we’ve undertaken were at the related time addressing the difficulties induced by the COVID-19 disaster as successfully making the participation in the sequence more price-efficient for the groups.
Clearly, basically the major price financial savings are related to the reality that the championship will speed over handiest six events in location of 10, with all rounds in Europe. We had to be life like with our dreams for the twelve months and with 95 per cent of the paddock being already basically basically based mostly in Europe and no foresight of the ability to freely scuttle exterior of Europe love we had up to now, this became as soon as the best option available to us. In spite of every thing, this also vastly lowers the logistics bills of the sequence. Furthermore, the delivery up of the championship became as soon as pushed as unhurried as doable to enable international locations to delivery serve up again after the initial lockdown and in the hope of working as few events as doable in the serve of closed doors. That left us with a actually rapid window of 10 weeks in which to speed the season. This could presumably very successfully be a direct, nevertheless it became as soon as major in repeat to be obvious WTCR can sprint racing and we’re going to be in a position to make it work.
After we had the calendar attach, we then desired to be versatile with the tournament codecs to enable us to adapt to replace. We began the twelve months with three races per tournament love final twelve months, then introduced that down to two races per tournament as a price saving measure. After we had to restrict the option of events, we then had too few races, so desired to adapt again and drafted regulations that accommodated two, three and 4 speed events interior the related season.
In the slay, we ended up with the gap two rounds at two races every and the following four with three races every, giving us a total of 16 races over the direction of the season.
We extra rewrote the WTCR Carrying Regulations to incorporate a option of extra price-reducing measures, alongside with limiting the option of tyres and diverse aspects that could even be extinct, diminished the option of team personnel for every automobile and diminished amount of music time which leads to lowering the working bills.
The in the discount of-off date for fleshy-season entrants became as soon as at the delivery attach for early March 2020. After the season became as soon as delayed by months, the FIA Touring Automobile Commission made up our minds to reopen the entry. Became that the needed decision to stable a solid grid for 2020?
AG: When we closed the entries before every thing, we had bought ample to speed the competition, nevertheless we were successfully down on 2019’s numbers. However, that became as soon as the delivery up of March after we thought we would be racing at the pause of April. With the delayed delivery up to the season, the revised calendar and tournament structure and the extra price discount measures, we anticipated many of new ardour in taking fragment this twelve months, so it made sense to reopen entries.
The Carrying Regulations were modified extra to enable this, while at the related time retaining the pursuits of these groups who had committed to the WTCR from the delivery up. Therefore, none of the recent entries are eligible for the Teams’ title, handiest the Drivers’ honours. I also must safe this replace to thank all our groups as with out their serve, some steps could presumably well not be taken.
Luckily, reopening the entries allowed us to prevail in 20 fleshy season entries this season, as well to enabling us to award a title for finest Rookie driver this season, as before reopening the entries, we didn’t enjoy ample numbers for that. I am vastly angry to now examine four younger drivers starting up their touring automobile careers with a possibility to fight for an FIA title.
I’m very cosy with the work of the FIA Touring Automobile Commission, the FIA Carrying Division and, consider that, Eurosport Events for their efforts in reaching this level. With out the total stakeholders animated relating to the WTCR pulling collectively for a overall motive this twelve months despite repeatedly intelligent goalposts, we could presumably well effortlessly enjoy fallen victim to the pandemic as so many diverse sequence enjoy executed. Now we’re going to be in a position to appear forward to a stable and successful return to racing at Zolder this week.