Marrakech to open 2014 WTCC season for the first time
|By Sam Tremayne||Tuesday, November 5th 2013, 11:10 GMT|
Marrakech will host the opening round of the World Touring Car Championship for the first time in 2014.
Although the full calendar remains provisional, sources confirmed to AUTOSPORT that the season will kick off at he north-African street circuit, which is pencilled in for the 6 April.
While teams have welcomed the move, one boss told AUTOSPORT there was a worry about having enough spare parts given the tight turnaround for next year's new-regulation cars.
Paul Ricard and Spa-Francorchamps are, as expected, new additions to the schedule.
The French venue is set to host the second round, with Spa down to host round eight of the 12-event calendar in June.
The WTCC last raced on the Belgian track in its inaugural season in 2005, with Dirk Muller and Fabrizio Giovanardi sharing the wins - the latter after a crazy final lap and a post-race penalty for Stefano D'Aste.
The schedule means that, for the first time since 2005, the WTCC will not race at Monza. Porto, which hosts the series on a bi-annual basis anyway, is also omitted.
DRAFT 2014 CALENDAR April 6 Marrakech, Morocco April 20 Paul Ricard, France May 4 Budapest, Hungary May 11 Slovakiaring, Slovakia May 25 Salzburg, Austria June 8 Moscow Raceway, Russia June 22 Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium August 3 Termas de Rio Hondo, Argentina September 14 Sonoma Raceway, USA October 12 Shanghai, China October 26 Suzuka, Japan November 16 Macau, China