World Touring Car Championship leaves door open for current cars

This year's World Touring Cars will be permitted to compete in the 2014 season despite FIA confirmation that the planned new regulations will come into effect

World Touring Car Championship leaves door open for current cars

While the intention to open up the series' regulations was first revealed at the end of 2012, a final decision has hinged on attracting new manufacturers into the sport.

Following Citroen's announcement of a 2014 programme, led by nine-time World Rally champion Sebastien Loeb, the FIA World Motor Sport Council has now formally confirmed the new regulations will come into effect from the start of next year.

The council also confirmed that 2013-spec cars will be permitted to compete, a move AUTOSPORT first predicted ahead of the current season.

That will effectively boost grid numbers given only Citroen and Honda have so far committed to having their new cars ready for the start of next year.

Lada is understood to be prepared to join them, while SEAT insists its new Leon Cup car will not be ready for the early rounds.

BMW said earlier this month that it would likely leave the series should the new regulations be ushered in.

Promoter Marcello Lotti recently told AUTOSPORT that 2013 cars could benefit from a small update package in order to reduce their expected deficit to new-generation cars.

"It could be we have to keep both regulations on the grid," Lotti said ahead of the WMSC decision.

"If the decision is to keep both, it makes sense to allow a small kit for 2014 to improve the performance of the current cars; this is something we decide in the next couple of weeks.

"It could be easy for everyone to upgrade a little the engine, and perhaps find also other improvements that are easy to do.

"This is an idea. I'm no technician - after the technical people decide what the best kit is without spending a fortune, we will upgrade the regulations to improve the performance."

NO CONCERNS OVER TWO-TIER FIELD

Lotti also played down fears that a two-tier grid could hurt the series, saying: "We were in the same position in 2010, regarding the decision to change to a turbo.

"At this time we were optimistic but not sure 100 per cent there was the commitment that all would switch to the new turbo, so we decided to do both regulations, and make a world cup title for [the older specification] cars.

"Conclusion: at the beginning of the year, we had all but one car with the new turbo. Fantastic, but at the time of June we didn't know. This is perhaps what is going on now."

For the full FIA World Motor Sport Council decision, click here

shares
comments
Citroen: WTCC entry long-term effort, not just for Sebastien Loeb

Previous article

Citroen: WTCC entry long-term effort, not just for Sebastien Loeb

Next article

Porto WTCC: Tom Coronel's BMW fastest in first practice

Porto WTCC: Tom Coronel's BMW fastest in first practice
Load comments
Why joker laps are entering the mainstream Plus

Why joker laps are entering the mainstream

This season the World Touring Car Championship looks certain to bring joker laps to a circuit-racing world championship for the first time. And it need not be the daft gimmick people may think

WTCC
Apr 6, 2017
The making of the world's best tin-top driver Plus

The making of the world's best tin-top driver

He has been overshadowed at Citroen for the last three seasons, but the retirement of Yvan Muller means the world says farewell to one of touring-car racing's finest talents

WTCC
Sep 26, 2016
Volvo's plan to conquer the WTCC Plus

Volvo's plan to conquer the WTCC

Volvo gave the World Touring Car Championship a major boost when it announced it would enter the series, but its ambitions don't stop there. JACK COZENS examines its programme, the S60 and what its arrival means for the WTCC

WTCC
Jan 18, 2016
The WTCC's Nordschleife gamble paid off Plus

The WTCC's Nordschleife gamble paid off

A 17-car field on a 13-mile track - the WTCC's Nurburgring Nordschleife gamble wasn't going to be easy to pull off. STUART CODLING explains how the series made it work

WTCC
May 20, 2015
Insight from a Nordschleife master Plus

Insight from a Nordschleife master

World championship racing returns to the Nordschleife this weekend. STUART CODLING got a lesson from one of the legendary track's few masters

WTCC
May 15, 2015
Becoming world champion for £100k Plus

Becoming world champion for £100k

The 2012 World Touring Car champion says he never had the money to race cars. Yet 2015 is his 11th season in the WTCC. He talks STUART CODLING through his journey from motorsport fan to paid professional - for little more than £100,000

WTCC
Mar 23, 2015
Can the vanquished champion bounce back? Plus

Can the vanquished champion bounce back?

The World Touring Car Championship kicks off in Argentina this weekend, and Yvan Muller bids to reclaim his throne from Citroen team-mate Jose Maria Lopez. He talks to STUART CODLING

WTCC
Mar 6, 2015
The top 10 WTCC drivers of 2014 Plus

The top 10 WTCC drivers of 2014

Citroen had no rivals during the 2014 World Touring Car Championship, and 'rookie' Jose Maria Lopez hit the ground running to emerge as a worthy champion. PETER MILLS rates the field

WTCC
Dec 3, 2014