World Touring Car Championship to race on Nurburgring Nordschleife

The World Touring Car Championship will race on the Nurburgring Nordschleife in 2015 as a curtain-raiser to the track's 24 Hours

World Touring Car Championship to race on Nurburgring Nordschleife

The meeting is set to be the first world championship event on the circuit since the 1983 1000km World Sportscar race.

A three-year deal between WTCC promoter Eurosport Events and 24h-race organiser ADAC Nordrhein has been agreed.

The event also marks the return of the WTCC to Germany, three years on from its last foray at Oschersleben.

The WTCC's usual event format - made of two 60km races - will be revised.

Francois Ribeiro, Eurosport Events COO, explained: "To tackle this monument of car racing history, we asked FIA to revise the sporting regulations for that event.

"The idea is to hold one single 120km race, with one pitstop. The details of this particular format will be worked out between FIA, Eurosport Events and teams before the next FIA Touring Car Commission."

Lada racer James Thompson told AUTOSPORT: "We were told in Moscow it was likely to happen. Not many [current WTCC drivers] will have raced there, certainly I haven't.

"I have a lot of laps to do before I can even think about being anywhere near competitive.

"It will be a fantastic race, I am sure."

VIDEO: WTCC drivers' reactions to Nordschleife news

Thompson's Lada team-mate Rob Huff has Nordschleife experience from VLN events.

"He's cock-a-hoop," said Thompson of Huff's reaction.

"He has done lots of laps and I am sure will be outstanding."

Former WTCC promoter Marcello Lotti had investigated a race on the Nordschleife as far back as 2011, when he told AUTOSPORT that the only stumbling block was the circuit's licence grade.

"I looked at a two-lap race before the Nurburgring 24 Hours, but the circuit needs a grade-four licence from the FIA," said Lotti in 2011.

"Even then we would need the support of the manufacturers. But I tell you, if tomorrow this kind of traditional circuit can be homologated, or can have a homologation that permits us to run, why not?"

Thompson admitted that safety issues were a potential concern.

"My only concern is the older you get the more you like safer tracks."

"You have to trust the organisers and the FIA make sure it is up to standard."

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Series WTCC
Author Peter Mills
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