After an exciting 2017 season ender in Qatar, the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) will soon be renamed and replaced by the World Touring Car Cup, abbreviated as WTCR. Together with the name change, the series will also have a new format and it will now run TCR technical regulations under an agreement with the FIA, hence the WTCR name.
For those curious about TCR technical regulations, cars must essentially be front-wheel-drive, four/five-door sedans or hatchbacks using turbocharged production engines with a capacity between 1750-2000cc. Maximum power output is capped at 355 PS. All cars must also be homologated versions of existing production cars.
With the shift in regulations, there will also be new race schedules. The WTCC's current race weekend format will mostly be retained apart from one additional race – an increase from the current two. One qualifying session and one race will take place on the opening day. The second day more or less similar to the current setup: a three-phase qualifying session and two races with the first race utilising a reverse grid. 10 race events will be held in four different continents.
The change from WTCC to WTCR comes after the a vote of approval was made by the FIA World Motor Sport Council in Paris. Part of the agreement includes the discontinuation of the TCR International Series and the FIA European Touring Car Cup.
There will also now be a maximum of 26 entries into WTCR once the season begins. Priority will be given to existing TCR International and WTCC teams. Two wildcard entries will be permitted at each event at the discretion of the FIA. More entries allow for more variety within the grid and more exciting races.