The FIA has announced a preliminary 12-round calendar for the 2011 World Touring Car Championship season, that sees the series visit two new venues for the first time as the championship enters its seventh year.
The two new events on the calendar – that will replace the cancelled Mexican event at Curitiba and the Zolder round at Belgium – are Argentina and China. The exact venue for the Chinese round is still to be determined, although Guangdong has widely been tipped as the likeliest contender.
Other changes also see the Marrakech round being deferred to later in the year (interestingly, at the height of the scorching Moroccan summer), and the rounds at Brno and Oschersleben being brought forward.
The Portuguese rounds reverts to the Porto street circuit after a successful debut at the Circuito Algarve, and Japan’s round moves from Okayama to Suzuka.
The proposed calendar in full is as follows:
|17/07||Great Britain||Brands Hatch|
* Subject to the FIA homologation of the circuit
A further rules clarification is that the governing body will allow cars to run their current engines in 2011, despite the introduction of new regulations for the manufacturers to adopt a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine for next season.
However, the authorities have decreed an additional grace year to allow the teams more time to change over to the new regulations, in an announcement made by the World Motor Sport Council today.
Details as to how the governing body will ensure parity between those running under the older rules and those operating under the newer rules has not been revealed, but the most likely scenario with be the use of success ballast.
[Original image via FIA WTCC official site]