After a number of unsuccessful attempts, the FIA World Touring Car Championship will finally make its maiden visit to Argentina this year over the first weekend of August, with series officials confirming that the scheduled race in Brazil (slated for the week prior) will be dropped.
The chosen venue is the Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo, a 4.8-kilometre circuit in the country’s north. Redesigned and overhauled by Italian circuit designer Jarno Zaffelli, the circuit recently achieved the necessary FIA homologation to allow it to host the WTCC series this year.
“We are proud to bring WTCC to Argentina for the first time. This is something we have worked on in the last three years,” WTCC series boss Marcello Lotti said, before adding that he wanted a South American double-header on the 2014 calendar.
“However, we maintain close relationship with the Brazilian authorities and we plan to include both South American events in the 2014 calendar,” he added.
At the same, one-time F1 contender José María ‘Pechito’ Lopez (pictured) confirmed that he would feature as a guest driver on the WTCC grid at that round, although it is not yet known what – or with which team – he will be driving.
“I am proud to to represent the colours of our country and grateful to the ACA and race organizers of Termas de Rio Hondo WTCC for trusting me and giving me this opportunity,” López wrote on his Twitter account.
“(There are) still a lot of details that are going to be confirmed as the date approaches. As always I will give everything to represent our colours.”
A previously successful driver in European single-seaters, the 30-year-old was infamously linked with the failed USF1 project that was meant to give him a shot in Formula 1 in 2010. After that failed, he moved to the South American (Super) TC2000 touring car series, winning the championship three times.