The FIA World Motor Sport Council has revealed an updated 2011 World Touring Car Championship season calendar, which reveals that the Argentine round slated for early April has been dropped, and that the British round will move to Donington as opposed to its original booking at Brands Hatch.
The proposal to hold an inaugural event on Argentine soil was conceived alongside a planned 2011 entry from a locally-backed works Honda team, but it appears that the latter will not eventuate, and that has facilitated the dropping of the round.
Belgium’s race at Zolder and China’s Guangdong race are still listed as ‘to be confirmed’, and Porto’s street circuit round will still require safety homologation before it is given the green light.
The moving of the British round from its traditional home of Brands Hatch to Donington was also confirmed, the WMSC slated Suzuka to take over from Okayama in hosting the Japanese leg of the series.
The updated 2011 calendar is now as follows:
|18-20 March||Curitiba, Brazil|
|22-24 April||Zolder, Belgium**|
|13-15 May||Monza, Italy|
|3-5 June||Marrakech street circuit, Morocco|
|17-19 June||Brno, Czech Republic|
|1-3 July||Porto street circuit, Portugal*|
|15-17 July||Donington, Great Britain|
|29-31 July||Oschersleben, Germany|
|2-4 September||Valencia, Spain|
|21-23 October||Suzuka, Japan|
|3-5 November||Guangdong, China**|
|18-20 November||Guia street circuit, Macau|
* Subject to the homologation of the circuit
** To be confirmed
The WMSC also confirmed a rules shake-up over the reverse-grid second race, with the importance of a good qualifying result now absolutely paramount.
The current rules dictate that the top-eight finishers in race one will start from the top-eight grid slots in race two with their finishing order reversed on the grid, but this has led to several rules breaches from
Alain Menu drivers who have dropped down the order to finish eighth in the opening race in order to give themselves pole position for the second heat.
The new rule sees the top-ten qualifying drivers starting in reverse grid order for the second race, effectively meaning that a disastrous qualifying result could ruin a driver’s entire race weekend.
The WMSC has not given any indication that it would consider lengthening the race distances, or adopting a more driver-friendly focus of separate qualifying sessions for both races.
[Original image via The Checkered Flag]