Organisers of the World Touring Car Championship have confirmed – as predicted on Richard’s F1 – that the Hungaroring will be the replacement venue for the cancelled Race of Morocco, which was cancelled from its slot on the season calendar.
The race on the streets of Marrakech- slated for the first weekend of June – was cancelled after the event’s promoter fell into a funding crisis, leaving the WTCC with no choice but to cancel the event and seek a replacement.
Today, the series organisers have confirmed that Hungary will have its first opportunity to host a round of the championship at its purpose-built Budapest circuit, which has played host to Formula 1 since 1986.
“We are very happy that the opportunity arose to find a worthy replacement for Marrakech,” a thrilled series boss, Marcello Lotti, announced.
“Budapest is the perfect solution: it is a modern and demanding circuit with impressive facilities, brings the championship to a new country in which WTCC has a lot of fans thanks to [Hungarian WTCC driver] Norbert Michelisz and also means huge saving in terms of logistics as it lies only 350 km away from Brno that hosts the following event.”
After Formula 1, Hungary’s most popular motorsport series is the World Touring Car Championship, by dint of Michelisz’s participation in the series in an RBM-run BMW 320TC, a concept not lost on the circuit’s boss, Zsolt Gyulay.
“I am very glad that Hungary was given the chance to stage a WTCC event. This FIA World Championship is the second most popular series after Formula 1,” he said.
“For this reason I think that the Hungaroring has added another prestigious international event to its racing calendar and this is also invaluable to Hungary because of the tourism.
“We sincerely hope that the WTCC Race of Hungary will be exciting and interesting for the Hungarian and the foreign fans. It is of high importance to us that Hungarian driver Norbert Michelisz can compete in front of Hungarian audience and at a Hungarian track for the first time in the series’ history.”
Added Michelisz: “I was racing at the Hungaroring from the beginning of my career, so I know the circuit well. It makes me very proud to race in front of my home supporters and I will be aiming for some good results to please my fans.”
[Original image via AUTOSPORT]