The opening round of this year’s FIA World Touring Car Championship at Morocco has been pushed back by one week, which will present the teams with a major challenge if the traditional carnage ensues around the streets of Marrakech…
The opening pair of races at the Circuit International Automobile Moulay El Hassan – better known as the Marrakech street circuit – will now be held on the weekend of 12-13 April, just one week before the championship’s second pair of races at Paul Ricard in France.
2014 FIA World Touring Car Championship Calendar:
|13 APR||Race of Morocco*||Marrakech street circuit|
|20 APR||Race of France*||Circuit Paul Ricard|
|04 MAY||Race of Hungary||Hungaroring|
|11 MAY||Race of Slovakia||Automotodróm Slovakia Ring|
|25 MAY||Race of Austria||Salzburgring, Salzburg|
|08 JUN||Race of Russia*||Moscow Raceway, Moscow|
|22 JUN||Race of Belgium**||Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps|
|03 AUG||Race of Argentina*||Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo|
|14 SEP||Race of USA*||Sonoma Raceway|
|12 OCT||Race of China*||Shanghai International Circuit|
|26 OCT||Race of Japan||Suzuka Grand Prix Circuit|
|16 NOV||Guia Race of Macau*||Guia Street Circuit|
The change comes at the request of the event’s organisers. While it gives the competing teams an all-important extra week to prepare their brand-new cars, the circuit’s incident-prone history will put drivers and teams under enormous strain.
It’s highly likely that spare parts and bodywork will be in short supply at the start of the season, meaning the most minor of accidents could put a car out of contention for the following weekend.