The 2016 FIA World Touring Car Championship has been finalised by the World Motor Sport Council.
Next year’s schedule will see the same mix of countries being visited in 2015, although one possible change of circuit being mooted.
The calendar will kick off on 20 March, although as yet the location of that round is still to be officially confirmed. Popular consensus suggests that it will be held in Russia, although the race will switch from Moscow Raceway to the Sochi Formula 1 circuit if a new contract can be signed.
Last year’s season-opener, the Race of Argentina, has been moved to a winter timeslot and will kick off the second half of the season that sees the series visit South America, Asia and the Middle East. The Race of Morocco has also been pushed back to May.
|2016 FIA World Touring Car Championship Season Calendar|
|20 March||Race of Russia||Sochi Autodrom, Sochi*|
|03 April||Race of France||Paul Ricard, Marseilles|
|17 April||Race of Slovakia||Slovakia Ring, Orechová Potôň|
|24 April||Race of Hungary||Hungaroring, Budapest|
|08 May||Race of Morocco||Circuit Moulay El Hassan, Marrakech|
|29 May||Race of Germany||Nürburgring Nordschleife, Nürburg|
|12 June||Race of Portugal||Vila Real street circuit|
|07 August||Race of Argentina||Termas de Río Hondo, Río Hondo|
|04 September||Race of Japan||Twin Ring Motegi road course, Motegi|
|25 September||Race of China||Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai|
|06 November||Race of Thailand||Buriram International Circuit|
|25 November||Race of Qatar||Losail International Circuit, Lusail|
* Subject to confirmation
The FIA WMSC also ratified a number of rules and event format changes as follows:
- The new ‘Manufacturers Against the Clock’ (MAC3) concept, featuring three cars of each manufacturer taking part in a time trial after qualifying for additional points towards the title, will be introduced;
- An increase of the compensation weight calculations, which now will see the top performing cars carry as much of 80kg of ballast;
- A restructure of the weekend format that will see Race 1 be the ‘reverse grid’ race, while Race 2 will have its grid order determined by the official qualifying results and be run over a longer race distance.
Image via XPB Images