The 2016 FIA World Touring Car Championship season will not kick off at the Sochi Autodrom in March, as was previously confirmed by the FIA.

The sport’s governing body has instead issued a reviews championship calendar that will now see the season kick off at France’s Circuit Paul Ricard in April.

The originally-slated season-opener, the Race of Russia at Sochi, has instead been switched to its traditional home at Moscow Raceway where it will now claim a June 10-12 slot.

That date was previously held by the Race of Portugal at Vila Real, but that has now been moved back by two weeks to June 24-26.

“It has always been our intention to preserve Russia’s presence on the WTCC calendar and we are very pleased to have reached agreement with Moscow Raceway for this to happen,” said François Ribeiro, Head of Eurosport Events, the promoter of the FIA World Touring Car Championship.

“The venue always delivers excellent WTCC races and its close proximity to the Russian capital provides a number of promotional opportunities and I expect this event to run at a much larger scale than previous editions. Our sincere thanks go to the city of Vila Real, the FPAK in Portugal, the RAF in Russia, our Russian stakeholders LADA and Rosneft and the FIA Touring Car Commission for all their assistance with this calendar change. We now look forward to a very exciting WTCC with new cars, new drivers, new MAC 3 format and other new initiatives in store.”

The calendar will remain provisional until it is ratified at the next scheduled meeting of the FIA World Motor Sport Council.

2016 FIA World Touring Car Championship Season Calendar
Date Event Location
03 April it Race of France Paul Ricard, Marseilles
17 April it Race of Slovakia Slovakia Ring, Orechová Potôň
24 April it Race of Hungary Hungaroring, Budapest
08 May it Race of Morocco Circuit Moulay El Hassan, Marrakech
28 May de Race of Germany Nürburgring Nordschleife, Nürburg
12 June ru Race of Russia Moscow Raceway, Moscow
26 June it Race of Portugal Circuito Internacional de Vila Real, Vila Real
07 August it Race of Argentina Termas de Río Hondo, Río Hondo
04 September jp Race of Japan Twin Ring Motegi road course, Motegi
25 September cn Race of China Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai
06 November it Race of Thailand Buriram International Circuit
25 November it Race of Qatar Losail International Circuit, Lusail

* Subject to final signature of the event’s promoter

Image via XPB Images

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.