The FIA World Motor Sport Council approved the calendar for the 2014 FIA World Touring Car Championship.
Just like in the latest years, the series will be run on twelve events and twenty-four races.
For the first time the championship will kick off at Marrakech, while the closing meeting will be held at Macau for the tenth consecutive year.
The only new venue is Circuit Paul Ricard at Le Castellet, that will host the second event of the season. The last time the WTCC raced in France was at Pau in 2009. The championship will also return to Spa-Francorchamps, nine years after its only visit there in 2005.
Other changes compared to the previous seasons are the postponement of Sonoma by one week and the reversal of dates between Shanghai and Suzuka.
6 April Marrakech (MAR) *
20 April Le Castellet (FRA) *
4 May Hungaroring (HUN)
11 May Slovakia Ring (SVK)
25 May Salzburgring (AUT)
8 June Moscow Raceway (RUS) *
22 June Spa-Francorchamps (BEL) ***
3 August Termas de Río Hondo (ARG) *
14 September Sonoma (USA) *
12 October Shanghai (CHN) *
26 October Suzuka (JPN)
16 November Macau (MAC) *
* subject to the ASN’s confirmation
*** subject to the agreement with the promoter
Mehdi Bennani unveiled the Morocco’s colours livery that will be sported on his new Honda Civic during the 2014 FIA World Touring Car Championship.
The launch happened yesterday, during a press conference at Casablanca that was attended by Morocco’s most important media.
Among the guests were William De Braekeleer, Motorsport Manager Honda Motor Europe, Mehdi Tak Tak, General Director of Groupe Univers Motors, Honda importer for Morocco, and Valmiro Presenzini, Principal of Proteam Racing.
“I am very happy for this opportunity to race a Honda; this makes me really optimistic about our future performance during the next season. My aim is to fight against the top WTCC drivers and I am also especially proud to defend the colours of Morocco colours in such an important international series,” said Bennani.
Following RML’s announcement that they will build a new Chevrolet Cruze in compliance with the new WTCC technical regulations, the company’s Chief Executive Ray Mallock agreed to answer a few questions.
Why RML decided to build a car for the new WTCC regulations?
“We firmly believe in the value of the WTCC as a platform for sponsors, drivers and manufacturers. WTCC should be the pinnacle of production car based competition and we want to be part of the series, supporting the transition to the exciting new regulations.”
How many cars have you planned to build and when will they be ready?
“We will build a minimum of four cars although this number could increase to six. The plan is to have first two cars ready around the 12th March. In case we build more than six, we will not be able to supply the additional cars before Marrakech.”
Will customer teams own the engines outright or will they be a lease deal?
“As is the case with our current customer teams in WTCC (Nika Racing, bamboo-engineering, Tuenti Racing) we will continue to lease our in house engine at all times.”
Is there any involvement from GM in this project?
“Our friends at GM have worked closely with us on the homologation of the car. Beyond that, no, although we continue to have a close and strong relationship with GM.”
Will RML be running any cars in 2014?
“No, we have agreed with our customer teams that RML will not run in direct competition with them.”
Will RML be supporting any teams?
“If we are asked to provide additional support, we are happy to do so. This support will be available to any of the teams.”
Will RML return to WTCC as a race team?
“WTCC is very close to our heart and RML has a lot to offer to a manufacturer wanting to compete at the highest level in WTCC.”
If RML returns in 2015 representing a manufacturer, what happens to the customer cars?
“We are a high performance automotive engineering company, experienced in running multiple programmes. Our customer programmes are a vital part of our business model. We have been supporting our customers to race and championship wins ever since we began in Touring cars in the early 1990s and that high level of commitment will continue.”