With all the talk about how to ‘energise’ certain racing categories, there’s one that hasn’t had that problem in a while. Touring car racing has long been known for its high-octane, door-to-door racing. And while Formula 1 (oops, gave it away) muses over sprint races, that’s so 1990s in the case of touring car racing.

Touring car racing’s mixer-in-chief has been variations of reversed grids for over twenty years. Some touring car series held out for a while, but most have eventually introduced them in order to spruce up the racing.

And the truth is — they work well in…

The BTCC 2020 pre-season launch. Photo: Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Firstly; motorsport is a sport, and sport is entertainment. And right now, entertainment is the least of the world’s problems.

However, I’m a motorsport writer, so there’s no point me talking about the global impacts of the current coronavirus pandemic — I’d just be joining part of a collective of people talking about something they don’t really know much about, so I’ll stick to talking about my home turf for the last ten years — motorsport, with a very touring car racing-focussed slant.

Just stay at home, stay safe, and that’ll give us the best chance of getting out of…

Launched today, the brand new PURE ETCR series looks deliver a new electric racing experience, with a new twist.

First, let’s sort out some confusion — ETCR is the technical regulation, and PURE ETCR is the name of the championship — so PURE ETCR is to ETCR, what WTCR is to TCR — get it?

If not, that’s OK. Let’s quickly run through it.

ETCR is owned by WSC Group — the company run by Marcello Lotti — and this is the technical regulation. All announcements to-date around battery supply, charging infrastructure etc. …

It was a year of high drama in touring car racing across the world; and here, I pick out some of my favourite moments (in chronological order) across the various championships I attended in 2019 — with a selection from the WTCR — FIA World Touring Car Cup, the TCR Europe series, the British Touring Car Championship, and the TCR Scandinavia championship.

Today, from the first half of 2019, with more to follow.

Moment #1 — a key pole and victory for PWR Racing at Knutstorp

Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky opens up the 2019 season with pole and a win. Photo: Andy Petersel.

It was the first round of the 2019 TCR Scandinavia championship — the place was Knutstorp, in the Skåne region of southern Sweden in early May —…

Norbert Michelisz on the top of the podium in Malaysia. Photo: DPPI.

Norbert Michelisz has won the 2019 WTCR — FIA World Touring Car Cup at a thrilling season finale at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia. The Hungarian is already a superstar in his home country, and enjoys Formula 1-levels of fan support, and that was even before the affable 35-year-old picked up a much deserved, and long overdue first title today.

Michelisz’s World Touring Car career started the same year as mine did — Back in 2010, it was our first full season each in the world’s premier tin-top series.

“Norbi” had already made a pair of one-off appearances, as prize…

Shane van Gisbergen’s Triple Eight Holden Commodore and Scott McLaughlin’s DJR Team Penske Ford Falcon in 2018. Photo: Holden Australia.

The decision made by the Holden in Australia this week to focus on “utes” (utility vehicles) and SUVs (sports utility vehicles, also known as crossovers) has set the wheels in motion to cause an end one of the most famous racing feuds in motorsport — the long war between the Ford Falcon and the Holden Commodore in Australia.

In fact, Ford had already ducked out when they switched from the Falcon to the Mustang this season, romping to championship success with the car.

The reason for that change was that Ford had ceased production of the Falcon, their large saloon…

The Hyundai Veloster N ETCR concept. Photo: Hyundai Motorsport.

Not only are the cars reportedly silent, but recently, so has all the news on the new-for-2020, or maybe perhaps 2021 ‘electric touring car championship’ — the ETCR — but it’s definitely coming, and it’s likely to see the manufacturers quickly flocking to promote their latest customer-focussed road car offering, with two announcements already made, and others you can assume are coming soon.

That’s the biggest change here, this is back to business-to-customer sales, not business-to-business-style customer racing, which is what the TCR (Touring Car Racer) formula has been since its inception in 2015.

Touring car racing’s trump card on…

Nicky Catsburg (BRC Hyundai i30 N TCR) leads the pack in the 2020 WTCR. Photo: DPPI.

The WTCR — FIA World Touring Car Cup calendar has now been announced, and the calendar is very similar to last year’s, with just two new events — the already announced new race at the Aragon circuit in Spain, and a brand new race at the Inje-Speedium in South Korea — giving Hyundai a home race, with the Japanese round at the popular Suzuka circuit in effect making way.

The other race that is gone is, as was already known, Zandvoort — as the Dutch track will indeed be a pile of sand for much of the year, as it…

The Hyundais of Norbert Michelisz, Nicky Catsburg and Augusto Farfus in Japan. Photo: DPPI.

With just three rounds to go in the 2019 WTCR — FIA World Touring Car Cup, it’s starting getting rough between the two sleeper factory teams of Hyundai and Lynk & Co in the championship, after drivers Nicky Catsburg and Andy Priaulx clashed in Race 1 at Suzuka, with both drivers getting penalised in the aftermath.

The incident

Coming into the final laps of the race, Priaulx was running in 13th place, in the lower points-paying positions (points go down to 15th in the WTCR), in his Cyan Racing-run Lynk & Co 03 TCR, while at-that-point championship leader Norbert Michelisz was running…

An MG 6 TCR racing at Zhejiang, in TCR Asia-China. Photo: TCR media

20 nations, and therefore drivers, have been entered for the first Touring Car Cup race of the new FIA initiative, the Motorsport Games, which will take place at the Vallelunga circuit, near Rome, at the start of November 2019.

Making the use of the balanced TCR formula, drivers will hypothetically compete on an equal basis, using cars from nine different manufacturers.

As is typical for a touring car weekend, there will be two races, with points allocated for both, with Race 2 weighted slightly more heavily than the first, with 30 points for the victory, as opposed to 25 in…

Neil Hudson

Motorsport journalist and PR manager. Writes for some of the world’s top motorsport news media and championships. www.neilhudson.net

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