World Touring Car Championship
|Champion driver||Andy Priaulx|
The first WTCC, which was open to Group A Touring Cars, was held in 1987 concurrent to the long-running European Touring Car Championship (ETCC). Additional rounds were held outside Europe at Bathurst in Australia, Calder Park Raceway in Australia (using both the road course and the then newly constructed Thunderdome), Wellington in New Zealand and Mount Fuji in Japan. The Drivers Championship was won by Roberto Ravaglia in a BMW M3 and the Entrants Championship was won by the Eggenberger Texaco Ford No 7 entry, which was a Ford Sierra. The WTCC lasted only one year and was a victim of its own success - the FIA feared it would take money away from Formula 1 and stopped sanctioning the ChampionshipTemplate:Fact.
In 1993, with the high popularity of the Supertouring category, the FIA hosted the FIA World Touring Car Cup - an annual event for touring car drivers hailing from national championships all over the world. The 1993 race at Monza was won by Paul Radisich, at the wheel of a Ford Mondeo with no manufacturer title awarded. The race was run for two more years, (won by Paul Radisich again in 1994 at Donington Park in a Ford Mondeo, manufacturer title went to BMW, and Frank Biela in 1995 at Paul Ricard in an Audi A4 Quattro, and manufacturer title went to Audi). A similar event was planned for 1996 at the A1 Ring, Austria, but was cancelled due to a low number of provisional entries (10 cars). It was never brought back thereafter.
In 2001, the ETCC was resumed with support from the FIA. At the request of interested manufacturers, it was changed to the current WTCC beginning with the 2005 season, and is now considered the third most important FIA championship after Formula One and the World Rally Championship.
With rounds at major prestigious circuits, the series is heavily supported by car manufacturers BMW, Chevrolet and SEAT, with Honda also involved, but some manufacturers like Lada and Volvo are interested in the championship and they could enter in a future. It features compact and midsize cars based on Group N rules, yet modified to Super 2000 regulations, an intermediate level between the slightly modified Superproduction cars and the extinct Supertouring class.
Following the trend of recent FIA rules, cost control is a major theme in the technical regulation. Engines are limited to 2000 cc. Many technologies that have featured in production cars are not allowed, including variable valve timing, variable intake geometry, ABS brakes and traction control.
Frenchman Yvan Muller is the current series champion, winning a first major title for Spanish manufacturer SEAT, breaking the dominance BMW has held over the title since its inception. Also it was the first FIA sanctioned world championship, in any category, won by a diesel powered racing car in the SEAT León TDI.
The series are based in Europe (with races in Great Britain, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Portugal and Czech Republic and former races in Sweden, Belgium, Netherlands and Turkey) but the FIA is extending the championship internationally: now there are races in Brazil, Mexico, China and Japan; in 2009 there will be a new race in Morocco and there are some rumours of a race in Russia for 2010 season.
|WTCC Drivers' Champions|
|2008||Yvan Muller||SEAT Sport||SEAT León TDI|
|2007||Andy Priaulx||BMW Team UK/Racing Bart Mampaey||BMW 320si|
|2006||Andy Priaulx||BMW Team UK/Racing Bart Mampaey||BMW 320si|
|2005||Andy Priaulx||BMW Team UK/Racing Bart Mampaey||BMW 320i|
|1987||Roberto Ravaglia||Schnitzer Motorsport||BMW M3|
|WTCC Independents' Champions|
|2008||Sergio Hernandez||Proteam Motorsport||BMW 320si|
|2007||Stefano D'Aste||Wiechers Sport||BMW 320si|
|2006||Tom Coronel||GR Asia||SEAT León|
|2005||Marc Hennerici||Wiechers Sport||BMW 320i|
|WTCC Manufacturers' Champions|
|WTCC Entrants' Champions (1987)|
|1987||Eggenberger Texaco Ford No 7||Ford Sierra RS Cosworth|
Ford Sierra RS 500
|FIA World Touring Car Cup (1993-1995)|
|Year||Winning driver||Winning car||Winning manufacturer||Track|
|1995||Frank Biela||Audi A4 quattro||Audi||Paul Ricard|
|1994||Paul Radisich||Ford Mondeo||BMW||Donington Park|
|1993||Paul Radisich||Ford Mondeo||no title||Monza|
Autosport, January 14, 1988
- WTCC Official website
- Touring Car Times
- 2008 WTCC Spotters Guide PDF Download
- WTCC Photos (Creative Commons Licenses)
2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008