The 2022 WTCR − FIA World Touring Car Cup will start in Pau from May 7-8 with the second running of WTCR Race of France.

It will revive the WTCR’s previous tradition of opening the season on a street track with Circuit de Pau-Ville revving up to host international touring car racing for the first time since 2009. The WTCR began on a semi-permanent layout in Marrakech, Morocco, in 2018 and 2019.

The calendar adjustment, which was approved by the FIA World Motor Sport Council when it met in Bahrain earlier today, follows the unfortunate cancellation of WTCR Race of Czech Republic.

WTCR Race of Czech Republic, which had been due to open the new season at Autodrom Most from April 9-10, can no longer take place in response to the state of emergency that was declared in the country on March 4 and will last for a minimum of 30 days. This was done to enable all available resources to be channelled towards helping those displaced by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Because it is not possible to reschedule WTCR Race of Czech Republic to a date later in the season due to logistical issues, discussions are ongoing to finalise details of a replacement event. The FIA World Motor Sport Council has also approved the cancellation of WTCR Race of Russia, which was scheduled to take place at Sochi Autodrom from August 7-8. Once a replacement event is finalised an updated calendar will be issued as soon as is practically possible but only following WMSC ratification.

Jean-Baptiste Ley, WTCR Director, Discovery Sports Events, said: “The decision to cancel WTCR Race of Czech Republic at such short notice is obviously unfortunate and we are fully aware of the disruption and inconvenience this will cause, not just for the teams and other stakeholders, but also for the fans. But we must accept there are more important things in the world than sport right now.

“It was crucial to take the decision on WTCR Race of Czech Republic as quickly as possible to avoid a last-minute cancellation should the state of emergency be extended. We are finalising an initiative to support wider fund-raising efforts to help those displaced and we will be announcing more details soon. For now, our thoughts are with all those people suffering and we hope for a swift and peaceful resolution.”

WTCR Race of France will co-headline the PAU MOTORS Festival along with the first event of the inaugural ETCR – eTouring Car World Cup, the all-electric, multi-brand touring car series promoted by Discovery Sports Events. The PAU MOTORS Festival runs from May 6-8 with the WTCR stars and their cars in action on May 7 and 8.

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