World Touring Car Championship
The World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) is an international Touring Car championship organized by the FIA.
The WTCC was first held in 1987 concurrent to the long-running European Touring Car Championship (ETCC) in a Group A format, with races held at Bathurst, Calder Park Raceway (using both the road course and the then newly constructed Thunderdome) and Mount Fuji. The championship was won by Roberto Ravaglia in a BMW M3. The series was not considered a success, due to the high costs involved, and lasted just a year.
In 1993, with the high popularity of the Supertouring category, the FIA hosted the Touring Car World 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. The race was run for two more years, (won by Radisich again in 1994 at Donington Park, and Frank Biela in 1995 at Paul Ricard) before disappearing into obscurity.
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, Alfa Romeo and SEAT. Ford, Chevrolet and Honda are also involved. 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.
For more information why not visit www.fiawtcc.com.