World Touring Car Championship


World Touring Car Championship

Infobox motorsport championship

pixels = 200px
caption =
current_season = 2008 World Touring Car Championship season
category = Touring cars
inaugural = 1987
drivers = 50 (2006)
teams = 21 (2006)
constructors = 7 (2006)
engines =
country/region = International
folded =
champion driver = flagicon|UK Andy Priaulx
champion team = N/A
manufacturer = BMW
website = [http://www.fiawtcc.com/ fiawtcc.com]
The World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) is an international Touring Car championship organized by the FIA.

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 ChampionshipFact|date=June 2008.

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) 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, Chevrolet and SEAT, with Honda 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.

Guernseyman Andy Priaulx is the current series champion, and has now won three consecutive titles in the category, in addition to the ETCC title as it was in its previous format in 2004. This now means he has won 4 consecutive FIA touring car titles making him one of the most successful touring car drivers the sport has ever known.

Previous champions

See also

* European Touring Car Championship

References

Autosport, January 14, 1988

External links

* [http://www.fiawtcc.com/ WTCC Official website]
* [http://www.touringcartimes.com/index.php Touring Car Times]
* [http://www.spotterguides.com/ 2008 WTCC Spotters Guide PDF Download]
* [http://www.f1automotori.com/category/wtcc/ F1automotori.com]
* [http://www.use-photos.com/Cars-WTCC/ WTCC Photos (Creative Commons Licenses)]


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