- World Touring Car Championship
Infobox motorsport championship
pixels = 200px
current_season = 2008 World Touring Car Championship season
category = Touring cars
inaugural = 1987
drivers = 50 (2006)
teams = 21 (2006)
constructors = 7 (2006)
champion driver = flagicon|UK
champion team = N/A
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 ATouring 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 Racewayin 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 Ravagliain a BMW M3and 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
Supertouringcategory, 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 Parkin a Ford Mondeo, manufacturer title went to BMW, and Frank Bielain 1995 at Paul Ricardin 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 Oneand the World Rally Championship.
With rounds at major prestigious circuits, the series is heavily supported by car manufacturers
BMW, Chevroletand SEAT, with Hondaalso involved. It features compact and midsize cars based on Group Nrules, yet modified to Super 2000regulations, 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 Priaulxis 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.
European Touring Car Championship
Autosport, January 14, 1988
* [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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