What to expect of the 2017 WTCC season?

April 4, 2017
Featured, News
Alexander S

  • 2017 WTCC

The 2017 FIA World Touring Cars Championship season starts next weekend and the first impression is that we can’t expect fireworks of the declining series.

WTCC is trying to find its identity

The FIA WTCC is desperately trying to become more interesting and from year to year tries to turn bigger attention making a numerous changes. Despite all the efforts, it seems like the WTCC going backward and the assumption is that this trend will continue in 2017.

What to expect from the series which has only two manufacturer entries? Citroen, who dominated WTCC in the last three years, left the competition, just as Lada which finally made some steps forward in the previous campaign. Honda and Volvo are the only manufacturers with factory teams, while Citroen, Lada, and Chevrolet are represented by independent entries.

2017 WTCC

No new cars on the WTCC grid in 2017

The number of rounds is reduced to 10 after the races in France, Russia and Slovakia were dropped from the calendar and replaced with the races in Italy and Macau. For the first time, the Race of China will be held at the new venue.

2017 WTCC calendar

April 9Afriquia Race of MoroccoCircuit International Automobile Moulay El Hassan, Marrakechn
April 30Oscaro Race of ItalyAutodromo Nazionale Monza
May 14Race of HungaryHungaroring
May 27Race of GermanyNurburgring Nordschleife
June 25Race of PortugalCircuito Interbacional de Vila Real
July 16Race of ArgentinaAutodromo Termas de Rio Hondo
October 15Race of ChinaNingbo International Circuit
October 29Race of JapanTwin Ring Motegi
November 19Guia Race of MacauGuia Circuit
December 1Race of QatarLosail International Circuit

No new cars, very few new faces

Another thing to worry about is that there are no star drivers in the WTCC. Yes, there are many quality and experienced drivers but there are no stars. Yvan Muller, the most successful driver in the WTCC history, ended his career. Three-time champion Jose Maria Lopez also left the series while the long servant, Italian veteran Gabriele Tarquini, was unable to find a drive. However, the battle for the title is likely to be uncertain but the quality of the series is quite doubtful, mainly because of the lack of proper competitiveness.

Yann Ehrlacher Lada WTCC

Yann Ehrlacher is one of very few debutants in the WTCC

Sadly, there won’t be many new faces, teams, nor cars. Some drivers for the first time will drive full WTCC season for the first time but many of them already have the experience in this championship. Some teams decided to switch to another manufacturer, some expanded their operations but that certainly won’t contribute to greater excitement.

Rules changes

Most important rules changes are that the length of race meetings will be reduced from three to two days and more points will be awarded to the winners of MAC3 team time trials. The points scoring structure will be revised with more points awarded in the main race which will be two laps longer than the opening race. Another change is the introduction of ’joker laps’ similar to the ones in rallycross, where it is possible.

Honda Racing Team 2017 WTCC

Honda is one of only two manufacturers with the factory backed teams

2017 WTCC entry list

3Tom ChiltonCitroen C-Elysee WTCCSebastien Loeb Racing
5Norbert MicheliszHonda Civic WTCCCastrol Honda World Touring Car Team
8Aurelien PanisHonda Civic WTCCZengo Motorsport
9 Tom CoronelChevrolet RML Cruze TC1ROAL Motorsport
12Robert HuffCitroen C-Elysee WTCCMunnich Motorsport
18Tiago MonteiroHonda Civic WTCCCastrol Honda World Touring Car Team
25Mehdi BennaniCitroen C-Elysee WTCCSebastien Loeb Racing
27John FilippiCitroen C-Elysee WTCCSebastien Loeb Racing
34Ryo MichigamiHonda Civic WTCCHonda Racing Team JAS
61Nestor GirolamiVolvo S60 Polestar TC1Polestar Cyan Racing
62Thed BjorkVolvo S60 Polestar TC1Polestar Cyan Racing
63Nick CatsburgVolvo S60 Polestar TC1Polestar Cyan Racing
68Yann EhrlacherLada Vesta WTCCRC Motorsport
86Esteban GuerrieriChevrolet RML Cruze TC1Campos Racing
99Daniel NagyHonda Civic WTCCZengo Motorsport
TBATBALada Vesta WTCCRC Motorsport


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