The WTCC will race in Slovakia for the first time this year, having previously raced in the neighbouring Czech Republic - Photo Credit: fiawtcc.com

The WTCC will race in Slovakia for the first time this year, having previously raced in the neighbouring Czech Republic (above) - Photo Credit: fiawtcc.com

The World Touring Car Championship will race in Slovakia for the first time this year, after a date at the Slovakia Ring was added to the 2012 calendar in place of the Race of Argentina.

The series had been due to make its first visit to Argentina on July 8 at a circuit in Cordoba, but that has now been shelved. It is the second aborted attempt to race in the country, with a scheduled race at Bueno Aires in 2011 also having to be canned.

“We have been forced to make this change because of the delays in defining the details of the agreement with the local Government,” explained WTCC promoter Marcello Lotti. “Time went by and we could not go further and take the risk of a last minute cancellation. However, Argentina remains a key market for us and we are determined to try again for 2013.”

Gustavo Santos, president of the Córdoba tourism agency, commented: “We feel very sorry not to be able to secure the WTCC event at the Autódromo Oscar Cabalén for 2012. However, we still have a keen interest in the project and we hope to carry it out in the next future.”

In its place is an additional European round at the Slovakia Ring, to be held on 29 April, the week before the Race of Hungary. Inaugurated in 2009, the Slovakia Ring hosted a round of the FIA GT3 European Championship last year.

“We are pleased with the opportunity to bring WTCC to the Slovak Republic for the first time,” said Lotti. “The Slovakia Ring is a demanding track with modern facilities and is only 170 kilometres away from the Hungaroring where we race the following week.”

Tomáš Vranka, executive director of Slovakia Ring, added: “We are very proud to host the WTCC, one of the few motorsport world championships. It is a great opportunity for our racetrack to be introduced to the international racing community and I am confident that Slovak fans will attend numerously.”