The World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) has confirmed that the Guangdong International Circuit will be the venue for its first ever visit to mainland China, and is also set to switch the venue of its opening round in Brazil from Curitiba to Interlagos.
The Race of China had been announced on the provisional calendar, but the circuit had yet to be confirmed. The Guangdong circuit was opened in 2009, and the WTCC race will take place on November 6, 2011.
Marcello Lotti, promoter of the WTCC said: “When we launched the WTCC, reaching the Asian market was one of our priorities. The first step was to include in our calendar a traditional and very popular event like the Macau Grand Prix, then we added Japan and now we are pleased to crown this approach with the further addition of an event in Mainland China.”
Chinese WTCC driver Darryl O'Young demonstrated a Chevrolet Cruze at the Guangdong circuit at the final round of this year's China Touring Car Championship. The series will share the bill with the WTCC race next year. Lotti added: “We are extremely happy to share the event with the China Touring Car Championship. Not only will this enhance the local promotion, but it will also reinforce ours and the Chinese promoter’s will to work in a close cooperation in establishing common strategies for the future.”
In addition to confirming the Chinese race, Lotti has revealed that the Race of Brazil – the opening round of the 2011 championship – will be switched from the usual venue of Curitiba to the Interlagos circuit, home to the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Speaking to Autosport, Lotti said: “The race will be at Interlagos because we have reached a deal with the Brazilian Stock Car series to run on the same weekend,” Lotti said. “I spoke with the promoter of Stock Cars, and they will do their race on the Sunday morning, and we will keep our standard timetable. It’s very exciting. Also, the promoter is considering opening an S2000 championship in Brazil with the same rules as the WTCC, so it is a nice co-operation.”