The World Touring Car Championship's Race of Morocco that was due to take place on the street circuit in Marrakech on 5th June 2011 has been cancelled. Series organisers are working on a replacement event in Central Europe to be held on the same date.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the FIA World Motor Sport Council today (8th March). A statement from the FIA said that the Marrakech round 'was withdrawn from the calendar at the request of the FIA Championship promoter as the local promoter was unable to commit to an agreement for the organisation of the event.'
The WTCC first visited Marrakech in 2009, as the series' first race on the African continent.
The WTCC said that the local race promoter was unable to secure the financial support to keep the race going. Series promoter Marcello Lotti explained that he was unhappy to see the event dropped from the calendar.
“Morocco is the only country in Africa today to host a world-class motorsport event. After all the hard work and the considerable infrastructure investments made by the local promoter and the Government, it is regrettable to see Marrakech dropped from the calendar. I know the organizers did all they could to avoid this sad decision.”
Lotti explained that the series was working on finding a replacement event to be held in Central Europe on the same date, to ensure that the season remains at 12 events. The 2010 season only lasted for 11 rounds after the Mexican round was cancelled at short notice.
“We are currently in negotiations with a couple of other racetracks in Central Europe to replace the event on the same date,” said Lotti. “We should be ready to announce the location of the fourth race meeting of the season in one-month time.”
After joining the WTCC as a support series following the departure of Formula Two, the Auto GP series was due to race at Marrakech on the same weekend. Series boss Enzo Coloni confirmed that Auto GP will be part of the replacement event.
Coloni said: “Marrakech would have provided a staggering background for the Auto GP action and was a much awaited challenge for our drivers, but such an event can't be held without the right support from the local institutions. So we fully support the decision made by FIA and WTCC; our cooperation is very close and I'm sure that a replacement event will be announced very quickly.”