One of the top 3 racing events in the world, ranked behind only Formula 1 racing and the WRC

Many would think that the WTCC would have a history that stretches back to near the turn of the century, or at least to the mid 1900’s, it is racing after all. In actuality, the history of the WTCC started only 25 years ago in 1987. The first race was held in the European circuit in the same fashion as the already running European Touring Car Championship, or the ETCC.

Rounds of the WTCC were held later that year in locations outside of the European market, such as in Bathurst and Calder Park Raceway in Australia. The country was somewhat in the middle of developing a WTCC raceway, so a combination of roads and the new Thunderdome was used. New Zealand also held a number of WTCC races, as well as the famous races around Mount Fuji in Japan.

The fate of the WTCC was sealed though; the bottom line was that it was drawing away from Formula 1 races. Apparently, new fans of the races weren’t created for the new sport, but stole away from other events. FIA decided that Formula 1 was the preferred forum and cancelled official WTCC races.

Finally, in 1993 FIA decided to give the WTCC another shot with the World Touring Car Cup. The cup was designed to let the champions of races from all over the planet compete against one another. It was categorized as a Supertouring race and held at Monza. Eventually, a Ford Mondeo driven by Paul Radisich won the race. Ridisich won it again in 1994 at Donington Park. He won the race in another Ford Mondeo. But the real prize of the race, where car lovers are concerned, went to BMW. They were responsible for the cars winning design.

The WTCC was held once again in 1995, which was by Frank Biela in an Audi A4 Quattro. This time, the manufacturers design title went to Audi. A WTCC race was also scheduled for 1996, but only 10 cars were entered into the race. The race was supposed to be held at the A1 Ring in Austria, the cancellation made many fans wonder what happened to the sport, virtually overnight.

In 2001, the former European ETCC was sanctioned by FIA and was renamed the WTCC in the start of the 2005 racing season. The change was made not at the will of FIA, but because the racing groups within the ETCC wanted it to be that way.

After its short, but controversial, history, the WTCC is running strong and is one of the top 3 racing events in the world. Enthusiasts place the WTCC behind only Formula 1 racing and the WRC, or World Rally car Championships, and who doesn’t love a run in the mud?

The WTCC cars were allowed to be built to Super 2000 / S2000 or Diesel 2000 regulations.

Super 2000

Petrol engines limited to 2000 cc – BMW, SEAT, Chevrolet and Volvo

Picture: 2011 WTCC Chevrolet Cruze

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Diesel 2000

4-cylinder turbocharged diesel engines with a maximum capacity of 2000cc

Picture: 2009 WTCC SEAT Leon TDI

Seat Leon TDI wtcc 300x204