WTCR Race of Portugal switches to Estoril for 2021, new 3-year agreement with Vila Real reached
Circuito do Estoril gets set to host action-packed weekend of FIA World Touring Car racing
*National restrictions on mass gatherings mean a return to the streets of Vila Real on hold until 2022
*June date as second 2021 WTCR event unchanged to minimise disruption
*FIA WTCR Race of Portugal and FIM EWC 12 Hours of Estoril scheduled three weeks apart
WTCR Race of Portugal, the planned second event of the 2021 WTCR − FIA World Touring Car Cup season, will switch from Vila Real to Circuito do Estoril on the unchanged date of June 26-27.
A venue steeped in history and with an exciting circuit layout to match, Estoril is the new home of Portugal’s WTCR weekend for 2021 in response to government restrictions concerning mass gatherings at single locations that are due to remain in place until August.
These restrictions, the result of the COVID-19 pandemic, have made staging WTCR Race of Portugal on the famous Vila Real street circuit − where spectator numbers cannot be controlled due to the track’s compact urban setting − not possible in 2021.
However, Eurosport Events, the WTCR promoter, is delighted to announce a new three-year agreement for Vila Real to host WTCR Race of Portugal from 2022.
To minimise disruption to WTCR stakeholders, including teams, suppliers and broadcasters, the original date of WTCR Race of Portugal, June 26-27, remains unchanged.
Existing Estoril partnership extended
Eurosport Events has forged a close and successful partnership with the management team at Circuito do Estoril. The venue, which is located some 35 kilometres from the Portuguese capital Lisbon, is host to the 12 Hours of Estoril, a round of the FIM Endurance World Championship for motorbikes, which Eurosport Events also promotes.
When it became apparent that WTCR Race of Portugal could not be held in Vila Real this season, an agreement between Eurosport Events and Circuito do Estoril was quickly reached. The change of venues was subsequently approved by the FIA, world motorsport’s governing body, and FPAK, the Portuguese ASN and means Estoril will host two race weekends promoted by Eurosport Events in the space of three weeks with the 12 Hours of Estoril scheduled for July 16-17.
François Ribeiro, Head of Eurosport Events, said: “The priority was always to maintain WTCR Race of Portugal on the 2021 calendar. While it’s a great shame that we won’t enjoy Vila Real’s warm welcome for a second season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in Circuito do Estoril we can count on an excellent facility with a reputation for great racing and a great team of people to work with, just like we do in Vila Real. We thank the FIA and FPAK for accommodating the change of venues on the same date and we send every good wish to the people of Vila Real, who we look forward to meeting again next season when we start our new three-year agreement thanks to the continued enthusiasm and support of Mayor Santos.”