Eurosport Events prolongs commitment for top touring car series
Eurosport Events, the events arm of the pan-European sports broadcaster, has today extended partnership with the FIA, the international automobile federation, to promote the World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), the top international touring car racing series.
The agreement covers the 2023, 2024 and 2025 seasons, with Discovery-owned Eurosport Events responsible for marketing the series, including attracting broadcasters and sponsors.
The promoter has also prolonged the licence agreement with World Sporting Consulting to continue to use TCR technical regulations in the series.
The deals extend relationships dating back to 2018 when the World Touring Car Championship was rebranded as the WTCR.
The 2021 season, set to comprise seven rounds, gets under way with the WTCR Race of Germany at the Nurburgring on 5 June.
Eurosport Events also promotes Pure ETCR, the new international electric touring car racing series, which also starts, in Italy, in June.
The organisers have claimed that despite the challenges brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, which reduced to 2020 WTCR season to six events, all in Europe, between September and November, there has been no reduction in the level of investment to ensure a top line-up of teams, drivers, broadcasters and commercial partners including DHL, Goodyear and TAG Heuer.
Meanwhile, efforts have been stepped up to make the WTCR more environmentally friendly with sustainable fuel to be incorporated this season, and a goal of using it 100 per cent by 2023. In addition, Eurosport Events is on course to achieve the FIA’s three-star environmental accreditation ahead of the 2021 season.
Francois Ribeiro, head of Eurosport Events, said on Wednesday: “We’ve worked non-stop to keep high the level of WTCR through a very constructive cooperation with the FIA and a quality global promotion. By securing a contract extension, even during this unprecedented period we are all living through, we’ve cemented this commitment and provided much needed stability to all our stakeholders. We believe in high level combustion customer racing and will do everything possible to make WTCR an even more environmentally sustainable competition over the next five years.
“With Eurosport Events promoting new electric touring car activities from this season it’s only right to enforce the message that this is not a case of one chapter closing and others opening, but of all our activities receiving a significant level of investment for the long term.”
Alan Gow, president of the FIA Touring Car Commission, added: “In Eurosport Events we have a partner that’s fully committed to delivering the best possible WTCR. We are delighted to be extending this extremely successful alliance that began in 2005 and shows no sign of slowing down, only speeding up. With Eurosport Events and the FIA’s Sporting Department, the WTCR is in very good hands now and for the future.”
Meanwhile, the organisers of the UCI Track Champions League, a new cycling series being promoted by Eurosport Events, have confirmed the format for the inaugural season.
The competition, which forms part of a restructured track cycling calendar introduced by the UCI, the sport’s international governing body, will comprise six rounds at different European venues all including sprint, keirin, elimination and scratch races.
Each category will involve 18 riders, adding up to 72 overall, with equal numbers of male and female athletes, and equal prize money, across the disciplines.
Points will be awarded to riders based on their performances in each race, with an overall winner in each of the categories decided at the end of the series.
The UCI Track Champions League is a joint initiative between the UCI and Discovery, with the inaugural edition to take place, at venues to be announced, in November and December 2021.
Ribeiro said on Tuesday: “We have been tweaking the racing format over the last year, drawing on the expertise of the UCI and the invaluable insight of professional riders to design the very best competition. Our vision was to create an elite sporting event that portrays the spirit of track cycling in the most exciting way possible. It’s a proud moment for us to reveal this detail today after months of preparation.“From the start we have also been committed to ensuring gender equality in the UCI Track Champions League, so it’s with great pleasure that we can now reveal that prize money for all competitors who will join us for the debut of the series later this year will be equal for male and female riders.”