The European Touring Car Championship was an international touring car racing series organised by the FIA. It had two incarnations, the first one between 1963 and 1988, and the second between 2000 and 2004. In 2005 it was superseded by the World Touring Car Championship, and replaced by the European Touring Car Cup since then.
The European Touring Car Challenge, as it was originally known, was created in 1963 by Willy Stenger at the behest of the FIA. Cars competed under FIA Group 2 Improved Touring Car regulations which allowed a variety of touring cars of different sizes and engine displacements to race together, from the small Fiat 600 and Mini to the large Jaguar Mark 2 and Mercedes-Benz 300SE In 1963 races and hillclimbing events at Nürburgring, Mont Ventoux, Brands Hatch, Mallory Park, Zolder, Zandvoort, Timmelsjoch and even in the Népliget (People's Park) in Budapest counted towards the ETCC, which was won by German Peter Nöcker and his Jaguar. In 1968, the regulations were changed to allow Group 5 cars to participate, however these highly modified Special Touring Cars would only be eligible for two years. In 1970 the series name was changed from European Touring Car Challenge to European Touring Car Championship. Group 2 again became the principle category  although Group 2 regulations were now much more liberal in nature than the old Group 2.
Following the 1973 oil crisis the next two seasons had few entrants. It was only in 1977 that the situation was normalised with the return of factory teams. Rules allowed Group 2 and Group 1B "National" cars to compete together, with BMW 3.0 Coupé CSL and Capri RS remaining the most competitive entries.
In 1982, the FIA replaced Groups 1 and 2 with Group N and Group A. The first one was mainly ignored by the ETCC entrants, all cars going the Group A route. BMW and Alfa Romeo prepared regular touring cars for the championship, but it was the big-engined Tom Walkinshaw Racing prepared Jaguar XJS and Rover 3500 Vitesse that would be more competitive in the years to come, fighting against the BMW 635 CSi, the turbocharged Volvo 240T and Ford Sierra Cosworth as well as (from 1986) Australian manufacturer Holden and its V8 powered Commodore.
The championship was cancelled after the end of the 1988 season, due to escalating costs (a one-off World Touring Car Championship in 1987 also exarcebated the problem). By then, the FIA had allowed "Evolution" models to be homologated, and it was special cars such as the BMW M3 Evo and Ford Sierra RS500 that dominated the grids and results.
The Macau Grand Prix's Guia Race, the Spa 24 Hours and the 24 Hours Nürburgring were the only international touring car races during those years. With the success and popularity of Supertouring in many national championships, the FIA organised the one-round Super Touring World Cup for these cars, between 1993 and 1995. In 1996, the FIA promoted the DTM, which already had races outside Germany in its calendar, to International Touringcar Championship (ITC), but once more escalating costs ended the series after two seasons.
In 2000, the Italian Superturismo Championship was promoted to Euro STC. The serie was made mostly by italian drivers and teams plus some other coming from ex STW. In the first season of Euro STC, 6 rounds were in Italy while the other 4 were in Austra, (A1 Ring), Hungary (Hungaroring), Czech Republic (Brno) and Slovenia (Lubliana). The series was very balanced with 4 drivers winning 5 races each one (Giovanardi, Kox, Morbidelli and Colciago) with 4 different Manufacture (Alfa Romeo, Honda Accord, Bmw 320i, Audi A4 quattro). At the end of the year Giovanardi was able to win the title beating Kox in last round. In 2001, this series became the FIA 2001 European Super Touring Championship, with an extra class for Super Production cars alongside the main Super Touring class. As the former year also this one was very fought and attractive riveting thanks to the battle between Alfa drivers' Giovanardi and Larini and Honda driver Tarquini. Tarquini won 9 races on 20 compared with the 3 victories each one by Giovanardi and Larini, but he had to give up to Giovanardi due to lots retire that he had during the season. In 2002, due to high costs FIA decided to let D2 Class to make space to the new class Super 2000 and named the new serie FIA ETCC, using Super 2000 rules. This new category had lots interest and it saw partecipating Alfa Romeo 156 GTA and BMW 320i, Volvo S60 and SEAT Toledo Cupra. Alfa Romeo won the first two championships with Fabrizio Giovanardi and Gabriele Tarquini while in the last season the title was won by Andy Priaulx and his BMW. The series became very popular with the public due to the intense competition and Eurosport live broadcasts. For this reason in 2005, the ETCC was promoted to WTCC.
ETCC (2005 onwards)
The European Touring Car title was given from 2005 until 2009 to a once a year European Touring Car Cup, with the best representatives from national championships running to Super 2000, Super Production and Super 1600 regulations in the Baltic States, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Russia, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Starting in 2010 the ETCC will once again become a multi event racing series. Four events of two races each are set to be held in Portugal, Italy, Austria and Germany at respectively the Circuito Vasco Sameiro in Braga, the Autodromo Bonara in Franciacorta, the Salzburgring in Salzburg and the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben in Oschersleben. However, on 25 Mar 2010, fiawtcc.com reported that the event in Germany was cancelled to avoid clashes with the German touring car series.
European Super Touring Cup
European Super Touring Championship
European Touring Car Championship