FIA WTCC Race of Portugal

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FIA WTCR Race of Portugal
Circuito Internacional de Vila Real
Circuito Internacional de Vila Real.png
Race information
Number of times held12
First held2007
Last held2019
Most wins (drivers)Portugal Tiago Monteiro (4)
Most wins (constructors)United States Chevrolet (8)
Last race (2019)
Race 1 Winner
Race 2 Winner
Race 3 Winner

The FIA WTCR Race of Portugal[1] (known as the FIA WTCC Race of Portugal from 2007 to 2017) is a motor racing event held in Portugal as part of the World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) series, and formerly the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC). First run in 2007, the event has taken place at the Circuito Internacional de Vila Real street circuit since 2015, and has previously been hosted by the Circuito da Boavista, the Autódromo do Estoril, and the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve. The next WTCR Race of Portugal is due to take place in June 2021.[2]

In common with the other rounds of the WTCR and the former WTCC, the Race of Portugal event consists of two practice sessions, a single qualifying session, and two individual races over the course of a weekend.[3]:41 For 2018 and 2019 seasons the event consisted of three races.[4] Tiago Monteiro is the only Portuguese driver to have won his home race. He has taken four victories in Portugal, firstly in 2008 when the race was held at Estoril, then in race one of the 2010 Race of Portugal at Portimão, and two at Vila Real, the main race in 2016 Race of Portugal and race 3 in 2019 (never won at his hometown - Porto).[5]

History[edit]

The inaugural WTCC Race of Portugal was held in July 2007 at the Circuito da Boavista street course in Porto. The Boavista circuit had previously hosted the Formula One Portuguese Grand Prix in 1958 and 1960, and was revived as a historic racing venue in 2005.[6] With a length of 4.72 km (2.93 mi), the track was one of the longest on the World Touring Car Championship calendar.[7] As per the sporting regulations of the series, the Race of Portugal consisted of two separate races 50 kilometres (31 mi) long;[8] the inaugural event held in 2007 saw Alain Menu win the first race, while Andy Priaulx took victory in the second.[9] The Boavista circuit subsequently hosted the Race of Portugal on a biennial basis until 2013, with the Porto municipal government only able hold the event in alternating years due to the financial and logistical challenges from being host.[10] The intervening years saw the Autódromo do Estoril assume hosting duties in 2008, where Rickard Rydell and Tiago Monteiro took the event's two victories respectively,[11] before the 4.6 km (2.9 mi) Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimão took over for the rounds in 2010 and 2012.[12]

In October 2014, the Porto municipal government announced that the Circuito da Boavista would not host the Race of Portugal in 2015 after Turismo de Portugal, the country's national tourism board, chose not to provide financial support towards the €3 million cost.[13] It was later announced that the city of Vila Real would host the event in 2015,[14] utilising the 4.78 km (2.97 mi) Circuito Internacional de Vila Real street circuit first constructed in 1931[15] for a three-year deal until 2017.[16] Despite receiving a broadly positive reception from the drivers, the circuit drew criticism over the placement of tight chicanes before the circuit's high speed sections, which brought racing speeds down to as low as 26 mph (42 km/h), for safety reasons.[17] In 2017 the event was the first in the World Touring Car Championship to feature a joker lap,[18] an alternative route constructed at the final corner of the circuit through which drivers were required to drive once per race.[19] An incident in the practice session for that year's event, in which driver Tom Coronel collided with an emergency vehicle down an escape road, prompted an investigation by the championship's governing body, the FIA.[20]

In 2018 the World Touring Car Championship merged with TCR International Series to form the World Touring Car Cup. Both the Race of Portugal and the Circuito Internacional de Vila Real were retained by the series organisers,[21] and in common with the other rounds of the championship, the number of races that formed the event was increased from two to three.[4] The first race of 2018 saw a violent first-lap collision between Mehdi Bennani and Robert Huff block the entirety of the track, causing to a delay of two hours while repair work to the cars and track-side barriers was undertaken.[22] In 2020 the event was one of many cancelled due the COVID-19 pandemic,[23] but is set to return to the Vila Real circuit for the 2021 season. The number of races held as part of the event will be reduced from three to two from 2021[2] with race lengths of 55 kilometres (34 mi) and 62 kilometres (39 mi) respectively.[3]:5

Winners[edit]

World Touring Car Championship (2007–2017)[edit]

Year Race Driver Manufacturer Circuit Report Ref.
2007 Race 1 Switzerland Alain Menu United States Chevrolet Boavista Report [24]
Race 2 United Kingdom Andy Priaulx Germany BMW
2008 Race 1 Sweden Rickard Rydell Spain SEAT Estoril Report
Race 2 Portugal Tiago Monteiro Spain SEAT
2009 Race 1 Italy Gabriele Tarquini Spain SEAT Boavista Report
Race 2 Brazil Augusto Farfus Germany BMW
2010 Race 1 Portugal Tiago Monteiro Spain SEAT Portimão Report
Race 2 Italy Gabriele Tarquini Spain SEAT
2011 Race 1 Switzerland Alain Menu United States Chevrolet Boavista Report
Race 2 United Kingdom Robert Huff United States Chevrolet
2012 Race 1 France Yvan Muller United States Chevrolet Portimão Report
Race 2 Switzerland Alain Menu United States Chevrolet
2013 Race 1 France Yvan Muller United States Chevrolet Boavista Report
Race 2 United Kingdom James Nash United States Chevrolet
2014 Not held
2015 Race 1 Argentina José María López France Citroën Vila Real Report [24]
Race 2 China Ma Qing Hua France Citroën
2016 Opening Race Netherlands Tom Coronel United States Chevrolet Report
Main Race Portugal Tiago Monteiro Japan Honda
2017 Opening Race Morocco Mehdi Bennani France Citröen Report [25]
Main Race Hungary Norbert Michelisz Japan Honda

World Touring Car Cup (2018– )[edit]

Year Race Driver Manufacturer Circuit Report Ref.
2018 Race 1 France Yvan Muller South Korea Hyundai Vila Real [26]
Race 2 Slovakia Mat'o Homola France Peugeot
Race 3 Sweden Thed Björk South Korea Hyundai
2019 Race 1 Hungary Norbert Michelisz South Korea Hyundai
Race 2 Spain Mikel Azcona Spain Cupra
Race 3 Portugal Tiago Monteiro Japan Honda
2020 Not held due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[23]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "WTCR Race of Portugal 2021". FIA WCTR | World Touring Car Cup. Eurosport Events Limited. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  2. ^ a b Howard, Tom (22 January 2021). "WTCR unveils revised 2021 calendar with June start at Nordschleife". Autosport. Haymarket Media Group. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  3. ^ a b "2021 Sporting Regulations – WTCR - FIA World Touring Car Cup" (PDF). Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile. 5 March 2021. Retrieved 11 April 2021.
  4. ^ a b Abbott, Andrew (7 December 2017). "WTCR to feature two qualifying sessions and three races in 2018". TouringCars.net. Retrieved 31 March 2021.
  5. ^ English, Steven (4 July 2010). "Monteiro celebrates home victory". Autosport. Haymarket Publications. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  6. ^ Meissner, Johann (2 July 2007). "WTCC to the street race of Porto". Touring Car Times. Retrieved 27 March 2021.
  7. ^ Pires, Sérgio (3 July 2009). "Mundial de Turismo vai acelerar nas ruas do Porto" [World Touring Cars to accelerate on the streets of Porto]. Diário de Notícias (in Portuguese). Retrieved 4 April 2021.
  8. ^ "Règlement Sportif CMVT 2007 - 2007 WTCC Sporting Regulations" (PDF). Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile. 27 February 2007. p. 4. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 July 2007. Retrieved 5 April 2021.
  9. ^ "Priaulx e Menu vencem circuito da Boavista" [Priaulx and Menu win at the Boavista circuit]. Diário de Notícias (in Portuguese). 9 July 2007. Retrieved 4 April 2021.
  10. ^ Sousa, Hugo Daniel (8 December 2011). "Estoril no calendário, mas ainda por confirmar" [Estoril on the calendar, but still to be confirmed]. Público (in Portuguese). Retrieved 5 April 2021.
  11. ^ Briggs, Gemma (8 July 2008). "Rydell and Monteiro on top at Estoril". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 6 April 2021.
  12. ^ "WTCC set for Portimao". Eurosport. 29 May 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2021.
  13. ^ "Porto não vai contar com o Circuito da Boavista em 2015" [Porto will not rely on the Circuito da Boavista in 2015]. Público (in Portuguese). 15 October 2014. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  14. ^ Mills, Peter (3 December 2014). "Qatar replaces Macau on 2015 WTCC calendar". Autosport. Haymarket Media Group. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  15. ^ "WTCC - 2015 RACE OF PORTUGAL - Preview". Federation Internationale de l'Automobile. 6 July 2015. Retrieved 31 March 2021.
  16. ^ "Vila Real recebe etapa do WTCC a 11 e 12 de junho" [Vila Real hosts WTCC stage on 11 and 12 June]. Jornal de Notícias (in Portuguese). 4 December 2015. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  17. ^ Codling, Stuart (11 July 2015). "World Touring Car Championship drivers want Vila Real changes". Autosport. Haymarket Media Group. Retrieved 27 March 2021.
  18. ^ Hudson, Neil (11 July 2017). "Analysis: Was the WTCC's joker lap experiment a success?". Touring Car Times. Retrieved 30 March 2021 – via Motorsport.com.
  19. ^ "It's back: 'joker' lap to spice up the Vila Real WTCR action". FIA WCTR | World Touring Car Cup. Eurosport Events Limited. 19 June 2018. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
  20. ^ Cozens, Jack (3 July 2017). "FIA investigating Tom Coronel WTCC fire vehicle crash in Vila Real". Autosport. Haymarket Media Group. Retrieved 31 March 2021.
  21. ^ Cozens, Jack (22 December 2017). "WTCR announces 2018 calendar keeping most WTCC venues". Autosport. Retrieved 27 March 2021.
  22. ^ Hudson, Neil (2 July 2018). "Anatomy of a disaster – the crash at Vila Real". Touring Car Times. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
  23. ^ a b Klein, Jamie (18 April 2020). "WTCR set to unveil new 2020 schedule after Portugal round axed". Autosport. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
  24. ^ a b FIA WTCC (17 June 2017). "WTCC Race of Portugal facts and stats". Eurosport. Retrieved 31 March 2021.
  25. ^ "Bennani and Michelisz win as world premiere of WTCC joker lap proves a big hit in Vila Real". Federation Internationale de l'Automobile. 25 June 2017. Retrieved 31 March 2021.
  26. ^ "WTCR 2020: Race of Portugal refresher". FIA WTCR | World Touring Car Cup. Eurosport Events Limited. 15 February 2020. Retrieved 31 March 2021.

External links[edit]