GT Sport, promoters of the successful GT Open Series, planned to launch the new-for-2017 TC Open series featuring 2 liter, front wheel drive touring cars, including those from the TCR category. Due to low entry numbers, however, the series had to delay their initial May season-opener at Spa, then also cancel their next round at Paul Ricard which was supposed to happen this weekend. The series, who’d planned format was going to mirror that of GT Open, then decided to cancel the entire season and released this statement:
During the course of 2016, GT Sport was encouraged by a number of manufacturers, teams, sponsors and organizers, to launch a European touring car series within the framework of GT Open / Euroformula racing weekends.
After some months of intense work, GT Sport presented last December to the FIA Council the proposal for a new touring car series, the TC Open, to be launched as from 2017.
Although challenging, it was an exciting project.
The first five months of the year, we have been working relentlessly to bring the project to reality. Nevertheless, at this very moment, we see ourselves forced to take the decision to postpone the launch of the series, as the current situation in the touring car racing market does not provide the sufficient entry numbers and necessary conditions to ensure the quantity and quality standards needed to succeed, and match the objectives and expectations of GT Sport and all stakeholders.
During this process, it has become clear, seeing the number of entries currently existing in almost all touring car championships, that a rethinking of the technical basis of the category is needed, in order to make touring car racing more affordable.
We would like to thank all the bodies and individuals that supported and trusted us on this project that we hope to be able to represent in the near future, as we will continue working to provide a more sustainable platform for touring car racing.
One of the committed teams, Pit Lane Competizione, has now elected to run in both the TCR International Series along and TCR Italy with Enrico Bettera driving. Italian Team Bacci and Zest Racecar Engineering were the only other teams to commit the series.