For at least the next two seasons, WSC has handed the International Touring Car game to EEL by licensing the rights of the TCR formula to replace the World Touring Car Championship. Because of this, the TCR International Series will step away as the newly formed WTRC begins.
While many are questioning the move, this was a fantastic strategy play by WSC and TCR in general. Not only does this move allow for a little more exposure and a slightly “higher-end” feel by working with the FIA, but it also allows an outside hand to get in on the technical side of the format and help with the Balance of Performance. So here’s where the strategy play comes in. WSC has kept the TCR Europe Trophy in their back packet and have quietly turned the one-event championship into a full-fledged series that visits some of the greatest circuits on the planet.
Starting in May of 2018 TCR Europe Trophy will visit Le Castellet, go to Spa in June, Hungary in July, TT Assen in August, Monza in September and Barcelona in October to finish the season off. While this appears to be quite a bit smaller on paper than what TCR International Series was, it still gives TCR teams, drivers and fans a high-profile TCR series to be involved in and follow while some may be a little skeptical of what the FIA brings with WTCR.
While TCR International could come back in 2020, it’s obviously not guaranteed to. If the FIA does a good job with WTCR, then we’re in luck by getting both WTCR and TCR Europe Trophy. If WTCR is a mess, then TCR International can come back or TCR Europe Trophy can continue to morph and grow.
No matter what happens with WTCR, WSC will get a lot of great information from the FIA in terms of marketing and technical regulations. They can take that information and decide what it can do with TCR International in a few years or how it can take TCR Europe Trophy to the next level and make TCR bigger and better than ever.