The Macau Grand Prix has been dropped by the World Touring Car Championship for next season, Eurosport Events confirmed yesterday. The news has been circulating in the paddock for some time but the official confirmation only surfaced yesterday, as next season’s calendar was revealed.
For the last decade, the Guia track has hosted the WTCC season finale but in 2015 Qatar will do the honours with a night race on the Losail circuit, the FIA World Motorsport Council has decided.
“As much as the Macau Grand Prix has helped the WTCC to get a first taste of racing in Asia, we now have a solid broadcast base in the region and a presence in China, Japan and now Thailand,” explained François Ribeiro, Eurosport Events’ Chief Operating Officer. “We take this opportunity to thank the Macau Grand Prix organisers for having hosted us since 2005”.
“The WTCC has matured over its 10 years of existence and we have therefore decided to look for new alternatives in a new region that can open up new markets, better TV schedules and be closer to our home base, allowing the material to return quicker to Europe”, Ribeiro concluded.
WTCC will still race Asian rounds in Shanghai, Japan and Thailand as well as Qatar.
Meanwhile, the Macau Grand Prix Committee is closing in on an agreement with the newly created Touring Car 3 International Series, as during this year’s racing weekend some teams told Business Daily that Macau would host a TC3 race in 2015.
There are other signs that TC3 will race in Macau. So far, the provisional calendar of the series has 12 races, five to be raced in Asia, five in Europe and two in America. All race locales are known save for the championship finale, which has yet to be announced. However according to the organisation the last race of the championship will take place in Asia, during November, which is the traditional time of the Macau Grand Prix.
This notwithstanding, the official announcement should take some time as last Monday João Costa Antunes, the Coordinator of the Grand Prix Committee, said it should be some months until there was news about next year’s Grand Prix.