THE Race of Qatar will remain as the World Touring Car Championship’s (WTCC) season-ending event in 2017, for the third year in a row, after the calendar was released by the sport’s global governing body FIA last week.
The Losail International Circuit recently hosted this season’s final race, which was also the swan song of WTCC legend Yvan Muller.
The Race of Qatar, to be held on November 30 and December 1, is the only night event on the 10-leg event held across four continents starting with Marrakech, Morocco, on April 7.
Though Morocco has been on the WTCC calendar since 2014, it is for the first time that the street circuit in Marrakech will host the season opener. The Paul Ricard venue in France had been hosting the season opener in the last few years. With home hero Mehdi Bennani in action, a large number of fans are expected to turn up for the Morocco event.
A notable feature on the calendar is the return of Macau Grand Prix. Macau, a special administrative region of China, hosted the traditional WTCC season-ending race from 2005 to 2014 before it went to Qatar. The Circuit de Guia will this time host the penultimate race.
Three races — France, Slovakia and Russia — have been dropped from last year’s schedule which had 11 events. Italy’s Monza circuit is the second addition.