The third season of the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup gets underway at Circuit Zolder in Belgium this weekend following months of planning and preparation to ensure the category’s safe return.
Even before the COVID-19 protocols have been finalised, WTCR promoter Eurosport Events, in partnership with the FIA, had made significant adjustments in response to the pandemic by introducing a Europe-only schedule of race and implementing a number of cost-cutting measures.
While those changes helped to grow the all-season entry list to an impressive 20 cars, all the endeavour to achieve such a strong number would have been in vein had it not been for the strict working practices necessitated by COVID-19.
Under the direction of its Medical Commission President, Professor Gérard Saillant, the FIA, the governing body of world motor sport, developed protocols and procedures to manage the risk associated with the resumption of motor sport amid the constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Essentially, the Appendix S protocols and learnings taken from the recent FIA Formula One World Championship events have been translated to the WTCR to coincide with the resumption of competition of a number of FIA-regulated events.
The expanded scope of the Appendix S of the International Sporting Code, approved on September 1 by the World Motor Sport Council, includes the same key sanitary measures: mandatory social distancing, PCR pre-testing, wearing of face masks and hand hygiene, creation of team groups and sub-groups, with adapted implementation to a smaller organisational structure. They are designed to limit the risk of transmission of COVID-19. Trace procedures are also in place along with containment measures in the case of a suspected case.
Equally, podium procedures and press conferences are running under modified formats. The measures will vary from round to round and will depend on the guidelines and regulations issued by the relevant local health authorities.
The FIA is the first international sports federation to have resumed its activities at the international level thanks to the strict sanitary protocols.
Appendix S is available here.
Source : Fia