The new FIA WTCR World Touring Car Cup kicks off in Marrakesh next week, with a full 25 driver, 7 marque field confirmed ahead of the green flag on Sunday.
Having gone through something of a difficult period in the history of the championship over the last few seasons, the FIA and Eurosport Events had to do something dramatic in 2018 in order to revive this once great touring car championship, and following a major shake up over the winter months the FIA WTCR series looks likely to be in the best shape it has been since the series heyday back in the mid 2000's.
Gone for this season are the spectacular but expensive TC1 regulation cars, replaced by the mighty popular and cost effective TCR regulation machines, opening up the grid to an impressive 26 car field for Marrakesh, containing no less that four former WTCC title winners and the reigning TCR International Series champion, aboard seven different brand of car in what is set to be the most promising season start to the series in the last 10 years.
With a new three race format taking shape for 2018 alongside the new regulation of car and several new and returning drivers, pre season testing has never held such importance as it did earlier today, with the newly branded Cupra TCR of OSCARO by Campos Racing heading the timesheets in testing at the Barcelona circuit during all full day of running for the new 2018 field of drivers, minus a poorly Rob Huff anyway...
WTCR Barcelona Testing Times (Combined)
- 1:54.443 - John Filippi - Team Oscaro by Campos Racing - Cupra
- 1:54.698 - Pepe Oriola - Team Oscaro by Campos Racing - Cupra
- 1:55.452 - Aurélien Panis - Comtoyou Racing - Audi
- 1:55.663 - Nathanaël Berthon - Comtoyou Racing - Audi
- 1:55.782 - Frédéric Vervisch - AUDI Sport Team COMTOYOU - Audi
- 1:55.782 - Yann Erlacher - ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport - Audi
- 1:55.802 - Mehdi Bennani - Sébastien Loeb Racing - VW
- 1:55.804 - Aurélien Comte - DG Sport Competition - Peugeot
- 1:55.893 - Benjamin Lessennes - Boutsen Ginion Racing - Honda
- 1:55.910 - Mato Homola - DG Sport Competition - Peugeot
- 1:55.917 - Gabriele Tarquini - BRC Racing Team - Hyundai
- 1:56.003 - Gianni Morbidelli - Team Mulsanne - Alfa Romeo
- 1:56.045 - Denis Dupont - Comtoyou Racing - Audi
- 1:56.047 - Esteban Guerrieri - ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport - Honda
- 1:56.051 - Jean-Karl Vernay - Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team - Audi
- 1:56.078 - Norbert Michelisz - BRC Racing Team - Hyundai
- 1:56.109 - Fabrizio Giovanardi - Team Mulsanne - Alfa Romeo
- 1:56.214 - Norbert Nagy - Zengo Motorsport - Cupra
- 1:56.244 - Yvan Muller - YMR - Hyundai
- 1:56.433 - Thed Björk - YMR - Hyundai
- 1:56.447 - James Thompson - ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport - Honda
- 1:56.495 - Gordon Shedden - Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team - Audi
- 1:56.698 - David Zsabo - Zengo Motorsport - Cupra
- 1:56.847 - Tom Coronel - Boutsen Ginion Racing - Honda
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Looking forward to the new WTCR series? Who is your shout for champion elect in 2018? Let us know in the comments section below!