The European Rallycross TouringCar Championship will be wound up by the FIA from the end of next year.
The rear-wheel drive category, which is currently run over five of the European-based World Rallycross Championship rounds, will be continue to exist in 2018 as an FIA championship, but run over three rounds.
The FIA’s Off-Road Commission chairman Andy Lasure revealed exclusively to Motorsport News that a consistent lack of entries, and the majority of drivers’ hailing from just one country has led to it bringing the series to an end.
“Already. for many years, it has [TouringCar] only been a Norwegian championship. It’s not an international championship. One Belgian and one Swedish [driver], but normally just Norwegians,” he told MN. “We will do three races next year, then we will stop it.”
The category was introduced as an FIA Rallycross Cup in 2007. As a European Championship, it hit peak popularity at the turn of the decade, but in 2014 only four drivers contested the full year.
The number of rounds for the Euro RX categories was reduced for 2015 to make it more feasible to contest a full campaign and although initially stronger in 2015, TouringCar numbers have lessened, while the Supercar and Super1600 championships have grown in strength. Just six drivers have contested every round of the 2017 TouringCar season so-far.
“For three or four years we have spoken about there not being not enough TouringCars,” continued Lasure. “In the beginning when we started with it, it was good.”
Asked which World RX rounds the two-litre cars will feature at in 2018, Lasure said; “It will be three rounds next year, we will know [the calendar] in October. I think maybe Norway and Sweden, but I don’t know.”
He also confirmed that the Euro RX Super1600 series is set to continue for the foreseeable future.
Several drivers have graduated from TouringCar to compete at a rallycross’ top level, including World RX event-winner Robin Larsson, newly crowned European Rallycross Supercar champion Anton Marklund and Euro RX Supercar racer, Derek Tohill.
The class will not be replaced at World RX events. Lasure confirmed that space may need to be made for the potential of an electric rallycross category, as revealed by World RX promotor IMG recently, which could happen as soon as 2020.
“Not for the moment, no [the class won’t be replaced],” he said. “Because of electric cars coming and so on.”
The fifth and final round of the 2017 TouringCar championship takes place next weekend at Buxtehude in Germany. 2011 champion Lars Oivind Enerberg leads the series and is likely to claim the title.