WTCC season to begin in Marrakesh with 15-car entry

The WTCC season will begin in Marrakesh this weekend with only 15 cars on the grid, with RC Motorsport only fielding a single entry for the Moroccan race.

WTCC season to begin in Marrakesh with 15-car entry
Yann Ehrlacher, RC Motorsport Lada Vesta
Yann Ehrlacher, M.Racing
Yann Ehrlacher, RC Motorsport, Lada Vesta
Norbert Michelisz, Honda Racing Team JAS, Honda Civic WTCC
Thed Björk, Polestar Cyan Racing, Volvo S60 Polestar TC1
John Filippi, Sébastien Loeb Racing, Citroën C-Elysée WTCC
Tom Coronel, Roal Motorsport, Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1

The French team is working on finding a driver to race its second Lada Vesta from the next round at Monza, but will run only Yann Erhlacher for the season-opener.

It means the WTCC will have its lowest grid to date with just 15 cars taking the start in North Africa, but with the 16th due from the next race meeting in Italy at the end of the month.

Under WTCC sporting regulations, an event can be cancelled if fewer than 16 cars are entered.

This is often misunderstood to be a minimum requirement for a World Championship entry, when in fact it’s more to do with commercial clauses with the circuits.

“In fairness, I don’t think we’ll get the second Lada in Marrakech, I think it will be a bit short [of the 16-car target],” admitted WTCC promoter Francois Ribeiro last month.

“It’s not impossible that we’ll have some race-by-race entries above the full-season ones. We’re still working on it."

As a result, Honda will be the most represented manufacturer on the grid this weekend with five cars - three factory entries from JAS Motorsport, and two by Hungarian private team Zengo Motorsport.

There will be four Citroen C-Elysee WTCCs on the grid, all run in a private capacity, with three being entered by Sebastien Loeb Racing, and one by Munnich Motorsport.

Polestar Cyan Racing will field three factory Volvo S60 TC1s, while there are also two independent Chevrolet RML Cruzes, and the lone RC Lada Vesta for newcomer Ehrlacher making up the entry.

Neil Hudson / TouringCarTimes

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