Sepang added to 2019 WTCR calendar

Jack Cozens

The Malaysian circuit has not hosted a round of the new-for-2018 WTCR world cup or its World Touring Car Championship predecessor previously, but was the venue for the first race for the TCR cars that now compete in the series - the inaugural round of the TCR International Series.

It has been added to the 2019 WTCR calendar and will host the season finale after November's Macau round, although it has not yet been assigned a precise date.

Sepang takes the place of the Wuhan street circuit for 2019 which, as previously reported by Motorsport.com, has dropped off next year's schedule due to the proximity of the original date to the Military World Games being held in the city.

The Slovakia Ring has also secured a spot on the 2019 schedule. It hosted a round of this year's championship, but only as a replacement for the cancelled Termas de Rio Hondo round in Argentina

That event takes place on the May 11-12 weekend and is the third round of the season, which will once again kick off on the Moulay El Hassan street circuit in Marrakech on the April 6-7 weekend before the series visits the Hungaroring on the last weekend in April.

The series' centrepiece events on the Nurburgring Nordschleife - in support of the Nurburgring 24 Hours, which this year takes place in June - in Vila Real in Portugal and on the Macau Grand Prix undercard have all been retained for 2019.

Only the Zandvoort round, scheduled to take place a week after the visit to Slovakia - is yet to be confirmed.

Points system simplified

Publication of the decisions of the WMSC also revealed the series will adopt a simplified points system for each race that extends down to 15th place, as reported by Motorsport.com.

The move was initially approved unanimously by teams as well as the FIA's touring car commission, and was ratified during Wednesday's meeting.

While the series previously employed different systems for the top 10 finishers in each of the three races taking place during a weekend, it will now adopt a universal scale that allows cars finishing in the top 15 to score.

That scale is as follows: 25 - 20 - 16 - 13 - 11 - 10 - 9 - 8 - 7 - 6 - 5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1.

Points will also be allocated to the top five in the first qualifying session at each event. In 2018, this measure was only in place for the Q3 runners in the second qualifying session.

The maximum number of entries for the 2019 season has also been increased from 28 to 32 - Cyan Racing will join the series with Geely brand Lynk & Co - while a two-car team limit limit on entries per brand was also approved.