The all-electric PURE ETCR touring car championship series will be run using rallycross-style heats that will be trialled in a series of events this year.
The Discovery-backed series will use a spec battery and powertrain but, as is the case in WTCR, manufacturers will be free to develop their own chassis and bodyshapes.
A promotional event at the Goodwood Festival of Speed (July 9-12), where one example of cars from each manufacturer will set a timed run up the hill, will mark the series’ debut. Four demonstration events during the rest of the year will then allow the organisers to assess the intended race format.
The series expects ‘four or five’ manufacturers to run cars this year, with a sixth joining for 2021.
Cupra and Hyundai have already started testing, while Alfa Romeo’s programme is set to begin shortly.
At present, the events will feature a series of ‘battles’, where four cars will compete over a short distance.
The points accumulated through these will determine who progresses to the longer final, and ultimately determine who is crowned King or Queen of the weekend.
In a unique twist, there will be no qualifying – with all four cars lining up alongside one another in greyhound racing style gates. When the gates open, the race starts.
Goodyear was confirmed as the series’ first founding partner. As is the case in Formula E, it will provide a single spec of treaded tyre that can be used in dry or wet conditions.
Williams Advanced Engineering, which produced the battery for the Gen 1 Formula E car, and is the supplier to Extreme-E, is the battery provider.
The 62kw/h unit will be good for 300kw of power (roughly 400bhp) rising to 500kw (approx. 680bhp) when the push-to-pass boost is enabled. Magelec Propulsion will provide the powertrain for the rear-wheel drive racers, which will tip the scales at 1575kg.
The car concept is the brainchild of TCR founder Marcelo Lotti, who aims to have regional versions of the series running in 2022, a year after the full season is launched with eight rounds – of which only 50% will be in Europe. WTCR promoter Eurosport Events is behind the series idea.
Pure-ETCR will share the stage with the WTCR at some of those events, and Eurosport Head of Events Francois Ribero is banking on conventional touring car fans embracing the latest development in the electrification of motorsport
“PURE ETCR aligns with the automotive industry’s rapid move towards electrification and we are extremely proud to launch this new global series today,” he said.
“For more than 60 years, touring car racing has been about showcasing the cars you can buy in the dealership within the intense and high-pressure environment of the racetrack.
“Our aspiration was to build a new category using all the ingredients that make touring car racing a favourite with fans while also promoting new electric technology that fits perfectly with our concepts of flat-out racing, wheel-to-wheel battles and high performance.
“PURE ETCR will have all the key ingredients to appeal to motorsport fans and to help shift the perception of electric vehicles into one that shows they are fun, aspirational and fast, while also giving the largest automotive manufacturers a racing platform on which they can showcase their latest electric cars on a global scale.”