The British Touring Car Championship has issued its calendar for the 2021 season – before the 2020 campaign has even kicked off.
Ten triple-header rounds at eight circuits make up the schedule, which this time reverts to its traditional bookending dates at Brands Hatch.
The 2020 schedule broke from BTCC habit by switching its opening round from the Brands Indy Circuit to Donington Park, and that remained the case when the revised calendar was issued for the series’ return following the COVID-19-enforced hiatus, with action for this season kicking off at the East Midlands venue on 1-2 August.
But Brands is back for the start of 2021, with the Indy Circuit hosting the opener on 3-4 April.
As usual, the Kent circuit’s Grand Prix layout will stage the finale, which is scheduled for 9-10 October. That was also supposed to be the case in 2020, although the enforced pushback of the calendar into November has meant a swap of Brands’s GP and Indy dates and it will this year finish on the shorter option.
Thruxton also has the honour of hosting a second event, as it did in 2019.
Silverstone was supposed to replace the Hampshire speedbowl in hosting two rounds in 2020, with an inaugural BTCC round on the International Circuit planned, but that event bit the dust when the slimmed-down revised schedule was issued.
With Silverstone’s 2021 date set for the National Circuit, that seems to nip any short-term chances of the series racing on the International layout in the bud.
The championship will also wend its way through its annual trips to Donington, Oulton Park, Croft, Snetterton and Knockhill.
The BTCC confirmed that ITV4 will continue to show live coverage of each Sunday race day.
BTCC boss Alan Gow said: “Well, this is certainly a new first for the BTCC – issuing the following year’s calendar before the current season has even begun… but I’m sure everyone will agree that it’s nice to see some ‘normality’ returning to the schedule.
“Having said that, with our first 2020 event now less than two weeks away at Donington Park, there is phenomenal enthusiasm for getting this season under way amongst our teams, supporters and partners.”
BTCC calendar 2021
3-4 April Brands Hatch Indy
17-18 April Donington Park National
8-9 May Thruxton
15-16 May Oulton Park Island
12-13 June Croft
31 July-1 August Snetterton 300
14-15 August Knockhill
28-29 August Thruxton
25-26 September Silverstone National
9-10 October Brands Hatch GP