Marcello Lotti, the general manager of the World Touring Car Championship, has said he feels the 2012 season was a 'positive' one for the series - despite the loss of champions Chevrolet at the end of the campaign.
The 2012 season saw the series visit the USA for the first time while Ford – through Team Aon – joined the grid for a full season. LADA also returned for two events mid-season while Honda's new Civic debuted in the final three meetings of the year ahead of a full-season entry in 2013.
Citroen is also known to be evaluating a WTCC programme with Sebastien Loeb from 2014 onwards – when new regulations are set to be introduced by the FIA – and Lotti said it all pointed towards a solid future for the series after a successful year on track.
“We must consider 2012 as a positive year, although it was still under the influence of the global financial crisis,” he said. “Compared to other motorsport series, WTCC benefited from a few positive happening.
“The success of the first event in the USA that was boosted by the local promoter's enthusiasm, the participation of the Ford brand in the whole season and the arrival of Honda in the last races, the interest to join shown by new manufacturers like Citroën, and the FIA's active role in planning a technical evolution of the series.
“All this proves that interest is growing again for the WTCC and touring car racing in general.”
Lotti also admitted he delight at the fact that the championship title again went to the wire in Macau, where Rob Huff wrapped up the crown for the first time after a season-long fight with fellow Chevrolet drivers Alain Menu and Yvan Muller.
“It was good that the title fight went to the wire once again, which is a kind of a trademark for WTCC,” he said. “Rob Huff is a worthy champion. It would be useless spending words to praise his skills, because when a driver wins a world championship it means he's a good one.
“As a promoter, I am delighted to see someone who began racing in a national single make trophy, growing up to the point to become world champion. It is something gratifying for the category.”