The new World Touring Car Championship, which takes the place of the ETCC from next season, has been officially launched in Monte Carlo.

The new championship will be run over 20 races at ten venues in nine countries around the world and will feature some of the top touring car stars, including ETCC champion Andy Priaulx and young British charger Rob Huff - who will be part of a three car effort from Chevrolet.

FIA president Max Mosley helped to launch the new championship and said he was looking forward to seeing the new championship joining F1 and the WRC as an official FIA World Championship.

"I am delighted that after its continued success, the European Touring Car Championship has now achieved World Championship status," he said. "The new Championship will award two World titles, the FIA World Touring Car Drivers' Champion and the FIA World Touring Car Manufacturers' Champion.

"We welcome eight manufacturers to the new Championship - Alfa Romeo, BMW, Chevrolet, Ford, and Seat as well as Honda and Peugeot. For the first time a Chinese Manufacturer, Brilliance, will compete in a World Championship.

"I very much look forward to the first season of what I am convinced will be a very exciting new Championship which will include ten events across three Continents. I would also take the opportunity to thank our commercial and broadcast partners KSO and Eurosport for the outstanding work they have done in developing this new World Championship."

World Touring Car Calendar:

10 April Italy - Monza
01 May France - Magny-Cours
15 May England - Silverstone
29 May Italy - Imola
26 June Mexico - Puebla
30 July Belgium - Spa-Francorchamps
28 August Germany - Oschersleben
18 September Turkey - Istanbul
02 October Spain - Valencia
20 November China - Macau