NASCAR restructures manufacturers’ points system

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One day after NASCAR CEO Brian France mentioned the possibility of future changes to the Sprint Cup drivers’ points system, the sanctioning body has announced tweaks to its manufacturers’ points structure effective with this coming season.

“We have always focused on intensifying the natural rivalries between our manufacturers – both on the race track and in the showroom,” NASCAR VP of competition/racing development Robin Pemberton said in a statement.

“We believe aligning the points system with the owner points will create better understanding for the entire industry, and bolster interest and excitement with our fan base, which has shown intense manufacturer loyalty throughout the sport’s history.”

The new system, which will be in use across all three NASCAR national series (Sprint Cup, Nationwide, and Camping World Truck), now mirrors the structure seen with the owners’ championship.

In each race, points will be awarded to the single highest finisher from each manufacturer according to the finishing position awarded:

  • Sprint Cup: 43-1, plus bonus points
  • Nationwide: 43-4, plus bonus points
  • Trucks: 43-8, plus bonus points

Three extra bonus points will be awarded to the manufacturer for a race win. The single highest finisher from each manufacturer will receive one extra bonus point for leading a lap, and one extra bonus point for leading the most laps.

The folks at NASCAR were kind enough to leave a Sprint Cup example: Under the new manufacturers’ points system, let’s say Toyota sweeps the top three positions in a race and the winning Toyota leads the most laps in the race.

That means 43 points for finishing first plus five bonus points (three for the win, one for single lap led, one for most laps led), meaning Toyota gets 48 manufacturer points for that race.

Now, let’s add a Chevrolet driver finishing fourth but leading no laps – that means the Bowtie will get the standard 40 points for a fourth-place finish.

Should two of the manufacturers be tied in points at the end of the season, the one with the most victories that season gets the manufacturer’s championship.

If there is a tie in wins, then the tie will be broken by the most second-place finishes, followed by third-place finishes, and so on. And if a tie somehow still remains, the manufacturer with the earliest win of the current season will take the title.

Ticktum takes dramatic Macau GP win as leaders crash on last lap

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British youngster Dan Ticktum took a dramatic victory in the 64th Macau Grand Prix on Sunday after the leading two cars crashed out at the final corner on the last lap of the race.

In an incident-packed race that saw front-row starters Joel Eriksson and Callum Ilott clash early on amid a litany of Full Course Yellows, Brazilian racer Sergio Sette Camara was able to move into the lead ahead of Ferdinand Habsburg and Maximilian Günther.

Günther’s pace dropped off in the closing stages as he struggled to keep his tires alive, causing a train of cars to form up behind him including McLaren youngster Lando Norris and the Red Bull-backed Ticktum.

Ticktum pulled off a brilliant double-pass on Norris and Günther around the outside of Lisboa to move up to third, with Sette Camara and Habsburg dueling for position right the way to the finish.

Habsburg attempted a brave pass around the outside of the Mandarin kink, but was forced to wait until the penultimate straight before he got a tow and was able to pass for the lead.

Drama then struck when both Habsburg and Sette Camara ran wide and crashed into the wall exiting the final fast right-hander by their own accord, paving the way for Ticktum to charge through to victory.

Norris and Ralf Aron benefited from the crashes to score second and third place respectively, while Habsburg was able to get to the checkered flag in fourth on three wheels.