The FIA World Touring Car Championship has unveiled a new concept for motorsport in the form of Tour de France-style time trials.
From 2016, the WTCC manufacturers will take part in a separate MAC3 (Manufacturers Against the Clock) time trial besides the regular two races that all drivers take part in.
Each manufacturer will field three cars for each time trial, taking place soon after the conclusion of qualifying, which will all go out on track together.
The clock will start when the first car crosses the line, and will stop when all three have seen the checkered flag. The regular distance will be 10km, but only one lap at the Nordschleife in Germany.
Points will be awarded to the top six manufacturers on a sliding scale (10-8-6-3-2-1) for their championship. No drivers’ points will be on offer, with the MAC3 concept being introduced to give greater focus and weighting to the team competition.
“Every manufacturer competing in FIA world championships will tell you that the most important title to bring home is the manufacturers’ world title,” head of WTCC promoter Eurosport Events Francois Ribeiro said.
“Paradoxically, the drivers’ title always gets the most media exposure. MAC3 is designed to promote the WTCC manufacturers’ championship title in a different way and widen its appeal so that it becomes a bit more than the addition of the two best results from the drivers in each race, and a points classification at the end of each race.
“MAC3 will drive more value to WTCC factory teams, it will enhance the spectators’ experience after Qualifying, it will increase broadcast volume, it will offer new stories to media and will introduce a true collective effort parameter into the WTCC manufacturers’ championship title, which is a very positive value for a brand.
“It will require teams to line up three good and consistent drivers who will have to drive together and help each other, straight after they’ve given a very individual effort in qualifying. It will be interesting to follow the dynamic within each factory team.”
You can find out more about the MAC3 concept in the video below.