New TCN Logo

Upcoming events:

New TCN Logo

WTCC introduces MAC3 time trial for manufacturers

during the 2015 FIA WTCC World Touring Car Championship race of Portugal, Vila Real from July 10th to 12th 2015. Photo Alexandre Guillaumot / DPPI.The World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) will feature an innovative new concept for the 2016 season, with manufacturers competing in a Tour de France-style time trial for additional points in the manufacturers’ championship.

The new Manufacturers Against the Clock (MAC3) session will take place immediately after qualifying on the Saturday of each event and will feature three nominated drivers from each manufacturer competing for additional points in the title hunt.

The new format has been inspired by the Tour de France and has been approved by the FIA Touring Car Commission, and will now follow the FIA approval procedure for inclusion in the WTCC Sport Regulations from 2016 onwards.

- Advertisement -

“Every manufacturer competing in FIA world championships will tell you that the most important title to bring home is the manufacturers’ world title,” explained Eurosport Events’ COO François Ribeiro. “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.”

The session will be run as a time trial, with the clock starting when the first of three cars from a manufacturer cross the line. The clock stops when the last of the cars has completed the required number of laps, which at the Nürburgring Nordschleife will be one lap and at all other circuits a minimum of 10 kilometres.

The fastest team of three will win MAC3 at each event, with points allocated on a 10-8-6-3-2-1 basis.

“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,” added Ribeiro, who is known to admire the way cycling is presented in the media. “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. There have been many occasions when we have witnessed driving mistakes in Q3. If a selected driver is over-driving in MAC3, he will penalise the entire team. If the drivers are running too far apart from each other, they will be too conservative. The closer they are to each other, the risk of a collision increases.

“I am curious to see what strategy car manufacturers will deploy on each circuit, especially on fast circuits such as the Nürburgring Nordschleife, and to see how drivers will execute strategies. We have creative ideas to bring this on-air in a very innovative way.”

Ribeiro added that the position of Eurosport as both the promoter and broadcaster for the series has been beneficial in the process of developing new formats.

“Eurosport Events is, at the same time, a promoter and a broadcaster. This is a good position to be in to innovate new formats and deliver a good experience to fans and viewers.

“Back in 2009, Eurosport Events sat down around the table with experts from alpine skiing and cycling to define how live broadcasting of rallying on a large scale could work and it worked very well on Rallye Monte-Carlo. There is nothing wrong with taking risks.

“We did not force MAC3 on our teams. We explained to them the benefits, involved the FIA at a very early stage, and experienced a rather positive level of openness from them in return. We will need to be effective in the way we film and communicate on MAC3 to clearly explain how it works, but I feel the risk was much higher to bring WTCC to the Nordschleife as part of Nürburgring 24 Hours!”

Whilst the new concept is only open to manufacturers’, there is the ability for independent drivers to be nominated, such as Zengő Motorsport’s Norbert Michelisz for Honda, or Sébastien Loeb Racing’s Mehdi Bennani for Citroën.

“MAC3 intends to raise the value of the WTCC Manufacturers’ title, so it will be restricted to manufacturers registered with the FIA for the WTCC,” added Ribeiro. “Still, factory teams will have the opportunity to appoint any driver they want, official or privateer, as long as they drive for the same brand.

“Nothing would prevent Citroën Racing from offering that opportunity to its privateer driver Mehdi Bennani at his home race in Marrakech, for example.”

Ribeiro also defended the increase in costs for competing manufacturers, which he believes will be offset by the boost in exposure.

“It will modestly cost each manufacturer a set of new tyres, a few litres of fuel and bit of testing to dress rehearse their strategy. In return we will increase the duration of the WTCC TV world feed by 20 per cent for each event and introduce something totally new to motorsport, which will create its own interest to spectators and viewers. I think it should be a good investment.”

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Stay Connected


Must Read

- Advertisement -

Related News

- Advertisement -


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here