The event formats for the 2014 FIA World Touring Car Championship season have been confirmed.
Series organisers have added more fixed pre-event test sessions across the calendar, while in turn deciding the drop the Sunday morning warm-up sessions.
Friday test sessions – which traditionally existed at circuits being visited for the first time by the WTCC – will now be in place for every championship round, with the exception being the Race of Russia at Moscow Raceway. That, rather inexplicably, won’t have any pre-event testing.
The season finale at Macau will have its pre-event test on the Thursday, in line with the Guia Race’s traditional event format which excludes any on-track activity on the Saturday.
The almost universal introduction of Friday tests will give the field the opportunity to have more on-track running in their brand new cars developed under this year’s technical regulations.
The series’ traditional early-morning Sunday warm-up sessions have, in turn, been dropped. Lasting for all of fifteen minutes and staged in the early hours of daylight, the session allowed for little more than some quick system checks before Sunday’s two races.
Qualifying has now been split into three sessions. A twenty-minute Q1 session (lasting half an hour on street circuits) will serve to reduce the field to twelve runners for Q2, which will last for ten minutes (with an extra five minutes for street circuits).
The fastest five Q2 runners will then stage a single-lap shootout for pole position in Q3.
Both races will now run for a minimum distance of 60 kilometres apiece and each will be run as ‘standing start’ races, with the traditional Race 1 ‘rolling start’ now abandoned under the new regulations.
The grid order for Race 1 will be based on the final Saturday qualifying classification, while Race 2 will see the top ten qualifiers’ grid positions reversed.
Image via FIA WTCC Media