That partially-reversed grid moves to the opening race in 2016, with the initial order set by times in the second phase of qualifying.
The third and final part of qualifying will then set the grid for the second race, to be the designated 'main race'.
"We never found it easy to explain to fans, media and guests the Race 1/Race 2 concept, with the pole man not starting on the front row for the last race of the weekend," WTCC promoter Francois Ribeiro said.
"Together with the FIA, manufacturers, teams and drivers, we took the collective decision to simplify the race format.
"The objective is to increase the spectacle and make the structure of the weekend easier to explain by ensuring we leave the best to last, which is the case with the vast majority of sports.
"At the same time, it was very important to keep the reverse grid format for what is now the opening race."
In the other changes, Argentina moves from March to August - pending final promoter agreements - while the Slovakiaring round comes forward from June to April.
"The intention is for the calendar to have 12 events but the agreement with the potential new venue is not there yet," Ribeiro said.
"Providing all elements of the deal fall into place we hope to announce the final calendar with 12 weekends prior to the Christmas break.
"Otherwise, we have kept the same venues in a number of key markets that provide the challenge and prestige we crave, plus the variety."
2016 WORLD TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP CALENDAR March 20 TBC April 3 Paul Ricard, France April 17 Slovakia Ring, Slovakia April 24 Hungaroring, Hungary May 8 Marrakech, Morocco May 28 Nurburgring Nordschleife, Germany June 12 Vila Real, Portugal August 7 Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo, Argentina September 4 Motegi, Japan September 25 Shanghai International Circuit, China November 6 Buriram, Thailand November 27 Losail International Circuit, Qatar
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