Nurburgring Nordschleife WTCC race format revealed

World Touring Car Championship promoter Francois Ribeiro has revealed details of the race format for the series' maiden visit to the Nurburgring Nordschleife in 2015

Nurburgring Nordschleife WTCC race format revealed

An early proposal to hold a one-hour race on the legendary 26km circuit has been replaced by back-to-back races of three laps each and, unusually for the WTCC, no repair time between the races.

Considerations to ensure the strongest possible television spectacle are behind the revised thinking.

"My initial idea was a one hour with double points, with a pitstop window to change tyres and refuel," explained Eurosport Events COO Ribeiro.

"There would have been a mandatory time for the pitstop and a restricted amount of mechanics to avoid cost inflation.

"But we are going to the Nurburgring not just to provide the hardest sporting challenge for the teams and drivers but also to produce the best possible TV product.

"When we talked about the one-hour race, we knew it would be a risk with 25 cars, say, that the field could become very spread out.

"It would therefore be hard to produce something exciting. The first person who said this to me was [Citroen driver and reigning WTCC champion] Yvan Muller, bizarrely, as he has never raced there.

"He said, 'Are you sure that the grid will stay compact if we race there for one hour?' I thought maybe he was right.

"We will therefore keep the two-race format, and have two lots of three laps.

"Qualifying will decide the grid for race one. It will be a reversed-grid for race two, either reversing the top-10 from race one or from Q2, this has to be discussed at the next Touring Car Commission meeting on October 30.

"But it will be a super-quick starting procedure, no VIPs on the grid, five minutes and then we'll race again."

Television production will be an amalgamation of two crews: Eurosport will provide onboard coverage, a helicopter, relay airplane and the team that usually films the European Rally Championship, while ground coverage will also come from the Nurburgring 24 Hours organiser the ADAC's own crew.

The WTCC will organise an official Nordschleife test for teams on April 27, when the circuit has been booked exclusively for its teams.

Ribeiro welcomed the possibility of WTCC teams hiring Nordschleife specialists as ringers for a one-off appearance in the championship.

"I am absolutely convinced we will have expert Nurburgring drivers brought in," added Ribeiro.

"Some teams will try to find the best solution. It's good, as that will likely bring a bit more 'Germany' onto the WTCC grid."

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