World Touring Car Championship reveals Vila Real joker lap details

The World Touring Car Championship has outlined how it will use a joker lap for the first time, at Vila Real in Portugal later this month

World Touring Car Championship reveals Vila Real joker lap details

The joker lap format had been added into the championship's sporting regulations for the 2017 season and a planned first running at the season-opening Marrakech round was cancelled due to circuit restrictions and government instability.

Why joker laps are entering the mainstream

That meant a planned debut for the joker lap was delayed to June's Vila Real round and WTCC promoter Francois Ribeiro said he was pleased to see it confirmed, pending a track inspection on June 21.

"The joker lap concept works very well in rallycross, and I'm certain it will bring an extra dimension to the WTCC street race in Vila Real," he said.

"It will open up strategies for each WTCC driver, and might even change the course of the race.

"Of course we never compromise on safety so we have worked very closely with our colleagues at the FIA and with the authorities in Vila Real to put in place a route that matches our requirements but also conforms to all the rigorous safety standards."

The joker lap will be located at the circuit's final corner, Turn 26, and the route will take it away from the track's roundabout section and through a tighter left/right sequence before rejoining the start/finish straight, with an expected time loss of two seconds.

It cannot be taken until the third lap of either race with drivers free to practice the route during the first two practice sessions.

Four-time WTCC champion and Polestar development driver Yvan Muller says the joker lap will "add something new" to the championship.

"It's like the WTCC MAC3 [team time trial] Everyone said 'ah, it's a crazy thing' and so on but it's something new," he said.

"And when it's new and it shows something different, it's always good.

"We have to try new things, to bring new positive and attractive elements."

shares
comments
Muller: Teams helped cause WTCC tyre drama in Germany last weekend

Previous article

Muller: Teams helped cause WTCC tyre drama in Germany last weekend

Next article

Third ex-works Lada Vesta entered for WTCC Vila Real

Third ex-works Lada Vesta entered for WTCC Vila Real
Load comments
Why joker laps are entering the mainstream Plus

Why joker laps are entering the mainstream

This season the World Touring Car Championship looks certain to bring joker laps to a circuit-racing world championship for the first time. And it need not be the daft gimmick people may think

WTCC
Apr 6, 2017
The making of the world's best tin-top driver Plus

The making of the world's best tin-top driver

He has been overshadowed at Citroen for the last three seasons, but the retirement of Yvan Muller means the world says farewell to one of touring-car racing's finest talents

WTCC
Sep 26, 2016
Volvo's plan to conquer the WTCC Plus

Volvo's plan to conquer the WTCC

Volvo gave the World Touring Car Championship a major boost when it announced it would enter the series, but its ambitions don't stop there. JACK COZENS examines its programme, the S60 and what its arrival means for the WTCC

WTCC
Jan 18, 2016
The WTCC's Nordschleife gamble paid off Plus

The WTCC's Nordschleife gamble paid off

A 17-car field on a 13-mile track - the WTCC's Nurburgring Nordschleife gamble wasn't going to be easy to pull off. STUART CODLING explains how the series made it work

WTCC
May 20, 2015
Insight from a Nordschleife master Plus

Insight from a Nordschleife master

World championship racing returns to the Nordschleife this weekend. STUART CODLING got a lesson from one of the legendary track's few masters

WTCC
May 15, 2015
Becoming world champion for £100k Plus

Becoming world champion for £100k

The 2012 World Touring Car champion says he never had the money to race cars. Yet 2015 is his 11th season in the WTCC. He talks STUART CODLING through his journey from motorsport fan to paid professional - for little more than £100,000

WTCC
Mar 23, 2015
Can the vanquished champion bounce back? Plus

Can the vanquished champion bounce back?

The World Touring Car Championship kicks off in Argentina this weekend, and Yvan Muller bids to reclaim his throne from Citroen team-mate Jose Maria Lopez. He talks to STUART CODLING

WTCC
Mar 6, 2015
The top 10 WTCC drivers of 2014 Plus

The top 10 WTCC drivers of 2014

Citroen had no rivals during the 2014 World Touring Car Championship, and 'rookie' Jose Maria Lopez hit the ground running to emerge as a worthy champion. PETER MILLS rates the field

WTCC
Dec 3, 2014