FIA WTCC Adopt New Qualifying Format

Apart from the modifications brought to the Formula 1 and WRC racing series for the upcoming seasons, FIA also brought some changes to the World Touring Car Championship for 2009. The new rules were announced by the international body following the meeting held by the World Motor Sport Council in Monaco on Friday and concerns the qualifying format.

Starting 2009, the FIA WTCC qualifying session will adopt the Formula 1 style and be divided into two parts. All drivers will start the first part of the qualifying session trying to set the 10 fastest times in order to advance to the second qualifying part.

The ten drivers will then be erased the times from the first qualifying session and start all over again, with the new times being taken into consideration when setting up the grid for the Sunday race. This system was successfully used in both Formula 1 and the World Superbike Championship (Super Pole) in the past few seasons.

The grid positions from 11 onward will be configured after the times set during the first qualifying session. The results will only affect the grid for Race 1 on Sunday, with the Top 8 for the second race being decided upon the first race results – first 8 drivers in reversed order.

The two qualifying sessions will have 20 minutes (Q1) and 10 minutes (Q2) respectively. However, when the FIA WTCC caravan visits street car courses, the duration of the 2 qualifying sessions will be extended to 30 and 15 minutes respectively.
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