WTCC introduces Friday test sessions, drops warm-ups

The 2014 FIA World Touring Car Championship will see the introduction of fixed testing sessions at 11 of the 12 rounds, which will take place on the Friday ahead of the weekend, and will drop the early morning 15 minute warm up sessions from Sunday.

The only exceptions will be at the Moscow and Macau events. The race at the Moscow Raceway will not have a Friday test session, while Macau’s test session will take place as usual on Thursday, with qualifying on Friday and no WTCC track activity on the Saturday.

In recent years, Friday testing has been reserved only for new circuits to the calendar to allow the teams and drivers more time to learn the circuit. Paul Ricard is the only all-new circuit to the 2014 WTCC calendar, although the Championship hasn’t visited the Belgian Spa-Francorchamps circuit since 2005.

The 15 minute warm up which took place at somewhere between 8:30 and 9:30 local time on the Sunday has been dropped, meaning there will be no track activity for the cars between the new Q3 top five qualifying shoot-out and the first race on Sunday.

Typical weekend format for the 2014 WTCC

Testing (30 minutes)

Free Practice 1 (30 minutes)
Free Practice 2 (30 minutes)
Qualifying 1 (20 minutes, 30 minutes on street circuits)
Qualifying 2 (10 minutes, 15 minutes on street circuits)
Qualifying 3 (Top 5 cars, one lap each)

Race 1 (60km, previously 50 or 60km)
Race 2 (60km, previously 50 or 60km)