WTCC boss hails new two-day race format for Macau

WTCC promoter Francois Ribeiro has said he’s delighted with the alterations to the race weekend format made for this year’s event, with the Guia Race’s two heats taking place on different days – with the opening race taking place at 7:10 CET on Saturday, a ‘watchable’ time in Europe.

The WTCC returns after just two years away from the famous Macanese street circuit, and for the first time with their revised race format, with the reversed grid race now the first event of the weekend. This race will be held on Saturday afternoon in Macau, on a day where previously the touring cars have had a “Monaco Grand Prix-style” day off, with both their races usually run on Sunday morning Macau time, effectively the middle of the night in Europe.

The Guia circuit hosts the penultimate event of the 2017 calendar, with the Losail International Circuit in Qatar still set to host the season finale on 1st December.

“We expect Macau to be a season highlight for the WTCC,” said Ribeiro. “I’m grateful to the Macau Grand Prix Organising Committee for accommodating our request to run our opening race on Saturday afternoon. This will drive a larger international audience in Asia, Europe and the Middle East across which the WTCC benefits from consistent live TV coverage.

“Macau may well be a decisive for both the drivers’ and manufacturers’ championships. Every point will count, and we all know how demanding the Macau track is for teams and drivers.”