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WTCC set for points system tweaks in 2017

The World Touring Car Championship will look to make changes to its current points system in 2017, according to series promoter Francois Ribeiro.

start action, Tom Coronel, Roal Motorsport, Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1 leads
Tom Coronel, Roal Motorsport, Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1
Start action, race 1
Start Race 1, Tiago Monteiro, Honda Racing Team JAS, Honda Civic WTCC, leads
François Ribeiro, Eurosport Events Motorsport Director
Norbert Michelisz, Honda Racing Team JAS, Honda Civic WTCC, Tiago Monteiro, Honda Racing Team JAS, Honda Civic WTCC, Rob Huff, Honda Racing Team JAS, Honda Civic WTCC in MAC3 qualifying
Yvan Muller, Citroën World Touring Car Team, Citroën C-Elysée WTCC; Mehdi Bennani, Sébastien Loeb Racing, Citroën C-Elysée WTCC; José María López, Citroën World Touring Car Team, Citroën C-Elysée WTCC
MAC3 Qualifying, Gabriele Tarquini, LADA Sport Rosneft, Lada Vesta; Hugo Valente, LADA Sport Rosneft, Lada Vesta; Nicky Catsburg, LADA Sport Rosneft, Lada Vesta
MAC3 Qualifying, José María López, Citroën World Touring Car Team, Citroën C-Elysée WTCC;
Rob Huff, Honda Racing Team JAS, Honda Civic WTCC
Mehdi Bennani, Sébastien Loeb Racing, Citroën C-Elysée WTCC
Hugo Valente, LADA Sport Rosneft, Lada Vesta; José María López, Citroën World Touring Car Team, Citroën C-Elysée WTCC

Ribeiro said the championship's teams have agreed to change the points distribution between the reverse-grid Race 1 and Race 2, and to award more points for the post-qualifying MAC3 competition.

Unlike several other major championships - most notably GP2 and GP3 - that award fewer points for the reverse-grid races than the main races, the WTCC has a uniform points system for all of its races - although it does award bonus points for qualifying.

"We discussed the distribution of points between [reverse-grid] opening race and main race," Ribeiro told Motorsport.com.

"I don't know in which scale, but I think there is a consensus from teams that main race should give more points."

Meanwhile, MAC3, which earns points towards the manufacturers' standings, is currently scored on a 10-8-6 system, with Ribeiro keen to increase both the points paid and the point gaps within the system.

"I made no secret that I want MAC3 to give more points," he added. "I want MAC3 to be more decisive for the manufacturers title and all the manufacturers agreed on this.

"It is a good exercise to promote the manufacturers' championship, but we have to make it more important, more appealing, more attractive.

"Giving more points is the best incentive for manufacturers to put three competitive drivers, of a homogeneous level.

"I don't think we necessarily have to change the format of MAC3. If you give it more points, it will automatically will become more important in the weekend.

"And probably more gap in between first, second, third, fourth. Today not only there is not much points, but not much gap. If tomorrow you have five points between the first and second, or 10 points between the first and the third, then you really fight for it."

No need for overtaking assists

Ribeiro also said that he was not keen on overtaking assists that are used in many major motorsport series around the world, as they would not gel with "the identity of touring car racing".

Asked about Formula E's Fanboost, he said: "Fanboost is perfect for Formula E. because it has to create its own fanbase, a totally new fanbase.

"The reality is Formula E is recruiting more fans outside of motorsport's fanbase than from within it.

"To recruit audience outside of the motorsport fanbase, they have to engage with it - and to engage with it, I think it's okay to do Fanboost.

"But to do it in WTCC, WEC, F1 or WRC... I don't know. I think is good as it is."

He added: "I don't like fakes. I'm not a fan of DRS, I'm not a fan of push-to-pass. I prefer a race with maybe only three or four overtakes, but real ones where drivers will have taken a risk to overtake than drivers that press a button to overtake.

"I think the identity of touring car is though racing, door-to-door, bumper-to-bumper, but not push-to-pass."

Interview by Federico Faturos

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