WTCC ‘joker’ laps set to thrill fans

WTCC ‘joker’ laps set to thrill fans

01/12/2016 at 05:00Updated 01/12/2016 at 22:54

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The introduction of ‘joker laps’ in next season’s FIA World Touring Car Championship will add an “extra dimension” to the Marrakech and Vila Real street tracks.

François Ribeiro, Head of Eurosport Events, the WTCC promoter, is behind the exciting initiative and reckons fans will relish the spectacle.

“The ‘joker’ lap works so well in rallycross, so why would it not open up strategies in WTCC street races?” said Ribeiro. “It will bring an extra dimension to Marrakech and Vila Real where we think the local promoter will have enough space to implement an alternative route without compromising safety.

“The ‘joker’ lap is new in 2017, just as WTCC MAC3 was new in 2016 and the Nürburgring Nordschleife was new to the WTCC in 2015. The world is changing and I see nothing wrong to dare and bring in innovations for the benefit of the fans.”

Providing the FIA’s Safety and Circuit commissions approve their introduction, ‘joker’ laps cannot be taken until the third lap of a race and their addition at events will be subject to a full safety inspection being completed.