The FIA World Touring Car Championship has introduced a team-based time trial format for the 2016 season.
The new system, modelled after the Tour de France time trials, is dubbed MAC3, which stands for "Manufacturers Against the Clock".
“MAC3 will drive more value to WTCC factory teams, it will enhance the spectators’ experience after qualifying, it will increase broadcast volume, it will offer new stories to media and will introduce a true collective effort parameter into the WTCC manufacturers' championship,” said Francois Ribeiro, Head of Eurosport Events.
MAC3 will be held after the Q3 session in qualifying, with three drivers from each manufacturer taking part.
The clock starts when the first car of three crossess the starting line from a standing start and stops when the final car has completed the required number of laps.
The distance of the time trial will equal the amount of laps needed to surpass the 10km mark.
The fastest combined time of a manufacturer will score 10 points to the manufacturers’ championship, with eight points to second, going all the way down to one point to sixth position.
MAC3 will be started in reverse championship order, meaning that the lowest-placed team will drive the time trial first.
”Every manufacturer competing in FIA world championships will tell you that the most important title to bring home is the manufacturers’ world title," said Ribeiro.
"Paradoxically, the drivers’ title always gets the most media exposure. MAC3 is designed to promote the WTCC manufacturers' title in a different way and widen its appeal."
The time trial is only open to manufacturer-supported entries, meaning that, for example, the privately-entered Chevrolet Cruze drivers will not get to take part.
“MAC3 intends to raise the value of the WTCC manufacturers’ title, so it will be restricted to manufacturers registered with the FIA for the WTCC," Ribeiro added.
"Still, factory teams will have the opportunity to appoint any driver they want, official or privateer, as long as they drive for the same brand.
"Nothing would prevent Citroen Racing from offering that opportunity to its privateer driver Mehdi Bennani at his home race in Marrakech, for example."