The FIA European Rallycross Championship will run to a revised format for its events in 2013. The series, now promoted by marketing giant IMG, had originally planned to run the Supercar category in a round-robin format, with the Super1600 and TouringCar continuing to use the traditional three heats and finals system. All three classes will now use a hybrid of the two systems, allowing events to be better structured with all classes doing the same number of races.
“This is an interim year and the FIA’s Off Road Commission has now agreed to move all three categories to a race format which will give all drivers more track time and offer more racing to fans at events,” said a Championship spokesman.
Each driver will contest four timed heats, with each heat counting towards the qualifying position. The grids for the first heat will be drawn at random, with the grid positions for the second, third and fourth heats will be determined by the time set in the previous heat. With each heat counting, no longer will we see drivers sitting out races, all cars will be in every heat. In the heats, drivers will score 1 point for fastest time, two points for second fastest, and so on. The driver with the least points after four heats is top qualifier. Failure to finish a heat will give a driver the same points as the last placed finisher, plus one point. Failure to start a heat will again give the driver the same as the last place finisher, plus two points, and exclusion from a heat will be last place finisher plus three points. Races with fewer than five cars will be run first, meaning that the fastest cars will always run with full grids.
After the qualifying heats have taken place, the top 16 drivers will score championship points, 16points for first down to one point for 16th. The top 12 drivers go through to a pair of semi finals, the top three in each then going into the final. The winner of the final is crowned the overall winner of the event in each category. Both semi finals and final races also reward championship points, six points for the winner of each of the races down to one point for the sixth placed driver.
The Irish round of the 2013 FIA European Rallycross Championship due to be held at Mondello Park in August has been dropped from the calendar. The event, which would have been the first European Championship round to be held in the country since 1995 has been postponed until 2014 to allow circuit officials time to make sure the event is a success, without the pressure of a tight timeframe for track updates and approval.
Mondello Park Managing Director John Morris said, “We’re obviously disappointed but it was undoubtedly the correct decision. IMG has indicated its genuine wish to have Ireland on the calendar, due to the level of facilities and infrastructure Mondello Park brings to an event and the Championship.”
It is likely that Mondello Park will be the second event on the calendar in 2014, pairing up with the traditional season opener at Lydden Hill in Britain.
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