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MEXICO'S TOURING CHAMPIONSHIP STARTS by CAJAL Sunday, March 10 signals the start for the Mexican Touring Championship (MTC) also known as the Neon Cup since all of the participating cars are Chrysler Neon. This category conforms to group B ...

MEXICO'S TOURING CHAMPIONSHIP STARTS by CAJAL

Sunday, March 10 signals the start for the Mexican Touring Championship (MTC) also known as the Neon Cup since all of the participating cars are Chrysler Neon. This category conforms to group B international regulations, 2 litre engine, but unluckily for Mexico, neither Ford with its Escort, nor GM with its Cavalier, nor Nissan with its Sentra known locally as Tsuru) or VW with its Jetta would enter the championship and it has turned to be a uni-marque championship just like everything else in the Mexican races.

Last year was the first of the MTC run under class B regulations and although only six races were held, the championship wasn´t decided until the last round. The scoring system is similar to that of the Mexican F2, the Prototypes, and the Tractotruck championships, which give 100 points to the winner, 80 to second, 66 to third, 56 to fourth, 49 to fifth, 44 to sixth, 40 to seventh,37 to eigth,35 to ninth, 33 to tenth and then 31, 29, 27, 26, 25, 24, 23, 22, 21and 20 points for the following places up to twentieth, if they complete at least 90% of the winner(s)' laps. The overall champion was Freddy Tame Jr. of team P7 with no wins but 2 second places and 3 thirds for a total of 358 points. He beat Francisco Gutierrez and Claus Schinkel (ex British F3 back in the 80's) Papelera SLP teammates with 338 points each who tied for second place and his own teammate Carlos Contreras who couldn't run the whole championship due to an accident and finished with 322 points.

This year there will be 10 races, all of them in the Mexico City "Hermanos Rodríguez" (former F1) track using its several configurations, starting March 10 with a 70 lap race in the 4 km. circuit run counterclockwise. The championship should have races also, in the following dates: April 14, May 12, June 16, July 21, August 18, September (, October 6 and 27, and the grand finale November 17.

This year there will also be a regional Touring Champiosnhip with 8 dates centered in the northern part of the country, basically the Saltillo track in Coahuila, some 700 km. from Mexico City (if it sounds exotic to you, think how Pembrey sounds to a mexican). This championship will be run in order to create a potential development field for drivers which have Texas much nearer and would not participate in Mexico's racing otherwise. It is believed that next year the MTC will have some races outside Mexico City if the economic conditions improve in our country or if other factories decide to go racing and increase the prize money available making transportation to other tracks a more rewarding enterprise (but I do not find much chance of the latter option).

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Series General
Drivers Carlos Contreras