All-new technical regulations that will drastically reduce costs but also further increase the spectacle of the British Touring Car Championship by moving to bigger and more powerful turbo-charged cars have been revealed today. The 'Next ...
All-new technical regulations that will drastically reduce costs but also further increase the spectacle of the British Touring Car Championship by moving to bigger and more powerful turbo-charged cars have been revealed today.
The 'Next Generation Touring Car' (NGTC) regulations will come into force in 2011 and will slash car and engine budgets for teams by some 50 per cent. This will largely be achieved by switching to more durable two-litre turbo engines and the standardising of major components such as sub-frames, gearboxes, suspension and brakes. Furthermore, the NGTC regulations will be based around larger 'family-sized' front-wheel-drive cars.
Notably, the NGTC engines will utilise many standard-production internal components and be fitted with a controlled-specification turbo, wastegate, intercooler and ECU (Electronic Control Unit) to reduce both development costs and opportunities for technical infringements. Teams not wishing to undertake their own engine development programme will have the option of using a TOCA-developed (unbranded) NGTC engine that will be equal in performance. It is anticipated that engines should last an entire season without rebuild, thus greatly further reducing costs.
The regulations will move the BTCC away from the Super 2000-specification cars used in the championship in recent years (based on those in the FIA's World Touring Car series) and have been voted through unanimously by teams in the championship.
Current S2000 cars will still compete on an equal basis with the 'Next Gen' machines, for outright honours, with both types of cars having their performances equalised until 2013 when those running to NGTC-specification will be given more engine power.
A greater breakdown of the NGTC regulations can be found on the BTCC's official website www.btcc.net.
BTCC Series Director Alan Gow commented: "The broad concept for our 'Next-Gen' cars was that they should be larger than some current ones, be more exciting, faster, safer and also much cheaper to build, buy and maintain as well as provide a more 'level playing field', meaning even better, closer racing... if better and closer racing is possible for the BTCC!
"These new cars tick all those boxes and more. Of course the best driver and team will still achieve the greatest success in our championship. But, as these new regulations will be much more restrictive on major expenditure, then a team's greater bank balance will not necessarily equate to greater success. And, in my view, that is exactly how it should be."
Gow also explained how the NGTC regulations were shaped and why they could also set an example to other forms of high-profile motor sport around the world.
He added: "In October 2008 I instigated the process of putting together the technical working groups to undertake a research exercise in order to consider where our regulations should be heading for the future, given those parameters I outlined before.
"These two groups (one for engines and one for chassis) are populated by some of the brightest and most knowledgeable talents in touring car racing. Many hours of hard work and great thought were put into this project and for that I thank those directly involved, as well as the BTCC teams and our own TOCA technical manager Peter Riches.
"The outcome is a blueprint for our technical regulations, going forward, which absolutely hits the button as to what we wanted to achieve. In fact, they are an incredibly clever and well researched set of regulations that exceeded our own expectations and actually over-deliver on what we were looking for.
"Our teams now have clear direction on what the future BTCC car will be, whilst (very importantly) protecting their investment in the S2000 cars they currently run right up until 2013.
"Of huge significance is the fact that we have now achieved a massive cost reduction for teams to compete in the BTCC, with car/engine build and running costs which will be some 50 per cent below the present level. The fact that most teams will be able to undertake a very serious BTCC effort for around half the cost they have today also makes the dream of competing in the BTCC much more of a reality for many new teams and drivers.
"The BTCC's great success has always been through our incredibly close and exciting racing. These new regulations will absolutely guarantee that those virtues solidly remain at the very core of the BTCC."