SEMINARS FOR NEW SUPER TOURING CLASSES MONDAY, OCTOBER 18: TOCA Australia is this week holding seminars in Melbourne and Sydney to outline details of the new classes eligible for the 2000 BOC Gases Australian Super Touring Championship motor...
SEMINARS FOR NEW SUPER TOURING CLASSES
MONDAY, OCTOBER 18: TOCA Australia is this week holding seminars in Melbourne and Sydney to outline details of the new classes eligible for the 2000 BOC Gases Australian Super Touring Championship motor racing series.
Competitors, teams, sponsors and manufacturers have been invited to two seminars, held at the St Kilda Parkroyal Hotel in Melbourne tomorrow, and at the Airport Parkroyal Hotel in Sydney on Wednesday, with both starting at 7.30pm.
There will be two new classes eligible for the Australian series in the New Millennium - (1) cars built to specifications for the British Touring Car Championship 2001 regulations; and (2) the international Super Production category.
Existing Super Touring cars that have contested the Australian championship since 1994 under Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) regulations continue in the championship next year.
Kelvin O'Reilly, Chief Executive of championship organisers TOCA Australia, said the seminars in Melbourne and Sydney would outline how the new classes would reduce costs for competitors, provide an opportunity for more manufacturers to participate in the series, and enhance the spectacle through increased grid numbers.
"Since these new classes were announced for next year's championship we have had many enquires from interested parties," said O'Reilly. "The object of the seminars is to provide existing and potential competitors, manufacturers, and sponsors with an opportunity to examine the possibilities in detail. Our championship will have a fresh look for the New Millennium and there has been a groundswell of interest."
The BTCC 2001 cars, powered by two-litre four-cylinder engines, feature cost-saving standard sequential gearboxes, reduced mechanical and aerodynamic grip, and other restrictive regulations. They will utilise large-scale four-door production cars and must be from a 'family' of 25,000 cars produced in a 12-month period. Body shells will be standard, and specific engine management systems must be used.
Base vehicles in the FIA Super Production class will be large-scale two or four-door cars, and they are expected to generate about 200-horsepower. Engine specifications include retaining the original injection system. Original gearboxes must also be used. Models from a 'family' of 2,500 units are eligible.
"It is estimated up to 25 manufacturers and 50 new models of cars will be eligible for the 2000 championship in the Super Production category, and they will compete in a class within the same race as the hi-tech Super Tourers," said O'Reilly.
"Early indications are that it will cost around $35,000 to convert a standard road car to Super Production form. On top of that the major expense is purchasing the car, which will vary depending on the manufacturer."
O'Reilly said that current FIA Super Touring cars being raced overseas would become available to Australian teams and manufacturers at a favourable price as the BTCC phased in its 2001 vehicles.
He said that the seminars would also outline aspects of the championship calendar, marketing, and television coverage. The 2000 championship calendar is expected to be announced within a month.
O'Reilly confirmed the championship will be televised over 16 hours in 2000 by the Seven Network under it's long-term agreement with TOCA Australia which began this year.
TWELVE AUSTRALIAN CARS ENTERED FOR MACAU
There are 12 Australian Super Touring cars entered in the GUIA races at the 46th Macau Grand Prix on November 21.
BOC Gases Australian Super Touring Champion Paul Morris is taking two BMWs from hois Gold Coast workshop for the two 12-lap races in the European settlement in China. He will be behind the wheel of one of the cars, but the other driver is not yet finalised. Former champion Brad Jones has also entered two works Audi A4 machines.
The other eight Australian cars are for David Auger (Gun Racing Alfa Romeo), Peter Hills (Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo), Tony Newman (TC Motorsport Peugeot 406), Jamie Miller (Toyota Camry), Mike Newton (Vauxhall Vectra), Milton Leslight (Toyota Carina), Malcolm Rea (Toyota Carina), and Claude Elias (Toyota Carina).