Turbos, Superchargers On Tap For SCCA SPEED Touring Car LEXINGTON, Ohio (June 26, 2004) -- SCCA Pro Racing Ltd. announced today that a rule prohibiting forced induction in its SPEED Touring Car Championship will be lifted, meaning turbocharged...
Turbos, Superchargers On Tap For SCCA SPEED Touring Car
LEXINGTON, Ohio (June 26, 2004) -- SCCA Pro Racing Ltd. announced today that a rule prohibiting forced induction in its SPEED Touring Car Championship will be lifted, meaning turbocharged and supercharged vehicles will be eligible for competition in 2005. It marks the most significant rule change since the series was restructured in 1999 with partner SPEED Channel.
In a bulletin distributed to teams, the program, which will begin with forced induction cars eligible for practice sessions later this year, opens the door for a number of new models to compete in the series, which has been naturally aspirated up until this point.
"As the North American automotive marketplace shifts, it is important to the continued growth of World Challenge that the GT and Touring Car classes continue to evolve to remain in step with industry trends and the market," the bulletin, distributed by SCCA Pro Racing as a whole said. "With the introduction of Forced Induction by many auto manufacturers in their sport compact lineup, SCCA Pro Racing believes that it is appropriate to introduce this technology into the SCCA SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Championship to ensure that the series continues to produce racing that is relevant and accessible to teams, sponsors, consumers and race fans."
The bulletin further explains that "the plan for the introduction of forced induction into the Touring Car class has not been created in haste. Over the last several years, SCCA Pro Racing has reviewed and rewritten a number of plans, with significant input from manufacturers and teams. This extensive process allowed the SCCA Pro Racing Technical department to adequately address many key issues that the introduction of Forced Induction cars presents."
Forced induction cars may not have more than four cylinders, and will be strictly monitored by a third-party data logging system custom-designed by STACK, Inc. The STACK system will be run independently from the vehicle's engine management system, and will be owned by SCCA Pro Racing, with competitors leasing the system.
Stock components will be used as a baseline, and maximum boost levels may actually begin at a level lower than stock. Cars will be brought into the series conservatively, citing "the need to recognize the efforts of current competitors who are responsible for the current position of the series and to safeguard the investments of time and money they have put into the series."
"We have been approached by a number of teams and manufacturers over the last several years that have not been able to compete with vehicles that are clearly within the marketplace and the realm of SPEED Touring Car because of stock forced induction," SCCA Pro Racing Vice President and General Manager Mitch Wright said. "There are a number of models that we will expect to see in the next year, including, but not limited to, the Audi A4 1.8, Dodge SRT-4, Mini Cooper S, Subaru WRX and Volkswagen Jetta."
In order to gauge performance, test the data logging system and help to balance forced induction cars, which will have more torque than naturally aspirated cars, SCCA Pro Racing will permit cars to run in non-sanctioned and sanctioned test days for the final four race weekends of the season, beginning with the August 6-8 Mosport Grand Prix at Mosport International Raceway.
A conservative plan for 2005 will not see upward performance adjustments for the first five races on forced induction cars in order to account for development time with new equipment. However, the memo notes that downward performance adjustments can happen at any time in order to maintain the parity for which the series strives. Cars may compete for both the Manufacturers' and Drivers' Championships in 2005, although the conservative inclusion process may not see forced induction cars making a serious run for the outright titles until 2006.
-scca pro racing-