The organisers of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, the UK's premier motor racing series, have confirmed more details regarding the introduction of new, low-cost technical regulations for 2011 and beyond.
Last year, TOCA announced the concept of the £100,000 Next Generation Touring Car (NGTC), featuring the use of some common components such as electronics, brakes, gearboxes and suspension to make significant savings to both development and running costs. A new budget-conscious, turbo-charged, 300bhp-plus, two-litre engine specification was also revealed, and has already made an excellent competition debut.
Cars conforming to the NGTC specification will be eligible for the BTCC from the start of next season. There will be performance parity with the current S2000 cars until 2013, after which time the performance level of the NGTC car will be further increased.
TOCA has now confirmed that both front and rear wheel-drive formats will be permitted under the 2011+ NGTC technical regulations – in accordance with the drivetrain used on the model on which the race car is based. TOCA has also confirmed that the regulations will adopt the use of front and rear sub-frames with double wishbone suspension all-round, as originally envisaged.
Buckingham-based engineering and manufacturing operation GPR Motorsport has been commissioned to carry out the design, validation, prototype manufacture and testing programme for the new sub-frame/suspension assemblies. GPR will be the nominated supplier of those suspension sub-frames and associated assembly components, whilst TOCA has also appointed major control component suppliers Xtrac, AP Racing and Cosworth Electronics as its technical partners.
A fully-detailed design for both FWD and RWD drivetrain layouts will be carried out using CAD (Computer Aided Design) technology supported by a physical vehicle buck, to validate the component designs and system packaging. A technical working group comprising representatives of the teams, suppliers, GPR and TOCA will meet regularly to provide input throughout the design process.
A prototype NGTC car will be built and will undergo a comprehensive track-testing programme to validate and demonstrate the reliability, integrity and performance of the design and assemblies. This car will also take part in the official BTCC practice sessions at the 2010 Brands Hatch final round.
At the conclusion of this development/testing process, in early October 2010, teams planning to build NGTC for the 2011 BTCC campaign will be provided with all the drawings and data for the mandated component assemblies – thereby enabling them to more easily and effectively design and build their own cars to incorporate those specified components.
Thereafter, GPR will be on-hand for ongoing technical assistance and will support competitors at all future BTCC rounds and official test days, providing sufficient stock of the suspension components, sub-frames and assemblies – in so doing further reducing the need for teams to tie-up their own capital in major parts stock.