TOCA takes further steps to level out BTCC playing field

Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship organisers have announced further amendments to the series' technical regulations aimed at equalling out the current turbo/normally-aspirated imbalance
Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship organisers have taken further steps in an effort to equal out the currently rather unequal balance between the series' turbocharged cars and normally-aspirated entries – although part of the amendments to the regulations 'remains suspended'.

There has been considerable debate amongst BTCC drivers, teams and fans about the advantage presently enjoyed by the turbos. A reduction in boost pressure of 0.1 bar was announced for the most recent outing at Thruxton back at the beginning of this month – leading to anguished cries from former champion Matt Neal that the turbo brigade would henceforth be fighting with 'one arm tied behind our back' [see separate story – click here] – but in truth, it made little discernible difference.

Nine of the top ten cars in qualifying around the high-speed Hampshire circuit were turbo-powered, and the sole normally-aspirated interloper – Racing Silverline's defending title-holder Jason Plato – has lamented that the current arrangement is 'so far out-of-bed' that 'all we can hope to do is luck in with the reverse grid' and that the situation 'needs a big change' [see separate story – click here]. His prayers have been answered – to an extent, at least.

A technical bulletin issued today (Thursday) by championship organisers TOCA has revealed that 'following full analysis of technical data, input from teams/engine-builders and taking into consideration other relevant results/information', with effect from next weekend's meeting at Oulton Park, the maximum boost pressure for turbo cars will be reduced by a further 0.05 bar – albeit underlining that 'the introduction of this revised boost limit remains suspended' and can be implemented during the course of an event 'if/when deemed required'.

The minimum weight limits for normally-aspirated cars have similarly been amended, with front wheel-drive examples such as Plato's Chevrolet Cruze now able to run 25kg lighter to a minimum of 1,145kg, and rear wheel-drives like the BMWs dropping by 10kg to a minimum of 1,140kg. The latter are also now permitted to run a free first-gear ratio, which may help to reinstate their inherent advantage away from the start-line.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Start, Jason Plato (GBR) RML Silverline Chevrolet Chevrolet Cruze leads
Start, MacDowall leads
Start of the race, Matt Neal (GBR) Honda Racing Honda Civic leads
Start of the race, Matt Neal (GBR) Honda Racing Honda Civic leads
Start, MacDowall leads
Start, MacDowall leads
Start, Gordon Shedden (GBR) Honda Racing Honda leads
Jason Plato and Colin Turkington - Team BMR
Motorbase Ford EcoBoost engine
Andy Priaulx - WSR BMW
Andy Priaulx - WSR BMW
Aiden Moffat - Laser Tools Mercedes A-Class
Andy Priaulx - WSR BMW
Andrew Jordan joins Pirtek MG
Andrew Jordan - Triple Eight Pirtek MG
Jaon Plato
Jaon Plato
Jaon Plato

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Kiko - Unregistered

May 27, 2011 11:04 AM

There is a teams championship aswell. Silverline and Daewoo could have built a turbo car, they haven't. Why spend money when Plato's moaning is free? Other teams invested money designing and building cars to suit the Turbo engine and are now being handicapped, they deserve a reward for doing the best job - that is the team title. The Turbo teams have basically thrown away an amount of money bulding the fastest car they can that meets the rules, whilst Silverline Daewoo just kept going with the same car as last year. "We haven't bothered to develop a car, slow the others down for us.."

William - Unregistered

May 27, 2011 8:34 AM

As usual Gow has buckled to Plato and his whinging. After all who won the last race at Thruxton....ah Jason Plato. Plato should be lauging all the way to his third championship now.

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