The seeds of Super Touring's own destruction were sown in its own success. The problems came, and came thick and fast, after it evolved into an international category.
When the FIA adopted the British two-litre formula ahead of the 1993 season, the rule-making process - or rather the way the regulations were interpreted - was thrown into the governing body's talking shops. A firm grip on the rulebook was lost in the smoke-filled rooms of Paris, and costs escalated.
Super Touring became just too expensive. The budgets in the final year that the British Touring Car Championship ran to its rules went through the roof. Triple Eight boss Ian Harrison admits his team spent £6.5 million running three Vauxhall Vectras in the BTCC in 2000, and it is generally reckoned that Prodrive's budget for the same number of cars hit £10m.
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Gary Watkins has, for reasons best known to himself, devoted all his working life to covering sportscar racing. This season is his 25th as a motorsport journalist, during which time he has reported on major long-distance events on four continents and approaching 60 24-hour races. He reckons a degree in political philosophy makes him well qualified for covering the sometimes Machiavellian world of international sportscars.
Gary, who also writes for RACER, Autoweek, Motor Sport, Autocourse and others, lives in Surbiton but spends more time on the road than at home for most of the year.