Arena Fords to be pegged back

The performance of the Arena Motorsport Ford Focuses will be pegged back in time for the next round of the British Touring Car Championship at Oulton Park

Arena Fords to be pegged back

Tom Chilton has taken pole position for the last two rounds of the series, while both he and his Arena team-mate Tom Onslow-Cole won races last time out at Brands Hatch and have consistently had the quickest cars in a straight line all year.

In the interests of equalising performance between cars in the BTCC, series organiser TOCA has now told all teams running liquefied petroleum gas engines that they must fit 37mm air restrictors to their turbo inlets.

Arena, which has run LPG all season, is the only team affected by this decision.

"The LPG engine is very much 'work in progress' for both the team and the championship, which is why we have a specific regulation that allows us to make changes along the way - and it may not even be the last time we make some relatively minor tweaks to the specification, either up or down," said series director Alan Gow.

"Likewise with the new TOCA-NGTC turbo engine; there may be a time when we will also need to fine-tune its characteristics during the season.

A number of rival teams and drivers, including former champion Jason Plato, had publicly voiced their concern that the Ford powerplants were giving the cars a huge advantage over the rest of the field.

Gow though, denied that this had a bearing on the decision.

"The decision was made after logging and carefully analysing data from all its first nine races, then comparing that same data with those from other top cars - it was certainly not as a result of any team or driver complaining. Anyone who knows me will know very well that 'whinging' has absolutely zero effect on my decisions.

"It's worth remembering that, as all cars are fitted with our mandatory data-logger, only TOCA has the ability to fully download, compare and analyse the exact same performance data from every car and at any time. This is how we are able to carry out comprehensive performance evaluations, produce factual comparisons and to then make a sound decision based on quantifiable data.

"Therefore anyone who may moan or theorise about the relative performances of different cars is generally using little more than self-serving guesswork, often laced with a fair amount of paranoia. But, thankfully, we don't run the championship in that same way..."

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