New BTCC regs finalised despite doubters

Any lingering doubts that the BTCC will be run for 2-litre cars in 2001 have been dispelled with the circulation of final draft technical regulations. These confirm that low-cost, low-tech 270bhp 2-litre cars are the series' future.

New BTCC regs finalised despite doubters

The confirmation from new BTCC organiser BMP comes despite doubts being expressed by some of the biggest names involved in the series over the spectacle the new rules would supply.

In this week's Autosport magazine, Silverstone chief executive Denys Rohan explained that he was "concerned" that with less than 300bhp on tap, the new low-cost formula would not "provide the right level of entertainment.

"We need to start with the concept of providing entertainment and write the rules from there," he added. However, Rohan conceded that he would go along with the new regulations if they were accepted.

Prodrive boss David Richards said: "Touring car racing in this country and in Europe could disintegrate... The BTCC needs strong leadership to stop everyone pulling in different directions. I don't think BMP has a clear idea of what is needed."

BMP has also decided to go ahead with plans to adopt the tuner principle first mooted by Superstars organiser Maurizio Flammini.

The tuner principle means that all cars of a specific model must be built using a kit of parts built and supplied by a specified preparation firm. That kit, which will include bodyshell, major engine parts, wheel arch extensions, aero kit and some suspension parts, is the second prong of the series most important cost-cutting idea. The first is another kit of parts which all cars, of whatever model, must use, which includes wheels, brakes, differential and gearbox. The specification of all these kit parts is fixed, eliminating development costs. The intention is that bulk discounts will also bring cost benefits.

Cars like the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra will, as expected, be eligible for the 2001 BTCC. The minimum length has come down from the 4.2m mark used in Super Touring to 4.1m.

The final pieces of the 2001 BTCC format jigsaw should slot into place by the
end of August, when BMP is expected to announce details of race formats,
sporting regulations and promotion.


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