Vauxhall against losing BTCC pit stops

Plans to do away with pit stops and revise the current race format of the British Touring Car Championship are being opposed by the Vauxhall team, the only manufacturer to have committed to the series for 2001

Vauxhall against losing BTCC pit stops

As well as losing the pit stops, new series organiser British Motorsport Promoters plans to introduce two half hour races in place of the current sprint and feature race format. These revisions comprise a small part of the package for next year, which is due to be finalised this month.

The works Vauxhall Triple Eight squad is against losing changes introduced to spice up the racing by former BTCC boss Alan Gow in 1998. The one-shot qualifying showdown will also go, making way for one hour of free practice on qualifying morning followed by a 30 minute session to set the grid for race one. The grid for the second race will then be determined by the finishing order of the first.

"We want pit stops," said Triple Eight chief Roland Dane. "We're happy to see the back of the one-shot showdown, but we don't see anything wrong with the race format we've got, and I understand the TV people feel the same. Pit stops don't cost money when you haven't got tyre warmers and they can make a race more interesting."

Costs will be reduced by further measures which include the introduction of a 12-tyre limit for each car per race meeting, testing restricted to three days between March and the beginning of the season and engines having to last for three races.

With possible returns to the series next year by Renault and Rover, sources suggest the BMP package needs to be finalised sooner rather than later if manufacturers are to commit for 2001.

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