The British Touring Car Championship - All the Thrills, None In the Frills!

05/11/2015 17:19

The F1 season with all its glitz and glamour may have began in earnest recently, with the running from the Australian Grand Prix; but for a lot of motor-sports enthusiasts, the actual thrills of motor-racing may be found a great deal closer to dwelling using the British Touring Car Championship (or BTCC), on account of get underway at the end of March.

It is well-known that F1 is often a millionaire's sport - the vehicles would be the outcome of millions of pounds of technical investigation; the drivers are paid a king's ransom, and each the teams and drivers are subject to multi-million pounds sponsorship deals by worldwide corporations. Revenue talks in F1 and purists argue that the sport isn't competitive any longer, as races are now won and lost within the pit-lane, as an alternative to around the track, while the bigger teams such as McLaren and Ferrari devote the sort of revenue that the smaller sized teams for example Super Aguri can only dream about.

Recent years has seen the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) flourish with regards to both competing teams and spectator numbers. The sport itself operates on a fraction from the spending budget afforded to the F1 globe; however what it lacks in glamour, it more than makes up for in thrills! The BTCC season comprises of ten rounds - starting and ending at Brands Hatch - held amongst March and September, and going to nine distinctive circuits. Each and every round consists of 3 races, generating a thirty round competition.

The teams which compete inside the BTCC are a mixture of manufacturers' operates teams (presently SEAT and Vauxhall would be the only manufacturer teams) and independent teams like Team Halfords and Team RAC. The independent teams usually comprise of ex-works automobiles which have already been bought from manufacturer teams when they update their very own cars' chassis. While this then might appear to offer the 'new' automobiles an edge, as performs teams can deliver professional motoring tips about new developments surrounding their entries; you'll find actually strict limits to modifications that may be produced to any competing vehicle as a way to retain costs down and elicit an element of fairness in the sport. One example is, all competing automobiles need to make use of the similar tyre - named a 'control tyre' - which at present is supplied by Dunlop. Vehicles can also be modified to work with various fuel kinds, with current automobiles getting run on liquefied petroleum gas, bio-ethanol fuel as well as diesel, which produced its 1st look in a BTCC race in 2007.

Races within the BTCC calendar are normally run over a weekend. Saturday comprises of two practice sessions, followed by a half-hour qualifying session which determines the initial race grid for the Sunday. Like F1, the grid is sorted by time with the fastest driver lining up in pole position. Depending on the length from the racing circuit, every single race will commonly consist of involving 16 and 25 laps, and the race outcome then determines the grid order for the subsequent race with all the drivers lining up according to their finishing position for race two.

For race three, starting positions are determined by a 'draw' which sees part of the grid reversed. This means that based on the draw, drivers who completed inside the minor placings could begin in pole position. As an example, if position 6 was drawn, the driver who finished in 6th place will be given pole position, with 5th spot in second position and so on. Drivers who completed above the 'draw' result would occupy the position where they finished race two.

Also, in the finish on the 1st and second races, the automobiles which finish inside the significant placings are handicapped by possessing further weight - known as ballast - added to them for the next race in the meeting. Drivers' standings following the third race of each meeting also figure out the volume of ballast to be carried within the initial race with the following meeting.

You will find some aspects of that are shared with F1; by way of example the security car or truck and pit lane speed limits. Nevertheless, as opposed to F1, spare automobiles cannot be applied, and teams can only use a maximum of 4 engines per season per driver. If further engines are utilized, teams are topic to point deductions.

All this adds up to some superb thrills around the racetrack as the rules make racing considerably more competitive and open, with cars' technological benefits negated by extra weight or luck of your draw. Collisions are commonplace in BTCC as drivers push their automobiles - and themselves - for the limit throughout each race; it is not uncommon to witness high-speed collisions involving multiple vehicles, whilst the attempts to equalise the cars implies overtaking manoeuvres can occur anywhere all through the race - even around the tightest of corners!