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Old 27 Aug 2013, 21:35   #1
TimRTC
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2014 BTCC speculation, rumours and news

With only three meetings left for 2013 and nothing yet announced thought it would be time to start some unfounded rumours about the 2014 season.

What do people think about the calendar - given the consistency of the past few years I would expect it to remain pretty much unchanged. There do not seem to be any plans to return to Mondello Park and while most of the drivers do not seem to enjoy the long drives up to Croft or Knockhill, I'm sure the sponsors like the large Tyneside and Scottish fan bases there.

I did get a chance (at the Donington KX aftershow event) to ask Alan Gow if there were any plans to race overseas, which he categorically turned down, saying that it would do nothing to help the series and would be just an expensive vanity exercise for the drivers - so no Zandvoort or Spa rounds any time soon. However he did mention that since the NGTC vehicles have a larger fuel tank, there was potential for longer races possibly including a driver change.

Personally I cannot see a driver change being attractive for the teams - fine for factory efforts, but complex to arrange for the independents, but I wonder if a double-length, double-points race at one or two of the rounds might shake things up a bit. I would not be surprised to see one of these mooted, maybe for a circuit like Snetterton, next year, particularly if the grid goes all NGTC.
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Old 27 Aug 2013, 22:25   #2
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Complex to arrange for the Independents? What? I think they'd be the most in favour. A 2 driver event means double the personal sponsors (which are what run most efforts) for far less than double the cost.

It would have to be more than double length to justify multiple drivers though. The NGTC cars have an 80 litre or 18 gallon fuel tank - so it all depends on the MPG the cars get.

A typical petrol road car gets around 40mpg. But I can't seem to find any estimation of the MPG a touring car would achieve. NASCAR achieves 5mpg, and I'd imagine these cars are a lot more efficient, so you may be looking at the region of 10-15, but that's little more than a guess.

Based on about 10mpg, that would limit the range of races to 180 miles, which would be long enough for a reasonable length endurance race. It could be the MPG achieved is way worse though, I don't know.
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Old 27 Aug 2013, 22:59   #3
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Complex to arrange for the Independents? What? I think they'd be the most in favour. A 2 driver event means double the personal sponsors (which are what run most efforts) for far less than double the cost.
Perhaps I should have said complex to find drivers of sufficient talent. I'm sure that there is a plentiful supply to drivers happy to pay their way into the second seat but finding someone with the talent to compete directly against veteran competitors with minimal practice time would probably require getting out the chequebook. Particularly if the race counted double-points, teams like WSR and Pirtek Honda could not afford to lose ground against the factory drivers.

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Based on about 10mpg, that would limit the range of races to 180 miles, which would be long enough for a reasonable length endurance race. It could be the MPG achieved is way worse though, I don't know.
That would give a range of some 60 laps of the Snetterton 300 circuit - or five times the distance they travel on each race at the circuit at the moment.

The expression 'Last Man Standing' comes to mind.
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Old 28 Aug 2013, 07:16   #4
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Longer races might add F1-esque tactics back into it, but it may improve the driver standards, as they aren't in a rush.
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Old 28 Aug 2013, 07:20   #5
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Meanwhile, it'll be interesting to see how Dan Cammish does in his BTCC test with Motorbase. They do have a 3rd car...
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Old 28 Aug 2013, 08:54   #6
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I did get a chance (at the Donington KX aftershow event) to ask Alan Gow if there were any plans to race overseas, which he categorically turned down, saying that it would do nothing to help the series and would be just an expensive vanity exercise for the drivers - so no Zandvoort or Spa rounds any time soon.
Doh! Completely understandable but a bummer nonetheless
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Old 28 Aug 2013, 10:12   #7
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I'd like to see perhaps a longer race, even if its only say 10 laps longer than a regular race, however would that then take the place of the third race, so you would only get two races? I remember back in supertouring days, the Brands Indy races used to be a 25 lap sprint, followed by a 50 lap feature race.
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Old 28 Aug 2013, 12:17   #8
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It's a shame that Gow is categorically against any overseas rounds. The lack of ability in convincingly exporting our car industry to our (predominantly) European cousing is what brought it crashing down in the first place. Why can't we try to export our touring car series? Obviously not into Germany, but certainly France, Belgium and the Netherlands would be viable markets.
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Old 28 Aug 2013, 12:21   #9
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It's a shame that Gow is categorically against any overseas rounds. The lack of ability in convincingly exporting our car industry to our (predominantly) European cousing is what brought it crashing down in the first place. Why can't we try to export our touring car series? Obviously not into Germany, but certainly France, Belgium and the Netherlands would be viable markets.
Our car industry isn't going down...

...if Gow won't let that happen, why don't the drivers go out and prove themselves. Turks is doing the Superstars round at Donington this weekend, and he'll surely be up there, and AJ wants to do Bathurst, but I can't see a deal happening this season, despite the Pirtek links. The guys at the top of BTCC are some of the best touring car drivers in the world.
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Old 28 Aug 2013, 12:48   #10
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I think it's more the teams who wouldn't want to do it. They do enough whining about Croft and Knockhill, never mind going abroad. And remember the shambles that was the short-lived non-championship British GP support race that never happened? The budgets are pretty tight it seems.
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Old 28 Aug 2013, 13:02   #11
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An overseas round would be expensive in terms of travel costs and bring no real benefit to most of the teams - unless the teams are running large multinational companies as sponsors there's no benefit to them going overseas. You'd probably find a large proportion of the grid not travelling - and that would just weaken the BTCC 'brand'.
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Old 28 Aug 2013, 13:15   #12
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And, of course, it is the BRITISHTouring Car Championship. If the teams want to race abroad I'm sure they'll find a way, but it won't be through touring cars. Luckily the crowds at Croft and Knockhill are huge.
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Old 28 Aug 2013, 15:10   #13
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speaking about 2014 any news regarding KIA entry ?
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Old 28 Aug 2013, 15:19   #14
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speaking about 2014 any news regarding KIA entry ?
This is getting really old.
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Old 28 Aug 2013, 15:36   #15
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And what about Matt Hamilton? He was going to enter 2012 in an NGTC Skoda, but that has never happened.

Dave Pinkney was supposed to drive for Ron Austin full-time in 2011, but never even raced after car problems put him out of Brands, and he hasn't returned since. Mark Hazell was meant to run in Will Bratt's car in 2012, but similar problems put him out of Brands, and yet again Austin had another driver giving up on him.

Shaun Hollamby was planning on getting an NGTC-spec Vauxhall Astra for the end of this season.

So much has never happened in recent years. Take Thorney Motorsports as an example of people trying, but not succeeding. I reckon that at least half of the things that are proposed on here will not succeed, which is quite sad really.
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