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Old 12 Jun 2018, 23:16 (Ref:3828754)   #1
Northern Monkey
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BTCC 2019 season discussion, News and Rumours!

I know it's a bit early but figured it made more sense to put this into a 2019 thread...


Anyway, the calendar is out and there is no place for Rockingham, with Thruxton instead being given a second meeting: https://www.touringcartimes.com/2018...btcc-calendar/
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Old 12 Jun 2018, 23:27 (Ref:3828755)   #2
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Well that’s a turn up for the books. Shame, it has produced some great racing. Wonder if it’ll be back for 2020 or if they will replace it with another circuit
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Old 13 Jun 2018, 07:08 (Ref:3828796)   #3
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From a selfish point of view, I think this is a terrible loss to the championship. It’s the closest circuit to me, the next nearest is Silverstone and they don’t compare from a spectator perspective.

Silverstone doesn’t have any good viewing spots unless you pay extra for a grandstand pass, whereas Rockingham allows a view of nearly the whole circuit from one place.

Probably means I won’t be attending a round next year because no other circuit offers the same visibility.

I also think two rounds at Thruxton is an error, it might be fast but fast doesn’t always mean good. Maybe they should have considered a round at Mondello like before.

Wonder if that’s it for Rockingham forever or if the BTCC will return if they sort out whatever issues they’ve had which has lost the event?
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Old 13 Jun 2018, 07:17 (Ref:3828801)   #4
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Knockhill in September? It'll be snowing!

Would've rather they used a different Silverstone layout or the Donington GP track than ran another round at Thruxton. Understand why Rockingham is being moved off. It's actually quite an entertaining track, but the sinking grandstands hint that all is probably not well behind the scenes.
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Old 13 Jun 2018, 07:26 (Ref:3828803)   #5
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Btcc is organised by the Barc and this is their circuit and the default option. Just like when silverstone was dropped for a year. Might we see a visit to the new circuit in Northern Ireland for the following year?
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Old 13 Jun 2018, 07:30 (Ref:3828806)   #6
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From a selfish point of view, I think this is a terrible loss to the championship. It’s the closest circuit to me, the next nearest is Silverstone and they don’t compare from a spectator perspective.

Silverstone doesn’t have any good viewing spots unless you pay extra for a grandstand pass, whereas Rockingham allows a view of nearly the whole circuit from one place.

Probably means I won’t be attending a round next year because no other circuit offers the same visibility.

I also think two rounds at Thruxton is an error, it might be fast but fast doesn’t always mean good. Maybe they should have considered a round at Mondello like before.

Wonder if that’s it for Rockingham forever or if the BTCC will return if they sort out whatever issues they’ve had which has lost the event?
Has Silverstone started charging for Grandstand seats now? I haven't had to pay for a grandstand seat for a BTCC meeting at Silverstone since the 90's.
Rockingham has always been a bit of a soulless place for me. Too far from the action and lacking in atmosphere. Not one I get upset about missing and much better to watch on TV. Perhaps Palmer will buy/rent the place and turn the place around.
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Old 13 Jun 2018, 07:42 (Ref:3828812)   #7
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Bah.

I like Thruxton but it's certainly not the circuit I would pick to go to twice. Shame about Rockingham - obviously I understand there's a whole other side but I always thought it produced excellent racing.

Seems silly to me that it wasn't replaced with Lake Torrent.

Hopefully we'll see more investment going into Thruxton now - pit facilities are pretty poor as is the final chicane, and viewing areas aren't great.

Last edited by Evantra; 13 Jun 2018 at 07:52.
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Old 13 Jun 2018, 07:51 (Ref:3828815)   #8
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Seems silly to me that it wasn't replaced with Lake Torrent.
Which isn't yet complete and would need plenty of logistical planning. Ferries aren't cheap, they only visited Mondello because they had a subsidised ferry deal with Irish Ferries and the Irish tourist board.
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Old 13 Jun 2018, 08:16 (Ref:3828818)   #9
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Maybe they should have considered a round at Mondello like before.
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Ferries aren't cheap, they only visited Mondello because they had a subsidised ferry deal with Irish Ferries and the Irish tourist board.
Obviously, there would no doubt be budget issues and a trek however small across the pond would increase costs. Although I'd love the BTCC to return to Mondello, considering it's my local track here in Ireland. The rumours were that the Mondello owners couldn't afford to continue hosting the BTCC and that was one of the reasons why the series stopped going.
I don't know if that's true, but in recent times the only major motorsport series Mondello sees is drifting!! The Irish Drift Championship organisers have their offices at the circuit IIRC. Some of the events are actually well planned and executed with some of the world's top drivers making the trip over for it!

Back on topic, I think if there was a genuine shout for Mondello hosting a weekend they'd need to make some updates to the track from both a spectator and drivers point of view.

It's a shame as well because the international loop would provide some great racing!
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Old 13 Jun 2018, 08:39 (Ref:3828820)   #10
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Mondello was such an interesting track. I went once sometime in the mid-2000s. I think Ireland could use a round, however it always boils down to money, sadly.

If not Mondello, I would rather see Oulton Park get a second round, use the Fosters layout.
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Old 13 Jun 2018, 08:44 (Ref:3828822)   #11
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Not that I'm a fan of Rockingham, probably there are lots of more entertaining venues but still it's a huge loss. Thruxton being organised twice is not a good idea IMHO, nothing wrong with the circuit but now it means there are only 8 circuits on the calendar.
I hoped they would replace Rockingham with something different, like Mondello or Castle Combe. Shame that there are so many circuits in Britain but few can afford to host a BTCC meeting, not only in terms of finances but also because many circuits are too small. Shame that CoW never happened.
It'd be nice to see BTCC go abroad, to Spa, for example but I know that wouldn't make sense so it's only a wishful thinking.
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Old 13 Jun 2018, 09:26 (Ref:3828833)   #12
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I too feel they would have been better having a second round at say Silverstone, Donington or Oulton, but with a different layout, like we do with Brands Hatch, instead of having both at Thruxton.

Rockingham is great, but the problem for me is you can only sit in a grandstand, not with spectator banks at other circuits
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Old 13 Jun 2018, 09:44 (Ref:3828847)   #13
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from autosport.com. makes sense to me;

Series director Alan Gow said Thruxton's extra event was an experiment for 2019 but that other current circuits could get additional rounds beyond that.

"We will double up at Thruxton and see how that goes - although that 'spare' date that we now have isn't set in stone," he explained.

"We will try Thruxton, but equally we could double up at other venues in years to come.

"We have had two rounds at places like Oulton Park before, and that has worked well."

Gow said it was highly unlikely that any tracks currently outside the BTCC calendar would be added in the near future.

"Given the infrastructure of the BTCC and the demands it places on circuits, the ones on the schedule presently are the only ones that can properly accommodate the championship," he added.

"We are not ignoring the other tracks around the UK, we simply wouldn't be able to fit into them."
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Old 13 Jun 2018, 09:46 (Ref:3828849)   #14
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In previous interviews Gow has said the other circuits in the UK don’t have the paddock capacity or facilities for a BTCC round. Maybe that’s why he wants to reduce the grid size?
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Old 13 Jun 2018, 09:51 (Ref:3828850)   #15
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Gow said it was highly unlikely that any tracks currently outside the BTCC calendar would be added in the near future.

"Given the infrastructure of the BTCC and the demands it places on circuits, the ones on the schedule presently are the only ones that can properly accommodate the championship," he added.

"We are not ignoring the other tracks around the UK, we simply wouldn't be able to fit into them."



This might be a subtle hint to some other tracks, such as Cadwell and Castle Combe that they may be considered if they improved their infrastructure to accommodate the large crowds that attend and the number of facilities that the TOCA package requires to operate successfully for a weekend.
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Old 13 Jun 2018, 10:02 (Ref:3828854)   #16
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This might be a subtle hint to some other tracks, such as Cadwell and Castle Combe that they may be considered if they improved their infrastructure to accommodate the large crowds that attend and the number of facilities that the TOCA package requires to operate successfully for a weekend.
Exactly.
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Old 13 Jun 2018, 10:03 (Ref:3828855)   #17
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Perhaps we could have some street circuits.
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Old 13 Jun 2018, 10:10 (Ref:3828858)   #18
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whereas Rockingham allows a view of nearly the whole circuit from one place.

Probably means I won’t be attending a round next year because no other circuit offers the same visibility.
Brands Hatch Indy — You can see it all from the grandstand.

Knockhill — You can see all of it from the central hill area.

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I also think two rounds at Thruxton is an error, it might be fast but fast doesn’t always mean good. Maybe they should have considered a round at Mondello like before.
I agree that on paper, a fresh track is the best solution for fans at first. But does Mondello have easy access, space in the paddock for the now massive hospitality for a big grid and a cheap (i.e. free) ferry deal for teams? Not sure it does.

Perhaps a compromise could have been the round at a venue that has an alternate layout i.e. Donington with the loop, or the full GP Silverstone layout? (Yes, I know Gow has poo-pooed this previously, and I get why. It's such a long track, it will make it look like 6 people are attending with empty grandstands and such)
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Old 13 Jun 2018, 10:10 (Ref:3828859)   #19
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Perhaps we could have some street circuits.
The dream.

Mind you, will it be an exciting race?
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Old 13 Jun 2018, 10:18 (Ref:3828861)   #20
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This might be a subtle hint to some other tracks, such as Cadwell and Castle Combe that they may be considered if they improved their infrastructure to accommodate the large crowds that attend and the number of facilities that the TOCA package requires to operate successfully for a weekend.
I can't see Castle Combe getting a round. The paddock facilities wouldn't be up to scratch for the touring cars and the attitude at Combe has always been that spending that sort of money for the touring cars wouldn't be something they wanted to do.
And then there's the NIMBYs to think about.....
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Old 13 Jun 2018, 10:33 (Ref:3828862)   #21
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I think on paper Rockingham is a great venue, free grandstand seat, easy to get to, great view etc. However my main issue is that all the action takes place at the furthest points away from you. Sure they come past you on the oval quite close, but all the side by side jostling and outbraking moves takes place as small dots on the horizon, no where even close to your viewing location.
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Old 13 Jun 2018, 10:45 (Ref:3828867)   #22
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it’ll be interesting to see what the plan is for support series for thruxton because most of the current ones either can’t or struggle to run there.
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Old 13 Jun 2018, 11:12 (Ref:3828869)   #23
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Rockingham was a bit different and produced some very good racing over the years. I'm sad to see it go.
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Old 13 Jun 2018, 11:18 (Ref:3828870)   #24
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With Mondello Park, it is also worth bearing in mind that the owner has just passed away which could have an impact on their plans going forwards - just to add something to the cost argument
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Old 13 Jun 2018, 11:40 (Ref:3828878)   #25
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This might be a subtle hint to some other tracks, such as Cadwell and Castle Combe that they may be considered if they improved their infrastructure to accommodate the large crowds that attend and the number of facilities that the TOCA package requires to operate successfully for a weekend.
BTCC at Cadwell!
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