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Old 11 Jan 2022, 08:09 (Ref:4093236)   #1
medius
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A decade of NGTC - has it worked?

Worthy of its own thread away from the 2022 season speculation. Trjgged from a post by crmalcolm:

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Originally Posted by crmalcolm View Post
While the subject of eligible cars is being mentioned - 2022 will see NGTC become the longest set of regulations in use in the history of BTCC, overtaking ST.

Previously, ST was used from 1991-2000.
NGTC was first used in 2010, (Thompson in FP1 at Brands) and is set to run for quite a few years more.

Has NGTC delivered us everything it promised?

• Dramatically reduce the design, build and running costs of the cars and engines
• Reduce the potential for significant performance disparities between cars
• ‘Future proof’ the regulations by being able to easily modify the various performance parameters
• Reduce reliance on WTCC/S2000 equipment, due to increasing costs/complexity and concerns as to its future sustainability/direction

For some information on NGTC numbers, as we enter a season with a capacity 32-car grid:
Over 100 drivers have now competed in the series at the wheel of NGTC cars.
Not counting bodyshell changes (ST/RS, Tourer/Hatch) Over 21 models of car have competed.
My view is yes, it has been a success but no it hasn't delivered on the promise of the time.

It was initially cheap but build with many common components carry across between builds, but that saving is offset by the high operating costs. (as vocally stages early in by Thorney Motorsport).

Its regularly reported in interviews that its £400k to run a single car team for a year, which scales down the more cars on the grid. Hence why teams look to quickly expand to 2-3-4 car operations soon after joining.

The setup window NGTC cars have is small, it takes specialist setup skill to extract the most from it. Many people can get a car to 7/10ths but its the last few tenths where the difference is.

Driving wise they race well but at tricky to get up on the limit. Many good racers get in an NGTC and feel like a hero but are miles off the pace. Alain Menu, Fabrizio Giovanardi, Tom Onslow-Cole for example. it seems like a GT background can help you prepare for NGTC (Hunter Abbott, Ricky Collard) but its not a given (Rick Parfitt Jr).

But the races themselves have been close with few instances of runaway gaps built up. Maybe too close with 1 second covering the grid and too many different winners in the season?

I would have liked to see a couple of longer races per season with endurance drivers but the modern way of funding/operating a touring car wouldn't allow it easily.

But what do you think? Has NGTC been a success?
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Old 11 Jan 2022, 10:51 (Ref:4093250)   #2
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My views as a race watcher (rather than a driver team owner with insight into the costs or an engineer with insights into setup etc):-

The series is flourishing and the grids are full, with a good variety of manufacturers. We have a variety of cars on the grid, and not all look the same.

The cars are generally recent / new models. BTCC is not reliant on old out of date cast offs from other racing series.

The racing has been generally good. There is not a huge gap of performance between the top dozen or so.

We still get regular whining about RWD / FWD advantages / disadvantages, but generally speaking I think that the balance of performance has been about right in recent years - some tracks suit one over the other of course.

Relatively small teams can build a competitive car without factory support.

We have a good mix of new drivers alongside established older drivers.
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Old 11 Jan 2022, 12:27 (Ref:4093265)   #3
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In my opinion it's simple. If the BTCC's been clinging to this ruleset for over a decade now, it's an obvious indication that NGTC has worked. Despite motorsport's road becoming quite twisty in the last few years, BTCC didn't need to seek desperate measures to make itself attractive/relevant etc. So it is a success.

Does it mean NGTC is ideal? No, it is not. But what can be? I wish we'd seen proper factory teams, cars being constantly up-to-date, sounding better, looking a bit better (they're not ugly but for example S2000 cars were nicer looking) and who knows what else.

But as it is, I believe NGTC is very successful and I'm happy BTCC is going their own way without adopting other championships' rulesets. It's one of the core parts of it. If Gow adopted TCR rules for example, BTCC would lose most of its identity, having become just another regional championship. Okay, BTCC is a national championship and the following from the rest of Europe let alone world is probably quite modest but at least it has their own identity. I don't have to choose between WTCR, TCR Europe and BTCC - I'll always choose the latter despite the former being 'world' and 'European' championships. But for me they're not as attractive. NGTC isn't probably the main reason for this but it's part of what makes BTCC the BTCC.
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Old 12 Jan 2022, 17:56 (Ref:4093459)   #4
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I always love this kind of post/debate.
Where there is always a presure from certain sectors from the public to adopt certain rulesets, like TCR, i love the series that look to do its own thing.

From a outsider/foreigner point of View, in a country with many touring car series, with some of them having this same debate about the rulesets and the "escence" of the series (Argentina) BTCC's NGTC ruleset Is a real succes, afterall, having a 30+ car paddock, with so much variety in te cars Is amazing especiallly with the competitivity shown by te BTCC

That AND te flexibilit to adopt chances like the hybrid drivetrains Is nothing short of inpresive

I wish STC2000 adopted a similar ruleset
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Old 12 Jan 2022, 18:54 (Ref:4093466)   #5
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As an outsider: yes it's a success.

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I wish STC2000 adopted a similar ruleset
Currently STC2000 as other problems than the chassis/engine.
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Old 13 Jan 2022, 22:01 (Ref:4093631)   #6
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Personally, I think it has worked.

But - is the end in sight?

"TOCA technical director Peter Riches says: Effectively what we’ve done is give NGTC another five years of life with updates that move with the times. From start to finish NGTC will be a 16-year programme."

So will 2026 be the last season of NGTC?
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Old 13 Jan 2022, 22:27 (Ref:4093635)   #7
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Originally Posted by crmalcolm View Post
So will 2026 be the last season of NGTC?
I'm not expecting a radical change of direction when it comes time for the next-next-generation. The combination of common parts seems to work well. Unless we are all using personal hover transport by then, expect more of the same.
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Old 13 Jan 2022, 22:43 (Ref:4093637)   #8
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I'm not expecting a radical change of direction when it comes time for the next-next-generation. The combination of common parts seems to work well. Unless we are all using personal hover transport by then, expect more of the same.
I guess it comes down to when you think a set of regulations has changed so much they are no longer the same regulations.

I think the general concept will be retained (spec subframes, common engine available, mandated width).

But, how much similarity will there be between

- a 2011 sub-300hp, 0.8 bar GPRM NGTC car, where performance is equalised by boost adjustments
- a 2027 400hp+, 1.2 bar and hybrid RML car, where performance is equalised by hybrid deployment adjustments

I personally think the changes will be iterative until such time as combustion engines or 4.4 metre cars are so far removed from the showrooms that a new set of regulations is inevitable.
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Old 14 Jan 2022, 09:57 (Ref:4093699)   #9
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In terms of keeping a full grid it has worked very well. The racing and competition is still close too, so it has achieved a lot
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Old 14 Jan 2022, 10:32 (Ref:4093707)   #10
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I think you can't argue with full capacity grids so in that respect it has worked.

What I dislike about NGTC are as follows;

- Flip floppy soft handling. The cars roll and dive like 1970s Capri's.
- Plasticy looking arch extensions.
- Cars are a bit too heavy (in my opinion).
- Some parts seem too fragile (wheel/suspension takes a knock = retirement)

What I like;

- Regs have enabled full grids
- Engine bills are far lower
- Engines are fairly powerful

Its purely a visual thing, but what I would like to see is things like race wheels opened up to more than 1 supplier and design, even if it meant that there was a choice of say 5 designs by the same manufacturer, or just open it up fully, so teams could source their own wheels from whatever manufacturer. I know spec parts are meant to reduce costs, but when the spec nature is visible, I think thats when (for me), its not a good thing and one of the nice things about past rule sets was seeing how the cars looked.
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Old 14 Jan 2022, 12:18 (Ref:4093722)   #11
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what I would like to see is things like race wheels opened up to more than 1 supplier and design, even if it meant that there was a choice of say 5 designs by the same manufacturer, or just open it up fully, so teams could source their own wheels from whatever manufacturer.
^^^ This ^^^

I too would be open to seeing a bit more variety in the (visual) element of the spec parts.

For instance:

I know the aero is calculated for each homologation to give an equal downforce (subject to RWD / FWD variances). But what if the wing used for each model was different?

Different wheel designs would also enhance the exposure of the wheels for the manufacturer.

I accept though that the challenge is difficult. The performance of each car should be as equal as possible, and the ruleset is designed to make each car as 'common' as possible to reduce costs (and allow parts to be carried over to new builds).

The age-old BTCC question I guess - how do we get a grid that is as varied as possible, whilst allowing each team to compete on a cost-effective basis?

I think NGTC has already given us that, when you consider that 21 models have competed in the BTCC alone, compared to approximately 27 models of S2000 in all series that used them.
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Old 15 Jan 2022, 12:08 (Ref:4093835)   #12
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The performance of each car should be as equal as possible
I believed that for a long time. And true, it does make individual races often more exciting to watch.

On the flipside, though, it also takes away much of the significance of individual race wins and championships as nowadays competitiveness is given to teams rather than earned.

Yes, the cream (WSR) still rises to the top, but having developed a race winning BTTC-car is a much less significant achievement in the NGTC-days than it was under the previous less-specy rulesets.

It's hard to find the right words for this, but overall, I've got to say that my interest in the series has been greatly diminished.
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Old 15 Jan 2022, 13:25 (Ref:4093843)   #13
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I think it’s a shame that a team like WSR, design a race winning, dominant vehicle within the rules, which is then bopped to the point at which it can often not get into the top 5 qualifying.

The whole common subframe thing really is pointless when you consider that the cars are bopped anyway with equal power and then aero. So why bother with the common subframe aspect? It’s almost as if they decided on the common subframe rule in order to “level the playing field”, then after realised that wasn’t enough so decided to BOP the cars as well.
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Old 15 Jan 2022, 13:52 (Ref:4093847)   #14
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AIUI, the common subframes are mostly a cost-saving measure. Apparently, designing a good race suspension for a production-based race car is expensive if you are allowed to move the suspension pick-up points and complicated if you aren't. With the common subframes, all of that is not needed anymore and it's probably what allows relatively small teams to develop competitive cars on their own.

Compare that to how badly some teams were out in the wilderness with their self-built cars in the BTC-T and S2000 era. Back then, you basically needed a crack outfit like 888, RLM or Dynamics to come up with a properly competitive car, whereas now even small teams like Cicely can "develop" a car on their own.
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Old 15 Jan 2022, 18:57 (Ref:4093882)   #15
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Compare that to how badly some teams were out in the wilderness with their self-built cars in the BTC-T and S2000 era. Back then, you basically needed a crack outfit like 888, RLM or Dynamics to come up with a properly competitive car, whereas now even small teams like Cicely can "develop" a car on their own.
back then small teams usualy bought an ex works car or customer cars , even bigger teams like WSR and Motorbase did that
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