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Old 15 Sep 2000, 20:57 (Ref:37402)   #1
jvilleneuve2000
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jvilleneuve2000 should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
I have just read this on autosport.com
"The British Touring Car Championship is to incorporate the National Saloon Championship as a Class B in 2001 as part of a deal forged today for the two major national racing series to be jointly promoted under the British Motorsport Promoters banner.

Brands Hatch Leisure chief executive Rob Bain (the man now effectively in charge of the BTCC) says the move will strengthen the BTCC and he is now aiming for 30-car grids in 2001. "We think we will have something like 20 cars in class A and we're looking for grid sizes of 30 in total. Class B will be there for a time, and whether that is a year, two years, three or whatever, we will end up with a grid of 30, which will be pretty compelling."

Bain envisages using a pre-qualifying system and possibly a cap on registrations to keep Class B numbers down and quality up. "It's got to be the right show," he said. "We want to achieve a more professional show, but with big grids."

Bain dismissed suggestions that the introduction of Class B is a sign of weakness for the BTCC as it moves into its new era. "The more cars we have starting, the better it will be, and it actually underwrites the series. It gives manufacturers confidence in the series, if they know the fields will be big."

Prize funds for Independents will be announced in the next two weeks. Bain says that is a top priority and he is working on making it a compelling package. "That's the spiral," he said. "Independents will be buying cars from manufacturers which makes the economies of scale for those manufacturers far better and so gives them more confidence to take part."

BMP has also announced that it is on the verge of concluding a deal with the organisers of the European Super Touring Cup for both series to use the same BTCC technical regulations - overseen by a single technical committee. "I wasn't expecting to achieve it this year, but it seems we have achieved it this year and they want to adopt the regulations for 2002." He also revealed that he has plans for a touring car world cup-style showdown race between British and European competitors at the end of 2002.

In similar vein, Bain says that the BTCC's current deal for racing to be broadcast on BBC Grandstand will be extended to 2004. "We have heads of terms," he said, "but the key BBC figures are currently tied up in Australia for the Olympics. The negotiations are complete. It's just a question of legal matters."

Bain anticipates there will be four manufacturers involved in 2001 (Vauxhall, Peugeot, Rover and Alfa Romeo) and says that in 2002 BMP will cap the number of manufacturers in the series at six because he feels the series can only offer real benefits to that number of manufacturers, though he is aware that the move could influence wavering makers. "Those that come first obviously come first," he said, "and then there will be only two more slots, so I presume that will concentrate minds."

BMP have also published details of the 2001 BTCC sporting regulations. Race formats will broadly follow current practice with a sprint race and feature including pit stops, but there are some changes. The sprint races will switch from standing to rolling starts, and qualifying will change.

In place of the current half-hour and one-shot showdown sessions, there will now be two half-hours, but the first will be free practice and only the second will count for grid positions. Drivers best two lap times in the session will be used to determine the two grids. The time set first will give the driver his sprint grid slot and the second one his feature position. "The intention is to create two very different grids and keep interest alive for spectators," commented Bain.

The support race packages for both the BTCC and Powertour should be finalised within two weeks and could include races from the BRSCC's premier package."

I think that it is a brilliant idea, it could be the factor that makes the btcc as popular as the early 90's. Does this mean that there will be no national saloons next year??, or will it just be the same class B format as this year. Where there are more entries when the nsc dosent clash.

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Old 15 Sep 2000, 22:27 (Ref:37414)   #2
RIKB
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RIKB should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
What is basically behind this is that BMP have just secured the rights to the PowerTour series as well as BTCC. They will now promote both packages, with BTCC headlining one package and GT's and F3 headlining the other.

NSC will move to the BTCC package to become a class B.

And there will probably be changes to the support races in both packages.
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Old 15 Sep 2000, 23:43 (Ref:37428)   #3
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Why write something that long No-one ever reads it!
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Old 16 Sep 2000, 07:15 (Ref:37476)   #4
jvilleneuve2000
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jvilleneuve2000 should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
I didnt i just copied it of autosport
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Old 17 Sep 2000, 15:16 (Ref:37661)   #5
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Well, they always said they'd get thirty cars on the grid for the 2001 BTCC season. Just now the case is that BMP have cheated to get that number, exactly as ToCA did for this year's title to meet the minimum number of 15 cars on the grid...
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Old 17 Sep 2000, 15:58 (Ref:37672)   #6
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Is there still going to be a premier package next year or will that be merged with the Powertour and Btcc to give their support races a boost in quality?
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Old 19 Sep 2000, 07:57 (Ref:37960)   #7
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RickP:Clio51 should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridRickP:Clio51 should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Just in case anyone was worrying, Renault have confirmed to me that the Clios will be TOCA support next year...

So guys, put your heads together. I have a race team and a small budget, the TOCA group A cars next year have to be 4.1m long (Astra + Focus in, Clio + 306 too short). There are something like 30 major components shared between the cars including gearbox, suspension etc. All I need is a manufacturer who wants to be involved in the Class A that has a bit of dosh to spare.

Can anyone suggest a manufacturer who is not over committed to other forms of motorsport for whom the UK is a significant market and might want to secure one of those last 2 manufacturers slots? They also need a suitable car...

Honda are looking at the new Civic type R for example...

Does SEAT have a suitable car in its range? (Basically, need an engine between 1.8 and 2.2 litres and the right sort of size) THey are no longer rallying and VW Group doesn't really have a saloon racing brand...

Other suggestions?

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Old 19 Sep 2000, 17:53 (Ref:38032)   #8
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What about Porsche? I understand that you have a spare one lying around, Rick?

Nah, bring Renault back into the top line series - preferably with the Laguna, because the Megane's an ugly little runt. Or just stick some 50cm-long bumpers on your Clios and go biffing. That's what you do now, right?
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Old 20 Sep 2000, 06:35 (Ref:38114)   #9
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RickP:Clio51 should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridRickP:Clio51 should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Mmm, can't see Renault being in a hurry to make 15,000 Clios with long bumpers just so yours truly had sufficient crumple zone to play with the big boys in class A...
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Old 20 Sep 2000, 12:56 (Ref:38153)   #10
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Rick, off topic (I just remembered it), are you competing in the Summer Series that's planned for the Clios et al?

It's just that Redshoes says he needs some more Restone signs knocked down so he can replace the 'stone' with 'shoes'...

As for Class A BTCC: just use an ex-Williams Laguna; they're plenty strong enough. As used by Mr Plato too!!
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Old 20 Sep 2000, 13:05 (Ref:38157)   #11
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RickP:Clio51 should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridRickP:Clio51 should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Do you mean the winter series?
I'm not allowed, top 6 finishes in the Championship are not encouraged to run...(ie entries will be returned) plus I'm pretty much broke ater paying for this season...
Now do you have a serious suggestion about what manufacturer I can bludgeon to get a car from or am I going to have to call immigration again?
R
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Old 20 Sep 2000, 13:27 (Ref:38167)   #12
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Winter/Summer/Autumn/Spring you know what I mean...

You could do your country a favour by running Rover, but whether or not they'd want to do that is questionable. Otherwise, why not bring back Volvo? That's if you don't want to stick with Renault.

BMW or Audi would also be welcome returnees, but then there's the eligability problems with how they drive. What about giving a newbie a go? You could try your luck with something from the VW group or even another Japanese marque. Mitsubishi ain't doing much else at the moment...
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Old 20 Sep 2000, 13:35 (Ref:38173)   #13
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RickP:Clio51 should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridRickP:Clio51 should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
See! You can make a sensible suggestion when threatened with deportation!
Rover are rumoured to have cars in build with Ray Mallock I believe... so missed out there...
Difficult to think of a Volvo small enough but like the idea, do BMW do a hatchback version of the current 3 series? Could be interesting... Audi are pretty busy with sportscars but SEAT might be interesting now they aren't rallying anymore, Mitsubishi are probably more worried about Makkinen getting his ar*e kicked in the WRC...
We could of course bully "Our Jase" to get us a test drive in the 3rd Astra for next year???? I can see it now, the massed ranks of ten-tenths camped at Woodcote as my new team-mates and I pass yelling "Muller", "Plaaaato","Arse"...

Well a guy has to dream!
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Old 20 Sep 2000, 13:40 (Ref:38174)   #14
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I can be serious any time I like, thanks, Arse...

BMW haven't yet released a Compact for the E46, but unfortunately (well, did you see the E36 model?) it is coming. You could, of course, use the Coupe version. It's long, but it's low.

A SEAT Touring Car would be a wonderful thing; possibly the Leon or Cordoba would suit the regulations?
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Old 20 Sep 2000, 13:48 (Ref:38177)   #15
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RickP:Clio51 should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridRickP:Clio51 should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Anyone got a contact number for SEAT sport in the UK, the contact form on their website appears to be broken....
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