Qualifying format, tyre options, success ballast and fan enhancements all ratified
Some regulation and procedural tweaks have been agreed ahead of the 2021 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship, following an end-of-season meeting between series organiser TOCA and all participating teams.
The headline changes relate to the qualifying format, tyre options, success ballast and fan enhancements, and are outlined as follows:
Following the successful trial of the ‘Top Ten Showdown’ qualifying session at Snetterton during the 2020 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship, the same format will be replicated at Donington Park, Snetterton and Silverstone next season.
Replacing the usual 30-minute session at these events only, drivers will have a marginally reduced window of 25 minutes to record their lap times. Following a short five-minute break, the fastest ten competitors will then progress to a ten-minute pole position ‘Top Ten Showdown’ session to determine the top ten places on the grid.
The ‘Option’ tyre will be phased back-in at four of the ten scheduled 2021 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship events.
2020 saw the option tyre format temporarily shelved due to the hectic schedule of events, which gave teams additional workloads through reduced staffing and more logistical challenges than a regular season.
With the 2021 BTCC campaign expected to return to normal protocols, Oulton Park, Croft and Snetterton will see the Goodyear soft tyre used as the ‘Option’ tyre, whilst the Goodyear medium compound is the selected ‘Option’ tyre at Knockhill.
Across the four events, the ‘Option’ tyre must be used at least once during race one, race two and race three – ensuring a variation of strategies.
Teams do not have to specify before qualifying, the race in which they will use their ‘Option’ tyre, with all choices being declared upon cars leaving the pit-lane.
Only the Goodyear medium tyre will be allocated for events at Brands Hatch (x2), Donington Park and Silverstone, whilst only the hard compound will be utilised at Thruxton (x2).
It was agreed that the maximum success ballast of 75 kilograms will be reintroduced, from the current 60 kilograms, given that cars now demonstrably carry success weight far more capably and competitively than before.
Therefore, success ballast for the 2021 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship will be allocated at the following increments:
Following the initiative’s successful introduction at Silverstone in 2019, pit garages will again be reversed for the benefit of fans at events at those venues where it is practical to do so.
The move will see the front of the pit garages now face into the paddock area, rather than the pit-lane, meaning teams and drivers will conduct most of their preparation work in clear view of the spectators.
This activity will be carried out at venues where the space and layout of the paddock and pit-lane area is both viable and safe. Teams’ transporters will be situated slightly further back from the pit garages, ensuring plenty of space is available for fans to view the cars and stars of the BTCC in their garage environment.
The 2021 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship will commence at Brands Hatch on 03/04 April.