Mandatory alcohol testing to be introduced to BTCC

Alan GowThe Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship organisers TOCA have announced that the series will undergo alcohol testing during each day at every BTCC event.

Alcosense Breathalysers – title sponsor for Hunter Abbott’s Rob Austin Racing run Audi A4 – has been named the Official Alcohol Testing Partner and will bring in the first compulsory test in British motorsport. The test will ensure that all competitors and senior championship officials are free from the effects of alcohol in their systems.

TOCA have imposed a strict ‘zero tolerance’ alcohol limit to ensure maximum levels of safety are maintained at all times. Whilst drivers and officials are unlikely to risk both the safety of themselves and others prior and during a race weekend, even moderate drinking the previous day may leave traces in a person’s system which will impair both safety and performance.

Those who fail the zero tolerance test will not be allowed to participate until they can pass.

BTCC Series Director Alan Gow comments: “As the UK’s premier motor racing series the BTCC should continue to set benchmarks and this is another important step we can take.

“Whilst random breath-testing does happen on occasion at various motor sport events, the BTCC is the first championship to mandate the zero-tolerance limit and back this up with compulsory testing each day at each event.”

TOCA also want to raise awareness of the dangers of ‘morning after drink driving’ with consequent accidents on the road rising from 13% to 21% in the last ten years.
Hunter Abbott, team mate to Rob Austin in the Alcosense sponsored Audi, already promotes the cause through his business.

Alan Gow continues: “When I happened to mention this to Hunter Abbott of Alcosense he immediately agreed to provide TOCA with the specialist equipment and training for us to make it happen – so I appreciate the commitment by Alcosense to become the BTCC’s Official Alcohol Testing Partner.

“Education is key and by pioneering this mandatory testing we believe the BTCC will raise more awareness of the dangers and help keep its drivers, officials and fans, safe – not only at the circuit but on the road.”
The zero tolerance test will come into effect at the next round of the championship at Oulton Park which is due to get underway in just under two weeks’ time. by Nikki Thompson

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