it has been announced that the sporting regulations for next season’s championships have already been confirmed.
There is just a single change to the regulations involving how the grid is decided for race two. This season it was decided using the fastest laps set in race one. However there was a consensus in the meeting that increased ballast levels and the use of soft tyres are having the desired effect of producing more unpredictable race results and so the additional changes to the race two grid are no longer needed. Therefore the race two grid will revert to the previous method to decide the starting order where the grid positions come from the race one finishing order.
Toca also used the meeting to advise the teams on the availability of TOCA BTCC Licences (TBLs) for next season. They were told that applications for any new licences that are made available will only be considered if also accompanied with complete details of the intended car, driver and perhaps most importantly, the funding. Should a TBL application be approved and the details submitted to TOCA then change, TOCA have reserved the write to withdraw it and issue it to another applicant if they feel it’s appropriate. All applications for new TBLs must be received by TOCA by the end of this month giving the teams less than a week to apply if they havven’t already.
Series director Alan Gow spoke about the announcements;
“The fact that there are so few amendments to the BTCC sporting regulations for 2016 is testament to the regulations we already have in place. As far as the TBLs are concerned, I’m not yet sure exactly how many additional licences will be available until next month, but I do know it will be very, very few and that they are highly sought-after.”
Several teams have already confirmed their participation including champions Honda who have committed for at least a further three seasons with 2015 Champion Shedden and Matt Neal continuing next year. Eurtech have also confirmed their participation with the team purchasing three Honda Civic Type R’s from Team Dynamics who run the works team.
AMD Tuning have also stated that they hope to return with up to three cars. A second Audi A3 is set to be built to run alongside their current Audi and Ford Focus cars. AMD boss Shaun Hollamby released a statement;
“The BTCC is currently in as strong a position as it has ever been, and we feel the time is right to expand our programme beyond two cars for next year,” he said.
“We have seen the potential in the Audi from the five rounds it did in 2015 and have already prepped the shell of a second car ready to be built up for 2016. Subject to being granted the necessary licence by TOCA, we would then look to run both Audis with the new RML parts alongside the Focus next year.
“Mike Bushell, Jake Hill and Nicolas Hamilton did a fantastic job for us in 2015, and we would be keen to have them onboard again next year. There are also a number of other drivers who have expressed an interest in joining us for 2016, and we are in discussions over the various options that are available.
“The whole team, led by Rob Tickner, did a fantastic job to expand to two cars, and we are keen to expand and strengthen our backroom staff further as we embark on our most ambitious racing programme to date.
“It’s also true that these plans wouldn’t be possible without the fantastic backing of our loyal sponsors, and we need to thank Cobra Performance, Millers Oils, Hendys, Milltek Sport, Motul Oils and Project Mu for their ongoing support.”
We’ll continue to bring you announcements as they happen during the winter. By Marc Waller