The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship has today announced its plans to introduce an award for top performers in S2000-spec machinery from next year, effectively creating a second class of competitors in the championship.
The S2000 competitors would not have their own separate points table, however. Instead, the highest-finishing S2000 competitor from each race will be awarded with silverware, and this would count to an overall trophy to be awarded at the end of the season.
The car specification, which has been active in the BTCC since 2004, is currently being super-ceded by the turbo-assisted ‘Next Generation Touring Cars’ (NGTC). However, with a number of competitors this year driving the older and cheaper machinery to success this year, the BTCC has acted on its previous promises to continue to accomodate the older cars during the transition period to NGTC-spec cars.
Speaking to BTCC.net, Series Director Alan Gow said:
“There has been sufficient interest from competitors who wish to compete with current S2000 cars to warrant an award for their efforts – we made a commitment over two years ago for those cars to continue in the championship, albeit not with performance parity against NGTC cars.
“Therefore we will award silverware to the top S2000 finisher in each race which will accumulate to an overall trophy at the end of the season. It means those teams, drivers and sponsors who are looking to eventually move up to NGTC machinery can still actively participate in the BTCC and benefit from its profile.
“It is important to stress this will not take the form of a separate points-based championship. However, we will announce the exact details and the name of the award in the near future.”
So far this year, six of the 27 BTCC races have been won by S2000-spec cars, driven by Dave Newsham, Mat Jackson and Rob Collard. Mat Jackson’s Redstone Racing team has since switched to its own NGTC-Spec Ford Focus, which took its first victory last time out at Silverstone.
Photo Credit: Michael Booth