The F1 season with all its glitz and glamour may possibly have started in earnest not too long ago, with the operating on the Australian Grand Prix; but for many motor-sports enthusiasts, the true thrills of motor-racing could be identified much closer to home using the British Touring Car Championship (or BTCC), as a consequence of get underway in the finish of March.
It is well known that F1 can be a millionaire's sport - the automobiles would be the outcome of millions of pounds of technical investigation; the drivers are paid a king's ransom, and both the teams and drivers are topic to multi-million pounds sponsorship bargains by worldwide corporations. Funds talks in F1 and purists argue that the sport isn't competitive any longer, as races are now won and lost inside the pit-lane, in lieu of on the track, when the bigger teams for instance McLaren and Ferrari spend the type of dollars that the smaller teams for example Super Aguri can only dream about.
Recent years has seen the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) flourish in terms of both competing teams and spectator numbers. The sport itself operates on a fraction with the price range afforded to the F1 world; but what it lacks in glamour, it more than tends to make up for in thrills! The BTCC season comprises of ten rounds - starting and ending at Brands Hatch - held amongst March and September, and going to nine diverse circuits. Every single round consists of three races, generating a thirty round competitors.
The teams which compete in the BTCC are a mixture of manufacturers' performs teams (at present SEAT and Vauxhall are the only manufacturer teams) and independent teams such as Team Halfords and Group RAC. The independent teams usually comprise of ex-works cars which have already been bought from manufacturer teams when they update their own cars' chassis. Whilst this then may well seem to offer the 'new' automobiles an edge, as functions teams can offer expert motoring advice about new developments surrounding their entries; there are in truth strict limits to modifications that will be made to any competing vehicle in order to keep costs down and elicit an element of fairness within the sport. For instance, all competing automobiles must use the identical tyre - referred to as a 'control tyre' - which currently is supplied by Dunlop. Cars can also be modified to use diverse fuel forms, with recent cars obtaining run on liquefied petroleum gas, bio-ethanol fuel and also diesel, which produced its initial appearance within a BTCC race in 2007.
Races inside the BTCC calendar are normally run more than a weekend. Saturday comprises of two practice sessions, followed by a half-hour qualifying session which determines the initial race grid for the Sunday. Like F1, the grid is sorted by time with the quickest driver lining up in pole position. According to the length on the racing circuit, each race will commonly consist of amongst 16 and 25 laps, plus the race result then determines the grid order for the next race with all the drivers lining up in accordance with their finishing position for race two.
For race three, beginning positions are determined by a 'draw' which sees aspect with the grid reversed. This implies that according to the draw, drivers who completed in the minor placings could commence in pole position. For example, if position 6 was drawn, the driver who completed in 6th location could be offered pole position, with 5th spot in second position and so on. Drivers who completed above the 'draw' outcome would occupy the position where they finished race two.
Also, at the end of your initial and second races, the automobiles which finish inside the key placings are handicapped by obtaining further weight - referred to as ballast - added to them for the subsequent race in the meeting. Drivers' standings after the third race of each and every meeting also decide the quantity of ballast to become carried in the very first race from the following meeting.
There are some aspects of BTCC which are shared with F1; one example is the safety vehicle and pit lane speed limits. Having said that, in contrast to F1, spare cars can't be used, and teams can only use a maximum of 4 engines per season per driver. If more engines are made use of, teams are subject to point deductions.
All this adds up to some wonderful thrills on the racetrack as the guidelines make racing considerably more competitive and open, with cars' technological positive aspects negated by further weight or luck on the draw. Collisions are commonplace in BTCC as drivers push their automobiles - and themselves - to the limit throughout every single race; it isn't uncommon to witness high-speed collisions involving multiple automobiles, although the attempts to equalise the vehicles suggests overtaking manoeuvres can happen anyplace throughout the race - even around the tightest of corners!