The BTCC, or British Touring Car Championship, is a race that is held annually in the UK. The first race was held in 1958, but under the name of the British Saloon Car Championship.

In the beginning of the BTCC, was filled with a mixture of different car classes. They weren’t just thrown together, but divided by the car engine size. The catch is, there wasn’t different heats or races, they all raced simultaneously. This could mean one simple but very important thing, that a driver with the right car could win the full championship without acquiring any race wins. That fact made the race highly controversial with viewers. Those rules continued on into the 1980′s.

In the 1990′s is when the technology really started pouring in. The rules adjusted and changed until finally, in 2009 the BTCC released the NGTC specification sheet. The costs of design and maintenance were shooting through the roof, the NGTC is created to limit those costs and help the race continue onto the foreseeable future.

The races are like clock work most times, here’s how they work:

On the Saturday of any racing weekend the drivers are required to participate in two practice sessions. Immediately after this is finished, the qualifying round which lasts 30 minutes. The result of this race will decide how the final line up order when the race starts the next day. The fastest driver obviously gets the lead, or pole, position.

Like the day before, the race results for the first race will decide the starting position for drivers in the second race. The winner of the second race doesn’t get to be in the pole position for the third race, though the driver does get the 1st place points for the win.

The third race starting positions are determined using a wheel to decide at which position to start reversing the positions. This means the wheel deicide if the fourth place finisher is now the pole position or the even the 14 finisher of the second race. It all depends on where the wheel lands.

The BTCC cars were regulated by Next Generation Touring Car (NGTC) specifications. Super 2000 / S2000 cars were allowed too, but the engine must comply with NGTC specifications. Dunlop is the current official tire supplier to all the teams.

2012 BTCC Cars

Engines with NGTC specs – Honda Civic, Audi A4, BMW 320si, Volkswagen Golf etc.

 

Picture: 2011 Honda Racing Team

Honda Gordon Shedden btcc 2011 300x199