The F1 season with all its glitz and glamour could have began in earnest recently, with the running of the Australian Grand Prix; but for a lot of motor-sports enthusiasts, the genuine thrills of motor-racing can be found a lot closer to property with the British Touring Car Championship (or BTCC), as a result of get underway in the end of March.
It's well-known that F1 is actually a millionaire's sport - the automobiles will be the result of millions of pounds of technical study; the drivers are paid a king's ransom, and both the teams and drivers are topic to multi-million pounds sponsorship bargains by international corporations. Income talks in F1 and purists argue that the sport isn't competitive anymore, as races are now won and lost within the pit-lane, in lieu of on the track, though the bigger teams which include McLaren and Ferrari commit the sort of dollars that the smaller teams for example Super Aguri can only dream about.
Current years has noticed the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) flourish when it comes to both competing teams and spectator numbers. The sport itself operates on a fraction of the spending budget afforded towards the F1 planet; yet 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 among March and September, and going to nine distinct circuits. Each round consists of three races, making a thirty round competition.
The teams which compete in the BTCC are a mixture of manufacturers' works teams (at the moment SEAT and Vauxhall will be the only manufacturer teams) and independent teams including Team Halfords and Team RAC. The independent teams commonly comprise of ex-works automobiles which happen to be purchased from manufacturer teams after they update their own cars' chassis. While this then may possibly appear to offer the 'new' automobiles an edge, as functions teams can present expert motoring advice about new developments surrounding their entries; you can find in actual fact strict limits to modifications which can be made to any competing vehicle to be able to retain expenses down and elicit an element of fairness inside the sport. For instance, all competing vehicles need to use the exact same tyre - called a 'control tyre' - which at present is supplied by Dunlop. Automobiles can also be modified to work with unique fuel forms, with recent automobiles possessing run on liquefied petroleum gas, bio-ethanol fuel as well as diesel, which created its initially appearance inside a BTCC race in 2007.
Races in the BTCC calendar are normally run over a weekend. Saturday comprises of two practice sessions, followed by a half-hour qualifying session which determines the very first race grid for the Sunday. Like F1, the grid is sorted by time with the fastest driver lining up in pole position. According to the length of your racing circuit, every race will ordinarily consist of involving 16 and 25 laps, plus the race result then determines the grid order for the following race with the drivers lining up based on their finishing position for race two.
For race 3, beginning positions are determined by a 'draw' which sees component from the grid reversed. This means that according to the draw, drivers who finished inside the minor placings could commence in pole position. For instance, if position 6 was drawn, the driver who finished in 6th place would be provided pole position, with 5th location in second position and so on. Drivers who finished above the 'draw' outcome would occupy the position where they finished race two.
Also, at the end from the first and second races, the automobiles which finish in the big placings are handicapped by possessing additional weight - generally known as ballast - added to them for the subsequent race in the meeting. Drivers' standings immediately after the third race of every single meeting also decide the level of ballast to be carried within the first race of the following meeting.
You'll find some elements of thebtcc.com that are shared with F1; for example the safety car or truck and pit lane speed limits. On the other hand, in contrast to F1, spare vehicles can't be employed, and teams can only use a maximum of 4 engines per season per driver. If additional engines are utilized, teams are topic to point deductions.
All this adds up to some wonderful thrills around the racetrack as the rules make racing far more competitive and open, with cars' technological benefits negated by additional weight or luck of the draw. Collisions are commonplace in BTCC as drivers push their vehicles - and themselves - towards the limit all through each race; it is not uncommon to witness high-speed collisions involving several cars, when the attempts to equalise the vehicles means overtaking manoeuvres can occur anywhere all through the race - even on the tightest of corners!