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TOCA introduces BTCC licence

Photo by Touring Car Championship bosses TOCA have announced that they are going to introduce a new ‘TOCA BTCC Licence’ (TBL) for the 2014 season in order to recognise the commitment of existing teams.

A maximum of 30 TBLs are to be made available, which will be prioritised according to:

  1. Existing teams that have competed in at least 50 percent of the 2013 BTCC season with NGTC machinery will have automatic entry for the same number of cars in 2014, subject to fulfilment of the pre-registration requirements by 30 November;
  2. Existing teams with two or more NGTC cars will have priorty for one additional entry subject to validation of the entry by TOCA;
  3. Existing cars;
  4. New entries.

Eligible teams will be issued with a TBL which is valid for a minimum of three seasons. Teams are also entitled to sell, gift, lease, assign or loan their TBL to other existing or new teams on a season-long basis (i.e. not on a round-by-round basis) subject to approval by TOCA.

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Crucially, possession of a TBL and its subsequent retention includes an obligation from each entrant to contest all BTCC events for the season entered.

An additional element means that each entrant cannot make more than one change of driver per car, except in the case of force majeure. Financial limitations are not considered to be force majeure. If a substitute driver is used, they must have completed at least 300 km of testing in an NGTC car, unless TOCA acknowledge the driver to be of high repute or with considerable touring car experience.

The rule has been devised in an attempt to promote teams to announce entries that they can fulfill, and with the aim of reducing seat swapping which was particularly prevalent at Tony Gilham’s Team HARD squad, which fielded no fewer than nine different drivers in its four entries throughout the season.

The final two TBLs will be retained by TOCA for use to a suitable entrant, but cannot be sold. At certain meetings, where facilities allow and demand is suitable, an additional two TBLs may be used on an ad-hoc basis (for example for celebrity use or research and development purposes), potentially taking the maximum grid size for those events to 34.

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