BTCC tweaks tyre, ballast and qualifying rules for 2020

BTCC tweaks tyre, ballast and qualifying rules for 2020

Andrew Jordan
Photo: PSP Images

TOCA has confirmed a number of changes to the regulations of the British Touring Car Championship which will be introduced in 2020, including modifications to the tyre rules, success ballast and qualifying format.

The changes have been made following an end-of-season meeting between series organiser TOCA and the participating teams.

For tyres, following the successful introduction in 2019, drivers will use all three tyre compounds on race day at Snetterton and Croft in 2020, meaning that drivers must complete one race respectively on Goodyear’s soft, medium and hard compound tyres at those circuits.

The addition of Croft has been made possible after the circuit was resurfaced in 2019, giving it a less abrasive surface.

The way in which tyres are nominated for each race has been tweaked, with teams no longer required to specify before qualifying in which race they will run the ‘option’ tyre. Teams will now have more freedom to respond on race day, changing their strategies until the very last minute.

Changes have also been made to the success ballast system for the second year in a row, with the amount of weight increasing across the spectrum. It follows a move to reduce success ballast for the 2019 season.

The race winner will now carry 60 kg of weight, with the ballast reducing in 6 kg increments thereafter. The full scale of success ballast for the top ten is as follows:

60 kg, 54 kg, 48 kg, 42 kg, 36 kg, 30 kg, 24 kg, 18 kg, 12 kg, 6 kg.

The final tweak is to the qualifying format, although the system will not be trialled until Snetterton at the mid-point of the season.

Drivers will be given 25 minutes to record their fastest lap times, down from the current 30 minute session.

However, the top ten drivers will then progress to a ten-minute pole position showdown to determine the top ten places on the grid.

It sees the BTCC follow in the footsteps of other major touring car series, which have long run Q1 and Q2 qualifying systems to split the order.

“Clearly, the regulations for the BTCC work tremendously well,” said Alan Gow, Chief Executive of TOCA. “That’s self-evident from the fantastically close racing and championship battles, but we’re always looking at ways in which they can be improved.

“Whilst these are fairly minor tweaks, they will certainly add some interesting new elements to next season’s championship.”