The Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship has confirmed a number of regulation and procedural changes ahead of the 2021 season.
Following on from an end-of-season meeting between Series Organisers TOCA and all participating teams, tweaks to the qualifying format, tyre options, success ballast and fan enhancements have all been ratified.
Having been trialled at Snetterton in 2020, the ‘Top Ten Showdown’ qualifying session will return next year; this time at Donington Park, Snetterton and Silverstone.
Those three events will see the traditional 30-minute session replaced by a marginally reduced window of 25 minutes for drivers to record their lap times. After a short five-minute break, the fastest ten competitors will then progress into a ten-minute session to determine the top ten places on the grid.
Competitors will use variety of tyre compounds during the season as well as the ‘Option’ tyre is phased back-in at four of the ten scheduled events.
Oulton Park, Croft and Snetterton will see the Goodyear soft tyre used as the ‘Option’ whilst the Goodyear medium compound is the selected ‘Option’ tyre at Knockhill.
Over the course of those four events the ‘Option’ tyre must be used in one of the three races. Teams do not have to specify which race they will use the compound in before qualifying, with all choices being declared upon the cars leaving the pit-lane on their way to the grid.
Events at Brands Hatch, Donington Park and Silverstone will see only the Goodyear medium compound allocated, whilst both visits to Thruxton will see only the hard compound used.
Success ballast will be increased for the forthcoming campaign with the maximum weight of 75kgs being reintroduced, an increase from the current 60kgs. Ballast will be issued throughout the top ten as follows for 2021: 75kgs-66kgs-57kgs-48kgs-39kgs-33kgs-27kgs-21kgs-15kgs-9kgs.
Finally, following the initiative’s successful introduction at Silverstone in 2019, pit garages will again be reversed for the benefit of fans at events at those venues where it is practical to do so.
Pit garages will face into the paddock area, rather than the pit-lane, meaning teams and drivers will carry out a majority of their preparation work in clear view of spectators and adding a further dimension to the fan experience during a race weekend.
The 2021 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship will commence at Brands Hatch on April 3/4.