The 2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship will see the introduction of a ‘secret’ soft tyre for teams to use once in nine of the ten rounds.
With the exception of Thruxton, each team will provided with one set of soft compound tyres which must be used in of the three races, nominated before – but not to be used in – qualifying.
The tyres will carry a special marking so they can be identified – but the compounds will not be known until the cars take to the grid, adding a tactical and secretive spice to the championship’s tyre regulations.
If the driver’s nominated race is wet, they must use the soft tyres in the next available dry race – with no ‘carry-over’ to the next round.
Series Director Alan Gow said: “This set of softer compound tyres is part of each driver’s normal 16 per-meeting Dunlop tyre allocation, so there is no increase in the amount of tyres used. The real twist is that prior to qualifying they must nominate the actual race in which they are going to use them the next day – in that way they won’t be able to use them to merely make up for a poor qualifying or race performance, for example.
“It’s sure to provide some fascinating race day strategies, as each team won’t know what their opposition are doing until they head out onto the grid.”
Meanwhile, the teams and organisers have agreed to continue with the lap time-based boost adjustments – introduced this season – next year, though with as yet unconfirmed changes to how they are applied and how often – but the amount of change will be reduced from the 2012 level.
What is known is that it will no longer be applied based on the fastest lap of each model, for example NGTC Honda Civic or S2000 Vauxhall Vectra, but instead by individual drivers or teams. Also to be confirmed is whether they stick with the two-race average lap time implementation used this season, or make more or less frequent changes to the levels.