BTCC Teams Looking At Non-Championship Event For 2016

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Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship teams are looking into plans for a special non-championship event at Donington Park next summer, Motorsport News has revealed.

The event is high on the list of ideas tabled by the newly-formed British Touring Car Championship teams’ commercial body, the group fronted by Team BMR’s Warren Scott, Ciceley Racing’s Russell Morgan and Rob Austin Racing’s Richard Austin.

The group will look at ways of increasing entrants’ revenue, with Austin bringing forward the festival plan of a showdown race that would provisionally take place on July 17, one week after the British Grand Prix.

“What we want is a totally touring car-focused meeting, and we have had very positive early talks with Donington Park,” Austin Sr. told Motorsport News.

“We are definitely going to mix up the format of the race day, the whole thing.I want to make it totally immersive for the crowd in terms of the racing and the appearances of the drivers, and them getting close to the cars.

“One of the ideas is for heats and a final instead of just three races. We could even make it an endurance-style race or a two-driver race or we invite some star names in – that sort of thing has happened before. There are already people out there who want to do a one-off race in a touring car, and because this festival is outside the regulations, they would be able to take part.”

BTCC series director Alan Gow said he was aware of the plan and would not stop them putting together the independent event, while fellow drivers including 2013 BTCC champion Andrew Jordan have come forward to voice their praise of the plans.

“The touring car weekends are great as they are, but to give the fans something different is a super plan,” said Jordan, also to Motorsport News.

“I remember the old days of the PowerTour package, and there was so much more going on around the race meeting than just the on-track stuff, and that sounds like what they are trying to do here. I am sure there will be some entrants who don’t want to do it because of the costs, but mixing up the format would be exciting for the drivers and offer something different.”

The series’ last non-championship event was the RAC Tourist Trophy, which took place at Donington Park in 1997 and was won by former double BTCC champion Alain Menu in his then title-winning Renault Laguna.

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