The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship has today revealed a number of rule changes that will come in to effect for the 2018 season.
Top of the list is an increase in driving standards penalties, a point of contention at times throughout the 2017 season, the new ruling will see fines increasing with a significant additional championship fine applied on top of any MSA fine.
‘Strikes’ will now last for 12 months from the date they are applied, rather than the current system that sees competitors start the year with a fresh record; This move brings them in line with the MSA penalty system.
Penalties for the third strike (and more) are as follows:
3rd strike – back of the grid
4th strike – one race ban
5th strike – two race ban
6th strike – three race ban
7th strike – banned from the championship for the rest of that season
Minor on-track incidents involving only two cars can be rectified by swapping their finishing positions post-race, or if it has already seen a position swap on track will not necessarily constitute a ‘strike’.
The third race grid draw will be extended to twelfth position rather than tenth, so positions six through to twelve will be in the draw for the 2018 season.
Jack Sears Trophy will be open to any driver who has never scored an outright podium position in BTCC; if a driver scores a podium finish during the season they can continue to challenge for the trophy but will be ineligible from the start of the next season.
Boost adjustments will only take place once per season, if needed, around the mid-season point.
Teams can make a maximum of two permanent driver changes per season, this increases from the previous one per season.
There will be mandatory Driver and Team manager regulations tests, which means they cannot take part until they have successfully passed.
TOCA have also invested in six large portable trackside marshalling LED panels which will reflect the flag status for that particular section of track. These will be utilised by marshalls when TOCA considers they will be of benefit, perhaps in areas where flag signals can’t easily be seen.
The 2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship gets underway on the 7/8 April at Brands Hatch.