After rising running costs for Super Touring cars, ToCa, who run the British Touring Car Championship announced a new set of regulations for 2001 onwards, slashing the cost of running a BTCC team.
The key objectives of the BTC regulations were to significantly reduce participation costs by introducing the use of common components, also encouraging new manufacturers to the series who may not have been suited or permitted by previous regulations. They also aimed to reduce aerodynamic and mechanical grip of the cars to provide a more entertaining on-track spectacle.
The specified components consisted of AP Racing brakes, clutches and on-board air jacks, ATL Racing complete fuel system, J.E Developments catalytic converters, Michelin tyres, OZ Racing 18 inch wheels, PI Research/Pectel Control Systems engine electronics, TWR Machining azles, wheel nuts, locking mechanisms and associated suspension items and a full transmission package, including gearbox, differential and gear ratios from XTRAC Ltd.
Not only were the cars’ exteriors changed, but the drivers would also notice a difference, with the carbon-fibre inserts and other composite materials banned in further attempts to cut costs. Aluminium was used it its place, with all cars using identical instruments and data logging equipment.
Saving was clear, with the Vauxhall BTCC team saying they made an overall saving of almost 40% with the new BTC regulations in comparison to Super Touring, saving up to 92% on some individual items.
In addition to the new technical regulations, a new ballast system was implemented in order to slow down the fastest cars and bring the field closer together. For example, a race win would add 40kg to the 975kg weight limit, with second place gaining 30kg and third receiving 20kg of ballast.
BTC-Touring regulations ran between 2001 and 2011, being pushed aside in favour of the further cost-cutting regulations of Super 2000 and Next Generation Touring Cars.