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BTCC 2019 Season


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#51 f1paul

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Posted 23 February 2019 - 20:21

41 days until the first BTCC race.



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#52 Sterzo

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Posted 23 February 2019 - 20:47

Sadly I’d put the number of pay drivers in the series at probably 75% which is a sad state of affairs when you consider the popularity of the series.

The factory drivers are obviously there on the merit but there’s not many of them, after that there’s still those who clearly deserve to be there but have to bring a “package” to get a drive.

I’d say the last third of the grid are really only there because of their £££ and to literally make up the numbers. If Gow culled 10 cars off the grid from the back they wouldn’t be missed.

It's called sport. People spend money to take part in something they enjoy.



#53 DS27

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Posted 23 February 2019 - 21:37

I can't think of any series that doesn't have pay drivers, including F1, so i'm fine with them in BTCC.

 

Series like the BTCC will always have highs and lows over the years. During the low periods it will be grateful that the field is bolstered by these pay drivers, as without them it probably wouldn't survive.



#54 Silverstone96

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Posted 23 February 2019 - 22:28

I can't think of any series that doesn't have pay drivers, including F1, so i'm fine with them in BTCC.

Series like the BTCC will always have highs and lows over the years. During the low periods it will be grateful that the field is bolstered by these pay drivers, as without them it probably wouldn't survive.


I can think of 1, maybe 2 pay drivers in f1. BTCC is most of the field which isn’t healthy for keeping it as the pinnacle of domestic Motorsport.

Don’t get me wrong I’m a fan of the series for pushing 25 years so have seen many phases but just want to see it prosper.

#55 Kev00

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Posted 23 February 2019 - 23:14

I just figured that with their attendances and good freeview viewership that it would be attractive enough to bring sponsors and maybe prize money or funding to cover the costs of the better drivers. I still thought the better drivers would be in demand and someone of Goff’s quality would at least get a free drive somewhere.

#56 PayasYouRace

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Posted 23 February 2019 - 23:14

Hasn't the BTCC always been about amateur and professional drivers sharing the track though? Apart from when the manufacturers poured lots of money into the series in the super touring era, "pay drivers" have always been a big part of the BTCC.



#57 Silverstone96

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Posted 24 February 2019 - 11:00

Hasn't the BTCC always been about amateur and professional drivers sharing the track though? Apart from when the manufacturers poured lots of money into the series in the super touring era, "pay drivers" have always been a big part of the BTCC.


Yes would still agree they have a part to play especially when you ignore the 90’s.

Guess it’s just the balance really and how many is too many.

#58 midgrid

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Posted 25 February 2019 - 19:46

In last week's Autosport it was reported that Brett Smith will compete in the VW Cup this year.

#59 JHSingo

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 09:44

HP has been confirmed as Blundell's sponsor for this year. Great to see a big brand like them in the championship:

 

https://www.touringc...onsorship-deal/



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#60 midgrid

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 10:51

Was fully expecting HP Sauce before following the link!



#61 Sterzo

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 14:13

Yes would still agree they have a part to play especially when you ignore the 90’s.

Guess it’s just the balance really and how many is too many.

It's the quality of the drivers that matters, not how they fund the racing. The huge pack has been pretty tight in the last couple of years, without any no-hopers trailing miles behind.

 

In any case, "pay driver" is one of those vague terms that nobody bothers to define. If a driver is invited to join a team on condition he brings part sponsorship, is he a pay driver? If a driver owns his own team, is he a pay driver? If the team covers running costs but neither gives money to nor takes it from the driver, is he a pay driver? If a sponsor insists on a particular driver, is that a pay driver?


Edited by Sterzo, 26 February 2019 - 14:14.


#62 Silverstone96

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 17:53

It's the quality of the drivers that matters, not how they fund the racing. The huge pack has been pretty tight in the last couple of years, without any no-hopers trailing miles behind.

In any case, "pay driver" is one of those vague terms that nobody bothers to define. If a driver is invited to join a team on condition he brings part sponsorship, is he a pay driver? If a driver owns his own team, is he a pay driver? If the team covers running costs but neither gives money to nor takes it from the driver, is he a pay driver? If a sponsor insists on a particular driver, is that a pay driver?


I’d say the quality of the drivers and driving towards the back in the last few years has been pretty poor at best.

#63 midgrid

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 18:58

Another surprise, as Rob Collard will be Plato's team-mate at PowerMaxed.

#64 JHSingo

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 19:21

I’d say the quality of the drivers and driving towards the back in the last few years has been pretty poor at best.

 

I think it's natural that in a series like the BTCC that has more than 30 cars on the grid, and races at old-school and narrow tracks like Oulton Park, Croft, Brands Hatch, etc, there will inevitably be accidents. But I do think driving standards have improved across the grid in recent years. At the front, there are far less instances of push-to-pass like we used to see frequently from the likes of Neal and Plato. At the back, there are far fewer drivers out of their depths. There has been some shockingly awful drivers to grace the BTCC grid with the presence in years gone by, it's true, but for the last 3-5 years I'd say there has been far less of them.

 

You can say what you want about the ballast and reversed grids, but the fact that there's now more than half the grid capable of winning a race says it all - and regardless of the artificial elements, you don't win a race in the BTCC by being a total plug. It's actually one of the hardest series to win a race in due to it not simply being all about the car or who is the fastest driver - as I'm sure Colin Turkington would back up after last year. And I can't remember the last time I felt someone genuinely didn't deserve to win a race.

 

Besides, have you seen the state of most modern GT championships these days? They rely on amateur gentleman drivers to survive, and as such, the driving standards resemble an expensive demolition derby at times - far worse and more dangerous than anything you see in the BTCC. In many ways the BTCC is lucky that because GT racing is so appealing, there aren't more rich amateurs flogging around at the back of the BTCC grid.


Edited by JHSingo, 26 February 2019 - 19:22.


#65 BRG

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 19:38

Another surprise, as Rob Collard will be Plato's team-mate at PowerMaxed.

Great!  I look forward to hearing how Jason explains away being beaten by the Robster.



#66 Silverstone96

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 21:43

I think it's natural that in a series like the BTCC that has more than 30 cars on the grid, and races at old-school and narrow tracks like Oulton Park, Croft, Brands Hatch, etc, there will inevitably be accidents. But I do think driving standards have improved across the grid in recent years. At the front, there are far less instances of push-to-pass like we used to see frequently from the likes of Neal and Plato. At the back, there are far fewer drivers out of their depths. There has been some shockingly awful drivers to grace the BTCC grid with the presence in years gone by, it's true, but for the last 3-5 years I'd say there has been far less of them.

You can say what you want about the ballast and reversed grids, but the fact that there's now more than half the grid capable of winning a race says it all - and regardless of the artificial elements, you don't win a race in the BTCC by being a total plug. It's actually one of the hardest series to win a race in due to it not simply being all about the car or who is the fastest driver - as I'm sure Colin Turkington would back up after last year. And I can't remember the last time I felt someone genuinely didn't deserve to win a race.

Besides, have you seen the state of most modern GT championships these days? They rely on amateur gentleman drivers to survive, and as such, the driving standards resemble an expensive demolition derby at times - far worse and more dangerous than anything you see in the BTCC. In many ways the BTCC is lucky that because GT racing is so appealing, there aren't more rich amateurs flogging around at the back of the BTCC grid.


Fair, and some very well made points here.

Agree it’s worse in some GT categories, but think 30 cars is too many if anything. Don’t mind a few stragglers at the back but want to see the likes of Goff get a drive on merit. But this is nothing new, remember Gio and Turkington missing out in 2010.

As for all the different race winners, I thought last year was too many and the ballast was playing too much of a part in that but credit to Toca I think they have recognised this by reducing the maximum ballast for the season.

Ironically there is enough quality in the top half of the field that you probably don’t need success ballast any longer to ensure a close fight to the last round at brands.

#67 Burai

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 09:06

WSR switching to the BMW 330i this season.


Edited by Burai, 27 February 2019 - 09:07.


#68 PayasYouRace

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 10:00

That's good. I prefer seeing mid-size saloons to small hatchbacks in BTCC.



#69 F1matt

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 10:26

As someone who tries to get to a couple of rounds a year of the BTCC as well as F1 races and WEC events I don’t think the gap between first and last is as big in the BTCC as it is in WEC and F1, qualifying is normally very tight and the days of having stragglers at the back are diminishing with young drivers with a budget replacing them. TOCA base their events on people attending at the track, there is action from 11am to 6pm at some tracks with less than 15 minutes between on race finishing and the next one starting, so having the maximum number of cars at the track is a benefit for the paying public. The majority of the grid have full time jobs (even Plato) but as mentioned above with the exception of the super touring days which almost killed the series this is how it has always been.

 

I accept Jack Goff missing out on a drive is a shame its not the end of the world, the series has to be managed on a budget, no one team or driver dominates and the paying public keep turning up when let’s be honest times are hard has to be a good thing. The next couple of years will be interesting to see how they manage the costs of introducing the hybrid element to the cars without losing entries.

 

Just to finish off, 2 pay drivers in F1……… I put both Force India as pay drivers, Robert Kubica, Kevin Magnusson and possibly Lando Norris as well.  That’s almost a quarter of the grid.



#70 midgrid

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 10:30

WSR switching to the BMW 330i this season.

 

Interesting!  I suppose this was inevitable, given the age of the previous model.  With Turkington and Ingram both in new cars, I would consider Dan Cammish to be a strong dark horse for the championship, after his rookie season and Dynamics's learning year with the latest-model Civic.



#71 JHSingo

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 11:45

Just to finish off, 2 pay drivers in F1……… I put both Force India as pay drivers, Robert Kubica, Kevin Magnusson and possibly Lando Norris as well.  That’s almost a quarter of the grid.

 

At the end of the day, all motorsport, on any level (even at a club level) is expensive. I agree that it's a shame that Jack Goff won't be on the grid, but the BTCC has been lucky to have enjoyed strength in depth in recent years, such to the point that I didn't really notice the absence of Mat Jackson all that much last year. I don't think that would have been the case even 10 years ago. There have been years where the quality of the grid has clearly been not as good as the season before, but I don't think that will be the case this year.

 

I do like the renderings of the new BMW. Good to see some bigger cars on the grid will remain:

 

2019-BMW-WSR-BTCC-Livery-Design-WHITE-V1

2019-BMW-WSR-BTCC-Livery-Design-WHITE-V1



#72 Silverstone96

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 12:40

that's what a touring car should look like!



#73 MattK9

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 02:48

I am a bit miffed as to why we are going to Thruxton twice in one season.

As Rockingham has closed and a race was needed I can think of a couple of tracks I would race at ahead of a second Thruxton weekend.

This would include;
•Silverstone Southern Loop
•Donington Park (with the Melbourne hairpin)
•Snetterton 200 (roughly the old layout where the circuit cuts from Wilson hairpin to Williams)
•Cadwell Park/Pembrey/Castle Combe (Not sure if these circuits would be suitable for btcc. i.e. too small)
•BTCC used to go to a circuit in Ireland?

#74 PayasYouRace

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 09:14

BTCC raced at Mondello Park in Ireland for a few years. Having been to Cadwell I doubt it’s suitable for touring cars. It’s not really above club level when it comes to cars. Not sure about Pembrey. Castle Combe has hosted British GT recently but not any more.

Thruxton 2 was obviously a bit of a stop gap this year. But it’s not a bad venue for the BTCC.

#75 BRG

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 17:33

Meaning no disrespect to Scotland, if Knockhill is deemed OK for the BTCC, I see no reason why Cadwell, Pembrey or Combe should be ruled out.  No-one has mentioned Anglesey (Ty-Croes) which is a fine track, ideal for BTCC.  But the track is of course a bit remote unless you live in Holyhead.



#76 DS27

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 19:30

I love Cadwell, but I don't think you would see much overtaking with BTCC cars, even if they did declare the track up to it. (typical accident about 2 mins into vid)

 

 

Have seen a lot of very big accidents coming out of Charlies over the years, and not much they can do with the run off.

 

I would also like to see them at Anglesey, and I wouldn't class that as more remote than Knockhill for most.


Edited by DS27, 28 February 2019 - 19:39.


#77 PayasYouRace

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 20:01

Anglesey looks decent since its rebuild. Wouldn't mind seeing that happen.



#78 Albaforever

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 20:23

Meaning no disrespect to Scotland, if Knockhill is deemed OK for the BTCC, I see no reason why Cadwell, Pembrey or Combe should be ruled out.  No-one has mentioned Anglesey (Ty-Croes) which is a fine track, ideal for BTCC.  But the track is of course a bit remote unless you live in Holyhead.

 

I would like to see a replacement for Knockhill maybe still in Fife or elsewhere in the Central belt of Scotland. Knockhill fine to get to now we have a new road bridge over the Forth to Fife and new upgraded motorways north and south, but Knockhill itself could do with a makeover if not a new circuit build.             


Edited by Albaforever, 28 February 2019 - 20:25.


#79 PayasYouRace

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 20:35

Speaking of Knockhill, it's the only circuit that can potentially be run in both directions. That's what TCR UK did last year. Will TCR UK even run another season? I don't think anyone cares one jot about it.



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#80 f1paul

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 20:38

Street Circuit?  :D



#81 JHSingo

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 21:48

I would like to see a replacement for Knockhill maybe still in Fife or elsewhere in the Central belt of Scotland. Knockhill fine to get to now we have a new road bridge over the Forth to Fife and new upgraded motorways north and south, but Knockhill itself could do with a makeover if not a new circuit build.             

 

Why a new circuit? I've never been, but I'd say Knockhill is one of the best tracks on the calendar. Sure, it's so short it could be a kart track, but the elevation change of that first sector is spectacular. I doubt you'd get a series of corners like that on a new circuit, not without considerably more run off space, which removes the challenge of it.

 

I'd rather not see iconic tracks butchered for no reason, we've seen that at far too many anyway. Silverstone, for a start!

 

As for new venues on the calendar, what about the Circuit of Wales...oh wait. :lol:



#82 MattK9

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Posted 01 March 2019 - 13:54

Street Circuit?  :D

 

Birmingham Superprix?

 

A street race would be super cool but the costs involved are probably too much for the BTCC to stand.



#83 PayasYouRace

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Posted 01 March 2019 - 17:00

The UK is so well served by permanent circuits I've always felt there's little need for street circuits in a national series.



#84 MattK9

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Posted 02 March 2019 - 14:10

The UK is so well served by permanent circuits I've always felt there's little need for street circuits in a national series.


No but it would be a unique circuit for the btcc. As in unique compared to the other race circuits they go to.

I'm sure a commercial case for it could be put forward as it would promote the series to people who would never have seen it otherwise. And there is always a case for taking the cars to the people as it gives better viability to the series and to sponsors.

#85 Pete_f1

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Posted 02 March 2019 - 20:00

Speaking of Knockhill, it's the only circuit that can potentially be run in both directions. That's what TCR UK did last year. Will TCR UK even run another season? I don't think anyone cares one jot about it.


Wasnt that going to replace the BTCC within a few years?? 🤣

#86 DS27

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Posted 02 March 2019 - 20:13

Only if you listened to the wrong people   :)



#87 BMWTeamBigazzi

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Posted 06 March 2019 - 03:21

I would like to see a replacement for Knockhill maybe still in Fife or elsewhere in the Central belt of Scotland. Knockhill fine to get to now we have a new road bridge over the Forth to Fife and new upgraded motorways north and south, but Knockhill itself could do with a makeover if not a new circuit build.             

 

Are you for real??  When was the last time you visited Knockhill?? Knockhill outclass many circuits in the UK as a whole in terms of camping facilities. toilets, plus the uniqueness of the circuit, you get to roam the paddock anytime. Knockhill are constantly upgrading every year, so get yersell a tent and i'll see you in September  :clap: Knockhill is the real deal  :up:



#88 midgrid

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Posted 06 March 2019 - 09:23

Clio driver Sam Osborne completes the grid by joining Excelr8.

BTC Racing will join Dynamics in running the latest model Civic.

#89 V8 Fireworks

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Posted 06 March 2019 - 11:40

I’d say the last third of the grid are really only there because of their £££ and to literally make up the numbers. If Gow culled 10 cars off the grid from the back they wouldn’t be missed.

 

:well:

 

Supercars has a pathetic 24 car grid with no privateers, and it's horrible.  :down:

 

Privateers are great.  :clap:



#90 BRG

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Posted 06 March 2019 - 19:22

Are you for real??  When was the last time you visited Knockhill?? Knockhill outclass many circuits in the UK as a whole in terms of camping facilities. toilets, plus the uniqueness of the circuit, you get to roam the paddock anytime. Knockhill are constantly upgrading every year, so get yersell a tent and i'll see you in September  :clap: Knockhill is the real deal  :up:

Knockhill is a fun place to visit but it is still pretty primitive.  It has no pitlane for instance.  As for tents.....Outdoors?  In September?  On a blasted heath in Fife?  Rather you than me.



#91 PayasYouRace

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Posted 06 March 2019 - 19:25

I'm reminded of a comment I saw from an ex-marshal who was claiming that a circuit's facilities should be judged on the quality of the marshals' posts. They put a shelter for marshals above garages for the teams.



#92 Albaforever

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Posted 06 March 2019 - 19:44

Are you for real??  When was the last time you visited Knockhill?? Knockhill outclass many circuits in the UK as a whole in terms of camping facilities. toilets, plus the uniqueness of the circuit, you get to roam the paddock anytime. Knockhill are constantly upgrading every year, so get yersell a tent and i'll see you in September  :clap: Knockhill is the real deal  :up:

 

Yes I'm for real. I don't need a tent thank you as I live near the Knockhill circuit i.e I'm a local lad, so you get real.

 

I'll be there in September like I am there every year. It's only my opinion about the circuit OK, so get off your high horse.


Edited by Albaforever, 06 March 2019 - 20:25.


#93 midgrid

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Posted 25 March 2019 - 11:53

Tom Ingram will be powered by pasties this season!

 

f5a6b9007779b30a9c7b9b45c72c939a.jpg



#94 midgrid

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Posted 25 March 2019 - 17:39

Musical chairs: Mike Bushell has dropped down to the Clio Cup again, freeing his Team HARD seat for Jack Goff to return to the series after all.



#95 Peat

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Posted 26 March 2019 - 08:10

What a terrible, terrible livery Ingram has. 



#96 JHSingo

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Posted 26 March 2019 - 08:22

The new BMW in the flesh looks rather nice, I have to say:

 

36ad3b7d3097809641468209fae20a7e.jpg

6151f439e2e1053d7fcd75cc84b24590.jpg

 

Delighted to see Jack Goff back - he's one of the young talents that the series is poorer without.

 

Media day tomorrow!



#97 Frood

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Posted 26 March 2019 - 12:37

I’ve never been a BMW fan, but I’ve got to admit - that looks like a proper touring car.

Ingram’s, on the other hand... :lol: I’d still like him to be a strong challenger for the championship though.

#98 midgrid

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Posted 26 March 2019 - 12:41

The Pirtek version looks good as well!

 

7a5a9518-3e37-4bee-97f3-1585a061e48c-102



#99 Rinehart

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Posted 26 March 2019 - 12:44

What a terrible, terrible livery Ingram has. 

Dunno why but it reminds me of a NASCAR maybe the big number on the roof! 



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#100 JHSingo

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Posted 26 March 2019 - 12:57

While we're on the subject of liveries - I don't think this was posted at the time. But I do quite like Honda's colours for this year too:

 

TD-008.jpg?w=785&h=442&fit=crop&fm=pjpg&