If Motorsport evalueert inzet Grande Punto in BTCC
Het Schotse If Motorsport evalueert momenteel de inzet van een paar Grande Punto's voor de nieuwe NGTC (Next Generation Touring Car) klasse, dat werkt met een beperkt budget.
De auto's zijn vrij standaard, om de kosten binnen de perken te houden, omdat er zoveel geld in de racerij omgaat en hiermee hoopt men het kampioenschap weer aantrekkelijk te maken voor menen die wel willen racen, maar geen kapitalen achter de hand hebben, zoals in de S2000 klasse. Deze nieuwe klasse is voor productieauto's met standaard 2 liter turbo-motor en maximaal 300 pk, 0,8 bar druk en maximaal 7000 toeren per minnut:
Scottish racing team, If Motorsport, is evaluating entering the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) this year with a pair of Abarth Grande Puntos built to the series' new low cost future NGTC (Next Generation Touring Car) rules fitted with TOCA's standardised turbo engine.
The new NGTC regulations aim to dramatically reduce the design, build and running costs of the cars and engines as well as maintaining present levels of performance until 2013, to ensure performance parity with current breed of S2000 cars. They will reduce the potential for significant performance disparities between cars and ‘future proof’ the regulations by being able to easily modify the various performance parameters. Reducing reliance on WTCC/S2000 equipment is important to the BTCC due to increasing costs and complexity and concerns as to its future sustainability and direction. "The Abarth is the most likely car that we'll run, but we are still talking to two other manufacturers," team boss Bryce Wilson told Autosport magazine last week. "Obviously we know time's against us, and I think it's unlikely that we'll be ready for the start of the season. But I'm sure that with some decent testing in the bag, then we can be competitive once we do get on track." Autosport says that no drivers have yet been signed for the project, however Wilson, a former Renault Spider Cup champion and Nissan BTCC test driver, will carry out much of the development work himself. He formed If Motorsport five years ago and the team has established itself as a winner in the UK and European VdeV series, collection the 2008 teams' title in the UK version.
Wilson told Autosport that the NGTC rules package, which is due to come into force in 2011, was influential in his decision to expand his team's programme from sportscars-only to include tin-tops. "It obviously makes our chances of not only getting there, but also of being competitive, far higher," he added. "We're a professional team and I think that we can do a good job, but we need to expand the team and set our budget first so we know what we're aiming for."
NGTC (Next Generation Touring Car) Regulations
The new TOCA NGTC rules package will focus on front wheel drive cars only with a 2-litre turbocharged production-based 4-cylinder petrol engine, producing approximately 300bhp with a 7,000 rev limit, 0.8 bar of boost and inlet-restrictor, coupled to a 6-speed sequential semi-automatic gearbox and with an increased minimum length of 4.4m combined with a standardised width of 1875mm as well as being of 2, 3, 4 or 5 door type – providing they share the same basic silhouette and dimensions as the 4 and 5 door saloon versions. Fully adjustable subframe-mounted front and rear suspension will be permitted along with larger wheels and tyres. To cut costs significantly common major components will be utilised such as the ECU, subframe, gearbox, brakes, hubs, steering rack and fuel tank. There will be integrated front aerodynamics that incorporate the radiators, cooling ducts and partial flat-floor to a given design parameter and dimension along with a specified rear wing profile and size with each car wind-tunnel tested by TOCA to achieve similar aero equality. There will be an emphasis on increased driver safety, stronger and more robust major components along with full at-event parts supply service and support which will mean that teams will have far less of their capital tied up through not having to maintain a large spares inventory as the major component suppliers will maintain a sufficient level of inventory to service the teams. There will also be lower C02 emissions output than under the current rules.
A production bodyshell with a standardised roll cage design and specification will be used with the front and rear subframes incorporating specified suspension and brake components as well as the engine location. The aim is to see car design, development and build costs reduced by some 50 percent from current levels – with an achievable target price of £100,000 per car ‘ready to race’, plus the engine, which comes out well in comparison to a new S2000 car which can cost in excess of £200,000. Deep changes will also come in the area of the engine. Under the NGTC regulations the base unit can be sourced from a manufacturer’s broad ‘family’, including subsidiary brands under their effective control, with the bore and stroke allowed to be altered to achieve the 2-litre displacement. Items such as camshafts, pistons, dry sump, inlet and exhaust system systems will be free, within set parameters, while a TOCA 'Technical Review Panel' may review any individual applications to redesign some standard engine components, but only for reliability purposes. A specified turbo, wastegate, intercoolers, injectors and ECU (engine control unit) will be mandated to reduce development costs and opportunities for technical infringements and each new engine developed will be tested on a TOCA-nominated engine dynamometer to monitor output levels.
Even though the new engine will produce more power and torque, the engine development and costs will be dramatically reduced by over 50 per cent from current, with new engines costing around £15,000 each, after initial development costs are taken into consideration, with an engine targeted to last a full season without requiring a rebuild, in normal use, and with a rebuild cost of around £8,000 at season’s end.
As well, a ‘TOCA’ (i.e. unbranded) NGTC engine will be commissioned and available to those teams who do not wish to undertake their own individual engine development programme. These will be available at a fixed cost per engine of £25,000 a year (leased with full at-event support service) or £20,000 to purchase while an engine rebuilds will cost a fixed £8,000. This TOCA engine may also be available for use in upgrading S2000 cars in the future, to reduce engine costs for those teams and extend the competitive life of their current cars.
A policy of equivalence in overall performance between the current S2000 and the ‘Next-Gen’ cars will be maintained until 2013, to provide asset protection for the S2000 cars and parity of competition throughout that period meaning that in simple terms, the two specifications of cars will be equally eligible for outright honours – and be equivalent in overall performance – until 2013. From 2013, whilst S2000 cars will still be eligible, the ‘Next-Gen’ cars/engines will then be progressively increased in performance and a turbo ‘over-boost’ facility be incorporated to allow a regulated amount of short power boosts during each race. Stability of the new technical regulations will be maintained for at least five years (i.e. to the end of 2016), when they may be reviewed. However, it is the clear intention that the fundamental aspects of these regulations will continue well beyond those first five years and will not be substantially altered beyond minor updates, if appropriate. In all likelihood, the older BTC-spec cars will cease to be eligible from 2011 – although this is yet to be confirmed.
Nieuws, uitslagen e.d. m.b.t. toerwagenraces.
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