Alan Gow: ‘We’re in for another titanic battle’
Anticipation is building ahead of the 2015 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship and we caught-up with Series Director Alan Gow to discuss the forthcoming season.
“There have been some great announcements already with many more – including some surprises – to come over the next few weeks,” said Gow. “We’ve had the news that Andy Priaulx is coming back to the series, which is fantastic, not only for the championship but also for WSR and the fans.
“Andrew Jordan has signed for MG, a brand new manufacturer in Infiniti has joined the championship and several more deals have already been confirmed, which all goes to show that the BTCC is in rude health.”
Interest in the BTCC is at all time high and the introduction of the TOCA BTCC Licence (‘TBL’) – part of the entry requirement process – has proved to be extremely successful. All 30 of the TBLs assigned to the teams are currently allocated and TOCA has loaned its remaining two licences, for this season, to incoming manufacturer Infiniti.
“We can’t accommodate everyone unfortunately and no doubt the 32-car limit could be exceeded if we allowed it to,” comments Gow. “It is the pinnacle of British motor sport after all and sometimes you have to wait to get your chance, but we have some other great championships on the TOCA package that drivers and teams can get involved in – Porsches, Ginettas and Clios are all great training grounds for the BTCC.”
With a record number of race winners in 2014 you’d be forgiven for wondering how the BTCC can maintain or even improve the level of competitiveness moving forward, but that’s something Gow says organisers are always striving for.
“2014 was the 17th year in-a-row that the championship had gone down to the final event, which is a phenomenal figure,” he notes. “We had 11 race winners; more than in any other season of the BTCC, and Colin Turkington was a thoroughly deserving champion. I’m absolutely sure we’re in for another titanic battle this year.
“There seems to be quite a bit of movement in the driver market plus there’s a some new cars entering the fray. We’ve also made some changes to improve the show, including increasing the success ballast to 75 kilos from 45, which will have a much greater impact.
“The grid for the second race of the day will no longer be determined by the finishing order of race one but is set by achieved fastest laps. Race two was often becoming a rerun of the first and that was also because the ballast was having a minimal effect, so these two changes in particular should spice things up even further.
“We have always thrived on keeping the championship fresh by tweaking things where necessary, but without making the racing a complete lottery. Everything we do is for a reason, but no matter what we do the best drivers and cars always still come out on top….and that’s exactly as it should be.”
Another vital ingredient in the BTCC is of course the fans, who continue to provide the atmosphere and backdrop to the country’s biggest motorsport show.
“We had a record number of spectators in 2014 – nearly 400,000 – which is incredible,” he concludes. “Those that aren’t able to make it are welcome to be couch potatoes and watch the action on ITV, which millions are doing every year!”