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Rule changes ratified ahead of 2019 BTCC season

British Touring Car Championship organiser TOCA has ratified a number of minor amendments to its regulations following an end-of-season consultation with the championship’s teams. 

In addition to these revisions, it was also decided that the introduction of hybrid power – initially outlined for introduction from the 2022 season – may be brought forward to 2021 if all key parameters relating to the supply, engineering, costs, performance and testing of the hybrid units can be achieved in good time for an earlier launch. 

The following regulation changes will take effect from the opening round of the 2019 campaign at Brands Hatch Indy circuit on April 6/7:

Success ballast

The 75 kilograms maximum success ballast will be reduced, due to the incredibly closely matched performance of the current cars. Therefore the maximum amount of success ballast has been decreased to 54 kilograms and the remaining increments have been adjusted downwards accordingly:

1st: 54kgs
2nd: 48kgs
3rd: 42kgs
4th: 36kgs
5th: 30kgs
6th: 24kgs
7th: 18kgs
8th: 12kgs
9th: 6kgs
10th: 6kgs  

‘Strike’ system revision

As with previously, some on-track driving offences will continue to receive ‘reprimands’. From 2019, three reprimands will now constitute a ‘Strike’. 

A Strike will also be automatically applied for a more serious offence; as an example, when a driver is found to be wholly to blame in an incident that causes another driver to be unable to finish the race. In this case the recipient of the Strike will also receive the additional  penalty of a minimum 20 seconds added to their race time.

The current Strike tally-system remains as is, with a third Strike resulting in a driver being demoted to the back of the grid, a fourth resulting in a race ban and so on. A reprimand or Strike remains recorded against a driver for 12 months, as is currently the case.

Qualifying red flags

A driver causing a red flag in qualifying will lose their fastest lap time to that point and take no further part in the session.

Tyres

It has been agreed that teams will continue to nominate their ‘Option’ tyre choices prior to Saturday’s qualifying session. 

Teams are still limited to the use of the ‘Option’ tyre in each of the three races three times during the course of the season – i.e. race three at a maximum of three events, race two at a maximum of three events and so on.

‘Option’ compounds

Soft: Brands Hatch Indy, Oulton Park, Silverstone and Brands Hatch GP

Medium: Knockhill, with the Soft compound being the ‘Standard’ tyre

Hard: Donington Park and Croft
 Circuit

The Hard compound tyre will continue to be the sole dry tyre to be used at Thruxton.

Additionally, at Snetterton drivers must use a different tyre compound in each race but will not be required to nominate which. However, the compound selected cannot be changed on the grid.

Wet tyre

Following an extensive testing programme, Dunlop is set to introduce an entirely new wet tyre for the 2019 season.

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