What is going wrong with the BTCC?

What is going wrong with the BTCC?

Author
Discussion

wevster

687 posts

138 months

Saturday 3rd September
quotequote all
I couldn't be bothered to watch the last round which is unusual for me.

There's no real rivalries anymore or personalities.

If you support a driver they can finish second in one race, 15th in the next and not make many places up.

Just seems to have lost it for me.


Sebring440

1,116 posts

77 months

Sunday 4th September
quotequote all
wevster said:
Just seems to have lost it for me.
Do you think TOCA cares about the opinions of three or four people on PH, or the (obvious) opinions and support from hundreds of thousands of people around the word that actually enjoy the BTCC?


Chunkychucky

5,308 posts

150 months

Monday 5th September
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Sebring440 said:
wevster said:
Just seems to have lost it for me.
Do you think TOCA cares about the opinions of three or four people on PH, or the (obvious) opinions and support from hundreds of thousands of people around the word that actually enjoy the BTCC?
Just out of interest, how are "hundreds of thousands of people" giving their 'obvious support'? Must admit the few race meetings i've been to this year, I haven't seen anyone carrying banners declaring their undying love for the BTCC or dressed head-to-toe in their favourite driver's promotional gear - give the numbers involved would have thought this would have been the case..? scratchchin Unless you're just tonguing out the back-passage of Mr Gow & Co?

Given opinions herein are addressed to the OP and questions asked, no I don't think TOCA are even aware of these opinions, let alone caring about them.

There are thousands of people that attend the race meetings to watch live, happy days - plenty of revenue for the series organiser(s) and the circuits. The 'cherry on top' is the best years of the BTCC/British Saloon Car Championship are free to watch on YouTube smile

entropy

4,849 posts

184 months

Monday 5th September
quotequote all
Sebring440 said:
Do you think TOCA cares about the opinions of three or four people on PH, or the (obvious) opinions and support from hundreds of thousands of people around the word that actually enjoy the BTCC?
As an example: Why on earth introduce soft compound tyres into the equation when there's already success ballast and reverse grids to keep the race day interesting. Is it not enough?

Order66

6,628 posts

230 months

Monday 5th September
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I think the racing in BTCC is good. The hybrid stuff is just confusion which is detracting from decent flat-out racing. However my only real issue with it is the assortment of dull and uninteresting cars it is based on - it looks like a local racing club's hot-hatch championship. Astra, Focus, Civic etc - the BMW is mildly interesting, but its not making you run out and buy cars.....

greeny12

268 posts

200 months

Monday 5th September
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entropy said:
As an example: Why on earth introduce soft compound tyres into the equation when there's already success ballast and reverse grids to keep the race day interesting. Is it not enough?
Success ballast? I think you need to reset your watch, it's still set to 2021 wink

wevster

687 posts

138 months

Monday 5th September
quotequote all
Sebring440 said:
wevster said:
Just seems to have lost it for me.
Do you think TOCA cares about the opinions of three or four people on PH, or the (obvious) opinions and support from hundreds of thousands of people around the word that actually enjoy the BTCC?
Just answering the OPs question and giving my thoughts.

It's a forum, people discuss things, do you not know how they work?

aeropilot

28,880 posts

208 months

Monday 5th September
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Having given up on following F1 about 4 years ago, and rallying being just as bad, the BTCC is pretty much now the only motorsport other than Goodwood MM and Revival that I watch now, and I was dreading the onset of hybrid crap, and whether it is that or something else, I do agree that there's something a bit flat about this year.

I've never been a 'fan' of any particular driver/team over the past almost 5 decades of following saloon/touring car racing, so for me that isn't a factor, but the cars and racing does seem to be getting duller or lacking a bit of fizz.


entropy

4,849 posts

184 months

Tuesday 6th September
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greeny12 said:
entropy said:
As an example: Why on earth introduce soft compound tyres into the equation when there's already success ballast and reverse grids to keep the race day interesting. Is it not enough?
Success ballast? I think you need to reset your watch, it's still set to 2021 wink
Did BTCC need any more gimmicks at that time because Alan Gow must have thought there was something wrong and needed to spice up the racing even more.

Sebring440

1,116 posts

77 months

Tuesday 6th September
quotequote all
wevster said:
Sebring440 said:
wevster said:
Just seems to have lost it for me.
Do you think TOCA cares about the opinions of three or four people on PH, or the (obvious) opinions and support from hundreds of thousands of people around the word that actually enjoy the BTCC?
Just answering the OPs question and giving my thoughts.

It's a forum, people discuss things, do you not know how they work?
So you don't like me "just answering" your "thoughts", and therefore it means that I don't understand how forums work? It's a forum, people discuss things.

rofl

wevster

687 posts

138 months

Wednesday 7th September
quotequote all
Sebring440 said:
wevster said:
Sebring440 said:
wevster said:
Just seems to have lost it for me.
Do you think TOCA cares about the opinions of three or four people on PH, or the (obvious) opinions and support from hundreds of thousands of people around the word that actually enjoy the BTCC?
Just answering the OPs question and giving my thoughts.

It's a forum, people discuss things, do you not know how they work?
So you don't like me "just answering" your "thoughts", and therefore it means that I don't understand how forums work? It's a forum, people discuss things.

rofl
You weren't really answering though were you.

You were just being a troll.

JoelH

127 posts

11 months

Wednesday 7th September
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Order66 said:
I think the racing in BTCC is good. The hybrid stuff is just confusion which is detracting from decent flat-out racing. However my only real issue with it is the assortment of dull and uninteresting cars it is based on - it looks like a local racing club's hot-hatch championship. Astra, Focus, Civic etc - the BMW is mildly interesting, but its not making you run out and buy cars.....
I think the days of "Win on Sunday, sell on Monday" are long gone.

What cars do you think they should be using? It's a touring car championship that has used the cars the average person can buy as the base for decades.

I think there's probably more variety in the BTCC than club racing these days to be honest. From what I've seen (at my local track, Brands, anyway) it's wall to wall Civics and BMW's with the occasional Clio in most multi-make club series.

RedAndy

903 posts

135 months

Wednesday 7th September
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Cos (like Football) it's a business not a sport.

Ash Sutton is the best example: he was all or nothing death or glory, but now he's in with a proper team he has to play the long game and settle for positions. For example, a third place is better than try-to-take-second-and-crash-DNF. It' sensible, but it's not interesting from the spectator point of view.

Points need to be awarded for passes. Obv you get the position points at the end, but you should get a point for every overtake too. If you qualify 1st then that's gonna be tough...but we're encouraging excitement and entertainment here not long-game team strategy.

A good new rule would be that any pass attempt in the last 3 laps where you come a cropper and DNF you still get the points from the position you were in before the move. We need to encourage passing not punish it.

Also need to remove some driver assistance. All the cars are too similar and the metronoic driving style means once they are in position it is a procession. Some randomness is needed - such as an H-gate gearbox instead of sequential so there is more chance of a driver error and the consequential dogfight when the others pounce. Remove the bodywork and spoilers addenda and go back to proper bodyshells (at least proper shape even if just a fibreglass silhouette) to reduce downforce and make the cars more tricky at the limit so the driver has to DRIVE not steer.

Additional points categories to be added. Stick G-meters in the cars and the highest cornering force gets 5 points to encourage fast corners. Hardest braking, most drift time etc etc. Reward spectacular and hard driving. So the best driver can win, not just the guy in the best car...

Some new tracks - doesnt Knockhill have a license to run backwards? Why are there not two meets there then? At least it's a different track. And rememebr when Croft came in and nobody could get round the last corner hairpin cos it was much tighter than anything else... made it fun for spectators. Even if it's just hay bales and cones... shake it up, and better still don't reveal the layout until the flag waves... make set up more challenging and result in more gambling - with wins and losses.

And safety cars are the worst thing ever invented. Watch the Rouse/Gravett Sierra Cossie battle on youtube and count how many cars are just parked trackside rather than safety car sessions while they spend 3 laps removing them. Just use Yellow flags while the driver is removed to safety, then carry on. If it gets hit by another car in a second incident, well, that's racing.... Obvs a track-blocking burning wreck needs to be safety car'd... but at the moment they bring 'em out for the slightest thing. Perhaps a new flag that means "30mph max speed here and no overtakes, but the rest of the lap is normal race conditions" which is deployed when yellows aint enough. onboard electronics police it.

It's ok now, but could be more EXCITING.

And for visiting in person: more sensibly priced merch/freebies/stalls at events. Not paying £35 for a dunlop hat. Got a free one at Brands though a few years back. More interaction opportunity/driver time in pitlane for autographs/chat cos one hour isn't enough. Bar open later than 9pm. It's 2022: sort the catering out. £15 dogfood burger and manky chips doesn't cut it any more. Better programme too - every one is the same every time - It's getting like Top Gear magazine. Exit of parking needs sorting - EVERY circuit is a nightmare and we're just left to push out instead of being marshalled constructively. And for events that start later in the day cos of local neighbour relationships, sure there is somethng that can be put on track for entertainment. Knockhill did a free track day for local supercar owners in about 1998... cos "no race engines before noon" didnt mean "no road engines"...

TLDR: its not exciting enough and spectators are cash cows




JoelH

127 posts

11 months

Wednesday 7th September
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RedAndy said:

Ash Sutton is the best example: he was all or nothing death or glory, but now he's in with a proper team he has to play the long game and settle for positions. For example, a third place is better than try-to-take-second-and-crash-DNF. It' sensible, but it's not interesting from the spectator point of view.

Points need to be awarded for passes. Obv you get the position points at the end, but you should get a point for every overtake too. If you qualify 1st then that's gonna be tough...but we're encouraging excitement and entertainment here not long-game team strategy.

A good new rule would be that any pass attempt in the last 3 laps where you come a cropper and DNF you still get the points from the position you were in before the move. We need to encourage passing not punish it.

Also need to remove some driver assistance. All the cars are too similar and the metronoic driving style means once they are in position it is a procession. Some randomness is needed - such as an H-gate gearbox instead of sequential so there is more chance of a driver error and the consequential dogfight when the others pounce. Remove the bodywork and spoilers addenda and go back to proper bodyshells (at least proper shape even if just a fibreglass silhouette) to reduce downforce and make the cars more tricky at the limit so the driver has to DRIVE not steer.

And safety cars are the worst thing ever invented. Watch the Rouse/Gravett Sierra Cossie battle on youtube and count how many cars are just parked trackside rather than safety car sessions while they spend 3 laps removing them. Just use Yellow flags while the driver is removed to safety, then carry on. If it gets hit by another car in a second incident, well, that's racing.... Obvs a track-blocking burning wreck needs to be safety car'd... but at the moment they bring 'em out for the slightest thing. Perhaps a new flag that means "30mph max speed here and no overtakes, but the rest of the lap is normal race conditions" which is deployed when yellows aint enough. onboard electronics police it.
Sutton started driving like that when he was with Laser Tools after nearly losing the title from trying overtakes that weren't on. It's not something new for Napa.

I don't see awarding points for overtaking and then giving people positions back after failed attempts towards the end of the race as something that has any place in serious motorsport.

H pattern gearboxes will never happen. BTCC still uses a lever when many comparable series have gone to paddle shift so they're not going to go even further back. I would like to see a box that needs heel and toe as in the Aussie SuperCars.

The spoilers do very little but are an essential part of the package for many of the fans. As for the bodywork that's so the cars have an even track width otherwise cars with wider track would have an advantage. I think you're massively over estimating the level of aero in BTCC.

Safety standards have thankfully moved on. Can you imagine what would happen if a car was left in a position another car could hit and a driver was seriously hurt hitting it? People wouldn't say "oh it's exciting, that's racing" I guarantee you.

Sebring440

1,116 posts

77 months

Wednesday 7th September
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RedAndy said:
Cos (like Football) Ash Sutton is the best example: he was all or nothing death or glory, but now he's in with a proper team he has to play the long game and settle for positions.
Did you not watch last season then? That's exactly what he was doing with Laser Tools Racing. Nothing NAPA has said to him has changed that.

Laser Tools Racing gave him two championships — are NAPA going to be able to even give him one, particularly as you see them as a "proper" team?


RedAndy

903 posts

135 months

Monday 12th September
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JoelH said:
Sutton started driving like that when he was with Laser Tools after nearly losing the title from trying overtakes that weren't on. It's not something new for Napa.

I don't see awarding points for overtaking and then giving people positions back after failed attempts towards the end of the race as something that has any place in serious motorsport.

H pattern gearboxes will never happen. BTCC still uses a lever when many comparable series have gone to paddle shift so they're not going to go even further back. I would like to see a box that needs heel and toe as in the Aussie SuperCars.

The spoilers do very little but are an essential part of the package for many of the fans. As for the bodywork that's so the cars have an even track width otherwise cars with wider track would have an advantage. I think you're massively over estimating the level of aero in BTCC.

Safety standards have thankfully moved on. Can you imagine what would happen if a car was left in a position another car could hit and a driver was seriously hurt hitting it? People wouldn't say "oh it's exciting, that's racing" I guarantee you.
The point is not "which team did Ash start driving sensibly?" but that "Ash used to be fun (reckless even?) which made it good to watch but not so much now cos team and championship etc" I didnt even say he drives properly for NAPA -I said his approach now is corporate.

Why not reward risk-taking though? You dont think it has place in serious motorsport, but "Serious motorsport" wouldnt have a lottery to decide grid position, yet there it... And I guarantee you it'd be more exciting to watch doing it my way than the current way. Which was the point of this thread - it's not exciting enough.

With regard to spoilers and bodywork, the point is not about aero, the point is about what they are driving and how relatable it is to the common man. I can't buy one of the BTCC shaped cars, so why would I give a toss if it wins. It's just a bodyshell. Like in rallying... colin won, and on Monday I could go and buy one like his. Then it all changed and nobody watches rallying, despite the sport being in great shape for several seasons. Apparently you can buy the Yaris...and look it sold out! - clearly I'm wrong then.

H pattern boxes: The point is about "what will make it exciting", not "what is the best technical solution". If the regs were for H pattern, then that's what they'd run, whether it was technically better, financially better or otherwise. Regs can be written any way they choose. They can specify steam engines if they wanted to (but I wouldnt want to buy one of those either so that'd not be helpful to the sport).

Leaving a car in a bad position I said would be bad. By logical deduction then you think crash barriers should be removed? (Many more cars have hit them than have ever hit stationary cars parked out the way). But If your second car is going to hit it hard enough to seriously injure themself, I'd argue that another 6 feet of grass before hitting the wall would make not a jot of difference. But seriously, the point is how safety cars dominate many of the races at present instead of assisting them. Adding 3 laps to compensate the race length is OK, but what 3 laps of safety car procession DOES do it suck the energy and excitement out of the race, and it is often that after a SC the cars do "parade" a bit more than "race".

I assume you agree on my other thoughts, many thanks.

FNG

3,767 posts

205 months

Monday 12th September
quotequote all
I don't think it's coincidence that many peoples' halcyon days are the supertouring era - where the bodywork changes were limited enough that you could easily tell which car was which. It was a front splitter and a rear boot spoiler.

The arches might have been cut away a bit and they were running 20" wheels and the car slammed to the ground, but nevertheless you could tell a Mondeo from a 406 from an Accord at a glance. Now I find it a lot harder.

Yes the wide arches mean everyone has the same track width but it also means the car looks a lot less like the one you can buy in the showroom, and is less recognisable under a mishmash livery (which seems to be a BTCC disease these days). C or CD segment cars tend to be about the same sizes, they need to seat the same number of people in the same amount of comfort and hold a similar amount of luggage, so do we really need to mandate width?

As the poster above observed, rallying has gone the same way. Big arches and spoilers, can't buy in the showroom, pretty indistinguishable if you don't know the livery and aren't looking at the grille badge. The fan following has dropped away there too. Coincidence?

JoelH

127 posts

11 months

Monday 12th September
quotequote all
FNG said:
I don't think it's coincidence that many peoples' halcyon days are the supertouring era - where the bodywork changes were limited enough that you could easily tell which car was which. It was a front splitter and a rear boot spoiler.

The arches might have been cut away a bit and they were running 20" wheels and the car slammed to the ground, but nevertheless you could tell a Mondeo from a 406 from an Accord at a glance. Now I find it a lot harder.

Yes the wide arches mean everyone has the same track width but it also means the car looks a lot less like the one you can buy in the showroom, and is less recognisable under a mishmash livery (which seems to be a BTCC disease these days). C or CD segment cars tend to be about the same sizes, they need to seat the same number of people in the same amount of comfort and hold a similar amount of luggage, so do we really need to mandate width?

As the poster above observed, rallying has gone the same way. Big arches and spoilers, can't buy in the showroom, pretty indistinguishable if you don't know the livery and aren't looking at the grille badge. The fan following has dropped away there too. Coincidence?
Can you tell the cars apart without the arches though? So many of the hatchbacks look identical these days. I would be hard pressed to tell the difference between a lot of them if they were going past me without looking at the grille or boot badges. So I think that particular issue is far more to do with modern production cars than the BTCC.

Mishmash liveries are a sign of the times. It's a lot easier to have a beautiful livery if you've got a manufacturer picking up the multi-million pound tab of the super touring days. Now drivers and teams are raising budgets by putting synergy type deals together with multiple sponsors. They all have different logos etc so it's a fact of life that most cars will need to be white or black to get the correct contrast and they will look pretty busy.

I would say of course we need to mandate width. In a series where so much is spec the last thing you want to do is to have car that has an inherent advantage that no-one else can overcome. That leads to everyone gravitating towards the same car or teams pulling out ultimately.

Personally I don't see a lot wrong with the BTCC and a lot of it is just people with rose tinted glasses about the "good old days".

RedAndy said:
I assume you agree on my other thoughts, many thanks.
You assume incorrectly. I think you should try F1 stockcars. That seems to be more like the type of racing you're after.


Giulia Jon

105 posts

Monday 12th September
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mat205125 said:
JoelH said:
Unless you're in a BMW or Hyundai you only really have a chance in race 3.
This!

At least the success ballast helped to neutralise this trait, even if the better cars did naturally rise to the surface - some even went faster with weight occastionally.
King of Thruxton in a Honda disagrees and a Ford has also taken a win , at last .

RedAndy

903 posts

135 months

Tuesday 13th September
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JoelH said:
You assume incorrectly. I think you should try F1 stockcars. That seems to be more like the type of racing you're after.
I like stock cars - its a bit of fun. Ideally they should be a support race to the BTCC. And those leapfrogging pickups from Aus are fun too.