What is going wrong with the BTCC?

What is going wrong with the BTCC?

Author
Discussion

FNG

3,767 posts

205 months

Tuesday 13th September
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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?
JoelH said:
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.
Yes, agreed it's not as clear cut as it used to be but it's still very doable.

JoelH said:
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.
They could be an awful lot better IMO and a decent graphics designer would be able to really make a car stand out. I appreciate there's no tangible return on that but if I was Mr Gow I'd be mandating it. Not good enough, go back and try harder. You're not making my series look like you need ten little sponsors to run a car.

JoelH said:
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.
So mandate a width that fits under the size of car you're mandating the length of, without needing arches. A slight arch pull or wheel not quite filling the arch to cater for marginally different body widths isn't the end of the world but it would go a long way to remaking the link between what's on track and what's in the showrooms. I'm not surprised manufacturers aren't interested in supporting BTCC when the race cars don't look anything like their hottest variant on the forecourt.

JoelH said:
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".
First part, fine. Second part, absolutely not for me. The cars are far from aspirational or iconic, the racing isn't as good as it used to be (I think the points aspect above is at least part of the reason - consistency wins championships - hence Colin "Steady" Turkington keeps winning them. How exciting).

I'm certainly not harking back to "good old days" - I can well remember the post-supertouring era of 4x Astras wiping the floor, 2x 406 coupes that were slow, 2x Alfa 147s that were slower and 1x IS200 that ran round at the back and spun a lot. Or John B&Q who usually ended his race in the Turn 1 gravel.

Speed Badger

Original Poster:

2,075 posts

98 months

Tuesday 13th September
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I don't think it's the car models themselves that are a problem. I mean look at the supertouring cars - Renault Lagunas and Vauxhall Cavaliers?! Hardly the stuff of dreams. But they looked great in the liveries and the drivers were the real characters.

Giulia Jon

106 posts

Tuesday 13th September
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BTCC also is not attracting any foreign drivers .

Menu , Radisich , Tarquini , Muller , Rydell , Biela to name just a few stars of BTCC past ..

I don't count Irish as foreign .

aeropilot

28,880 posts

208 months

Tuesday 13th September
quotequote all
FNG said:
So mandate a width that fits under the size of car you're mandating the length of, without needing arches. A slight arch pull or wheel not quite filling the arch to cater for marginally different body widths isn't the end of the world but it would go a long way to remaking the link between what's on track and what's in the showrooms. I'm not surprised manufacturers aren't interested in supporting BTCC when the race cars don't look anything like their hottest variant on the forecourt.
It won't be long before there won't be any relationship to what's in the showroom, which is more to do with why there's very little manufacturer support.

Even the humble family hatchback is close to getting dropped in favour of a SUV version on the same platform, as that's what the majority of buyers want, and coupled with the ICE ban at end of decade, and what ever the current BTCC morphs into by the 2030's will likely be some sort of space framed sillouette series all using the same generic engine and hybrid system, until its forced to be an EV-SUV race series. Dull it won't be....... laugh
Glad I'm old and won't have to be bored by it all.


Eric Mc

118,114 posts

246 months

Tuesday 13th September
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Giulia Jon said:
BTCC also is not attracting any foreign drivers .

Menu , Radisich , Tarquini , Muller , Rydell , Biela to name just a few stars of BTCC past ..

I don't count Irish as foreign .
Only if they are from the Irish Republic.

JoelH

127 posts

11 months

Tuesday 13th September
quotequote all
FNG said:
So mandate a width that fits under the size of car you're mandating the length of, without needing arches. A slight arch pull or wheel not quite filling the arch to cater for marginally different body widths isn't the end of the world but it would go a long way to remaking the link between what's on track and what's in the showrooms. I'm not surprised manufacturers aren't interested in supporting BTCC when the race cars don't look anything like their hottest variant on the forecourt.
Yet they support TCR in droves and they are far more dramatic body wise for a lot of them. The BTCC Hyundai looks far more like the road version than the TCR one does.

N0ddie

346 posts

146 months

Tuesday 13th September
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Super touring days were good however I loved from when the diesel Leons were introduced (2009?) to end of 2016 (Where the clear RWD advantage became ever more apparent). Since then Its been RWD Levorg, RWD BMW and RWD Infinit thing winning the championships.

DanielSan

18,091 posts

148 months

Wednesday 14th September
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N0ddie said:
Super touring days were good however I loved from when the diesel Leons were introduced (2009?) to end of 2016 (Where the clear RWD advantage became ever more apparent). Since then Its been RWD Levorg, RWD BMW and RWD Infinit thing winning the championships.
And FWD Honda's...

entropy

4,849 posts

184 months

Wednesday 14th September
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Giulia Jon said:
BTCC also is not attracting any foreign drivers .

Menu , Radisich , Tarquini , Muller , Rydell , Biela to name just a few stars of BTCC past ..

I don't count Irish as foreign .
The motor racing world was very different back then with more money flying around and greater factory involvement.

Lots of drivers from single seaters moved into and excelled in Touring Cars with out-of-luck F1 drivers Gabrielle Tarquini, Emmanuelle Pirro, Jean-Christophe Boullion to up and comers like Laurent Aiello, James Thompson, Rykard Rydell, to name just a few.

WTCC was revived with different regulations to BTCC such as Super2000 and TCR

LukeBrown66

2,822 posts

27 months

Wednesday 14th September
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Those drivers only really came to touring cars because the teams had immense budgets to offer them considerable salaries at the time, Cleland talks routinely about the ridiculous money they were being paid back then, so guys like Menu, Tarquini, Giovanardi, even guys like Boullion, would have been paid vast sums, then you had the Sopers, Cecottos, Ravaglias, Bielas who were on another level from manufacturers to win titles.

greeny12

268 posts

200 months

Thursday 15th September
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LukeBrown66 said:
Those drivers only really came to touring cars because the teams had immense budgets to offer them considerable salaries at the time, Cleland talks routinely about the ridiculous money they were being paid back then, so guys like Menu, Tarquini, Giovanardi, even guys like Boullion, would have been paid vast sums, then you had the Sopers, Cecottos, Ravaglias, Bielas who were on another level from manufacturers to win titles.
Soper for one ended up living in Monaco didn't he?

Imagine any of the current drivers being able to do that off their team salaries!

Sammo123

1,910 posts

162 months

Thursday 15th September
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Up until recently I worked for Jeff Allam. He let slip that Vauxhall were paying him £70,000 a year to drive for them in BTCC back in the 90’s!

Dynion Araf Uchaf

3,542 posts

204 months

Friday 16th September
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Sammo123 said:
Up until recently I worked for Jeff Allam. He let slip that Vauxhall were paying him £70,000 a year to drive for them in BTCC back in the 90’s!
He needs a better manager! Matt Neal lost a drive to Laurent Aiello, who took £700k fromNissan.

coppice

7,508 posts

125 months

Friday 16th September
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Ah , Aiello - the best driver I've ever seen in 2 litre BTCC

DanielSan

18,091 posts

148 months

Friday 16th September
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Dynion Araf Uchaf said:
Sammo123 said:
Up until recently I worked for Jeff Allam. He let slip that Vauxhall were paying him £70,000 a year to drive for them in BTCC back in the 90’s!
He needs a better manager! Matt Neal lost a drive to Laurent Aiello, who took £700k fromNissan.
Allam left Vauxhall just before the money went really silly though, some of the worst timing ever.

rex

1,984 posts

247 months

Friday 16th September
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I still watch with keen interest as I used to sponsor Tom Ingram back in his Ginetta Junior days. The racing has lost a little something compared to a few years ago though and I usually watch it on record/catch-up.
I do though watch the Australian Supercars which I much prefer. I watch it as soon as I can unlike the BTCC which is when I have a bit of time free The races are close and there are different length races at the different venues. I. Some sprint races and some longer format. The coverage from the pits is excellent with interviews of team managers as the race is in progress when there is an incident.

Dan BSCS

1,089 posts

217 months

Friday 16th September
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rex said:
I still watch with keen interest as I used to sponsor Tom Ingram back in his Ginetta Junior days. The racing has lost a little something compared to a few years ago though and I usually watch it on record/catch-up.
I do though watch the Australian Supercars which I much prefer. I watch it as soon as I can unlike the BTCC which is when I have a bit of time free The races are close and there are different length races at the different venues. I. Some sprint races and some longer format. The coverage from the pits is excellent with interviews of team managers as the race is in progress when there is an incident.
The Supercars TV coverage is gold standard. Some of the best there is in Motorsport. Makes a massive difference to the overall product

rex

1,984 posts

247 months

Friday 16th September
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Dan BSCS said:
The Supercars TV coverage is gold standard. Some of the best there is in Motorsport. Makes a massive difference to the overall product
The chap on the grid walk is superb and is the only grid walk that doesn’t make me cringe

Beethree

384 posts

70 months

Friday 16th September
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I've actually enjoyed watching TCR UK more than BTCC this year. I think because the standard of driving is a bit lower (no offence to any of the drivers, they're far better than I could dream of being) it's a bit more rough and ready, and unpredictable.
BTCC unfortunately has become a bit predictable for me, with clear top, middle and lower tier teams. I'll still watch it, but the TCR formula seems to invite a bit more action.

LukeBrown66

2,822 posts

27 months

Friday 16th September
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I will admit I thoroughly enjoyed TCR from Donington earlier this month, it was decent, sizeable grid and some good driving, O Neill I like a lot too on comms.

I too will say Aiello for me is the best touring car driver I ever saw, to win in France, Germany in STW and DTM and first time here was astonishing.

And yes Allam was at the very start of the daft era, salaries of half a mill were pretty scary though! I doubt many were on that, perhaps Menu, Smokin Jo, Rydell. Tom K when he came maybe? but not many were up that high,