New rules test for potential BTCC men
BTCC drivers will be required to pass a test on their knowledge of the regulations to allow them to compete in the series in future.
A new rule has been added this year that means drivers can be tested on the regulations at any time. They must get a 60 per cent pass rate to be allowed to race.
All 32 drivers were tested at Brands Hatch, and only 14 passed.
Series director Alan Gow said that random tests would take place over the year. If a driver fails, they have to resit the test until they achieve the 60 per cent pass rate and they can race.
The rule also applies to team managers too.
Spend any time in the company of ITV British Touring Car Championship commentator and 1992 tin-top champion Tim Harvey, and the subject of the dreaded track limits will be mentioned pretty quickly.
And, after Sunday morning’s opening Porsche Carrera Cup GB race at Brands Hatch, he was at it again after another penalty, one he had more of an interest in than usual.
The 2015 Porsche Carrera Cup GB champion Dan Cammish had just won the race on the road, only to suffer the wrath of the officials, who had deemed that he had strayed over the prescribed limits of the circuit too often.
The blazers handed Cammish a five-second penalty, which was enough to drop him behind Dino Zamparelli in the race results.
Harvey was fuming – but then he would be, he has helped Cammish in his career. It was natural that he would be on side with the champion, but I had to agree with the former BTCC man.
I have always been of the opinion that if a driver persistently breaks the rules, they know the penalty and they should accept it.
And at Brands Hatch, it is harder to get away with any limits abuse than at any other circuit, because track owner Jonathan Palmer has installed pressure sensitive pads that give an immediate reading if a driver has pushed the boundaries too far.
But the censure that affected Cammish did not take in to account some pretty mitigating circumstances. During the race, several midfield collisions had made the Tarmac – which wasn’t exactly bone dry in the first place – extremely slippery indeed.
All kinds of fluids had been dropped on the exit of Druids and the entry to Graham Hill Bend and cars were skating off in all directions.
Cammish certainly wasn’t the only one who was caught out by the hazardous conditions, but he was the only one pinged for it...
Harvey’s problem, and mine too having watched a portion of the opening Porsche race from Graham Hill, was that there are no extenuating circumstances taken in to account when the track limits penalty is applied.
Cammish, who was furious when he stepped out of the car, has a right to feel hard done by. He did go on to win the second race later in the afternoon but the damage had already been done. Maybe a little bit of discretion needs to be employed in these decisions.