New rules test for po­ten­tial BTCC men

Motor Sport News - - Racing News -

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.

Cam­mish was the vic­tim of a harsh penalty

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