BRITISH RACE ORGANISERS WANT FEWER CLASHES Frustration as WEC, BTCC and British GT all ran together
Organisers of Britain’s major championships have called for more coordination when scheduling fixtures, following last weekend’s congested programme of events.
Last weekend proved to be one of the busiest British motorsport weekends in recent years, with the British Touring Car Championship racing at Donington Park, British GT and BRDC Formula 3 at Brands Hatch, as well as the UK’S FIA World Endurance Championship round at Silverstone. The Historic Sports Car Club also held its grandee 50th anniversary meeting at Castle Combe.
The schedule proved a challenge, stretching resources in terms of officials and volunteers, such as marshals.
Alan Gow, head of BTCC organiser TOCA, said other championships should work harder to schedule dates earlier to avoid similar clashes in the future.
Gow said: “We did our [BTCC] calendar last July. If other championships could be as efficient, we wouldn’t have these clashes. FIA series like the WEC put their calendars out in December [to coincide with the World Motor Sports Council meeting]. I can understand the frustration from fans.”
Donington Park manager Christopher Tate added: “One of the extraordinary features about international motorsport at the very top level is that we are in danger of looking amateurish compared to other sports. The Rugby World Cup Final, the Olympic Games – and a whole series of other major sporting events are announced at least two years in advance.
“In my opinion it remains a scandal that the international governing body is unable, because of the delays in fixing the F1 calendar, to announce the dates for all of its other series until the December World Council meeting of the FIA.
“If we were in any other country apart from the UK, then it would not be possible to hold three major race meetings across the country’s leading circuits on the same weekend. There wouldn’t be sufficient marshals and medics. We are fortunate we have that large army of volunteers.”
British GT manager Benjamin Franassovici said British GT’S schedule had to fit around SRO’S European classes, like the Blancpain GT Series: “We don’t want clashes, particularly not with BTCC and WEC, so to have all three on one weekend is bad. There wasn’t much we could do this year. There are only four dates on the Brands GP circuit so you take what you can get. The issue is there’s too much racing going on everywhere now, but then again if there was less, people would complain.” Additional reporting by Matt James.