With 31 cars due on the grid this season, the circuits that the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship visits are going to be extremely crowded.
During last month’s season-opener at Brands Hatch – the shortest layout the competitors will tackle all season at 1.2 miles – the men at the wheel were all warned by those in charge that there would be ramped up scrutiny on driving standards this season.
With so much at stake and so many competitive drivers, making sure that there is a fair fight is going to be hugely important. But far from being ‘bumper cars’, all contact is heavily scrutinised and there is a solid tariff of censures for drivers who overstep the mark.
As a rule of thumb, a new edict says that if a particular driver causes a rival to be put out of a race through contact – and that driver was solely to blame – then the culprit will be excluded.
Similarly, if a driver causes a rival to lose time through a punt, then he will be punished. Aron Smith (Chrome Edition Restart Volkswagen CC) was docked five places on the grid for race two after clumsily elbowing Mat Jackson’s Airwaves Racing Ford Focus out of the way early on in race one.