The other day, I was explaining how a race series’ Balance of Performance works to a non-motorsport enthusiast. I know how to woo a girl.

Anyhoo, BoP is a method race series organisers employ to try to keep racing close. In the British Touring Car Championship, say, an association of teams keeps a weather eye on each car’s straight-line speed, and every once in a while amends what turbo boost pressures teams are allowed to run, as part of an ‘engine equivalency’ formula that aims to keep engine power across the grid more or less even. In BTCC, they have a ‘success ballast’ too – you win a race, you get a 75kg penalty to take forward to the next one. You finish second, it’s 66kg, and so it goes on...

The BTCC also has a generous amount of transparency – once a car is homologated for use, a lot of the data teams hold is published for others to see. Throw in, too, that there is a common front subframe, and a common rear subframe, common brakes, and a few other ancillaries, which all teams must use, and you can see why touring car racing becomes so close: because it’s designed to be a wheel-bashing, neck-and-neck sprint from start to finish.

Honda Civic Type R BTCC racer lands ahead of 2018 season