BTCC turbo engine

Of the many motorsport disciplines in which Lotus is competing these days and will be in the near future, the British Touring Car Championship isn't one of them. And of all the manufacturers taking part in the BTCC, Lotus isn't among them. Which could be why race organizers have solicited the services of the Norfolk, England-based engineering consultancy in regulating the performance between the various cars competing in the series.

The issue comes down to the variety of racing formulas employed in the touring car series: some are naturally aspirated, some are turbocharged. Some follow the S2000 rules, some the BTCC's own Next-Generation Touring Car regulations, while others are still on the old BTCC rule book. It's a heck of an act to juggle, particularly when as many as 30 cars from a dozen or so different manufacturers are all racing towards the same checkered flag.

After Lotus presents its findings to the BTCC's Engine Technical Review Panel, organizers will then be able to establish what amount of boost the turbocharged cars can run in order to make it a fair fight for those running without them. Details in the press release after the jump.
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BTCC ENGINE TESTING UNDER WAY

A comprehensive British Touring Car Championship engine 'flow-test programme', that will result in establishing each turbo engine's baseline boost pressure for next season, is currently being conducted independently by Lotus Engineering utilising its extensive resources and expertise.

The work is being processed through the championship's Engine Technical Review Panel – every engine builder involved in the Dunlop-backed BTCC is an active member of the ETRP. The panel is headed by independent Chairman, Clive Dopson, an internationally renowned automotive engine/powertrain consultant.

BTCC Series Director Alan Gow commented: "The purpose of this programme is not to make every race engine perform in exactly the same way – it's only right that the best engineering, the best design, the best teams and, of course, the best drivers still see their efforts related to their on-track performances.

"No, the test programme is simply to reduce any wide performance variances resulting from significant differences in the fundamental port/valve designs of the original production engines. It will identify and quantify those that produce superior airflow through the cylinder head and those that don't, in order that their baseline turbo boost pressure is set accordingly.

"Thereafter, during the course of the season, a strict mathematic calculation – based on a rolling average of each model's qualifying and lap times over a set number of events – will determine if any further changes should be made to their respective boost levels.

"This will have the virtue of being an entirely clear, definitive procedure which utilises a set calculation and methodology to adjust any significant performance imbalances, based on the qualifying/race lap times achieved by each model. Over the next few weeks we will, of course, be defining the parameters more precisely, once we have validated all the data.

"The important thing is that our teams have unanimously agreed to both the process of the flow-testing and to the introduction of the boost-adjustment calculation method during the season, as they all very much recognise the huge positive benefits it will have for everyone."

The BTCC's championship and race success ballast system remains in place and unaltered for next season.

However, from 2012 the top 15 finishers in each BTCC race will score points (previously only the top ten scored). This will apply to all of the BTCC Drivers, Independent Drivers, HiQ Teams and Independent Teams championships. This revised points system will be announced at a later date.