As regular followers of The Tintop Guru blog are aware, we will be keeping an eye on a few series in 2016:
The British Touring Car Championship
The B-TEC Development Series
The TCR International Series
The TCR Asia Series
The TCR Benelux Series
The ADAC TCR Germany Series
But theres one more that we will be keeping an eye on in 2016 and its one that I (Phil) have been following for the past 12 months or so:
The Global Touring Car Africa Championship
As your aware, I was and still am a big fan of the SuperTouring days of Touring Car racing and back in the nineties SuperTouring was big in South Africa. The small amount of knowledge I have recalls names such as Mike Briggs, Shaun Van Der Linde & Shaun Watson-Smith spring to mind in a country that saw Opel, Audi & BMW see success in a very competitive series.
Well in 2016, South Africa will see a major Tintop series relaunched and it follows the same thinking as the successful NGTC regulations or V8 Supercars or the new TCR Regulations. Based on those three sets of regulations alone, its already got a fighting chance of starting well.
So, whats it all about?
Well 3 years ago, originally the concept was based on using cars that would kept equal using a balance of performance formula similar to TCR, where the engines used would be V8’s. However with the global move in motorsport to use either 1.6 litre turbocharged engines or 2 litre turbocharged engines, GTC revised its rules set to using 2 litre turbocharged engines. In a similar move to the BTCC’s NGTC regulations, the cars are all built by a specific company but allows for different body panels to be used to allow for different makes and models to be raced against each other.
The car used as an example for the concept is the Mk3 Ford Focus saloon, not seen on sale or in use in Motorsport in the UK. The car looks like this:
As you can see there is also a control spec aerodynamic package built to the car as well, to allow for equal and close racing, again, similar to BTCC, V8 Supercars & TCR. There are a few videos on YouTube where the car has been tested extensively.
Here is another of the MARC Cars Australia Focus doing a lap of Bathurst in 2014…
To add to this, the MARC Cars Australia organisation has been racing various models of this concept in the 24H Series, most notably at the Bathurst 12 Hours amongst other events, plenty of success. The cars in use include the Focus Saloon and the Mazda 6 Saloon and they use the V8 engines…
As you can see, the cars have a similar look to NGTC, with them looking big, wide and mean but as fans of the BTCC & V8 Supercars are aware, that means plenty of panels to bash and good close racing.
If your interested in this series, you can follow them on Social media here on Facebook and also at @gtcafrica on Twitter, where there are plenty of updates taking place as the championship builds to its first season.
Theres an excitement about this series for me and I also admit to having a love of the Kyalami Circuit from back in my younger days of watching Formula One and I will be watching this series with interest to see how it finds its place in the tintop world along with such strong series as the BTCC, WTCC, DTM, ETCC, V8 Supercars and TCR at a time when having different and diverse Touring Car regulations is actually helping the sport of Touring Cars to grow even more.
Until next time, all the best!