(image credit: Mike Gillilan)
Adding TCR to the mix isn’t the only change coming to the Touring Car classes for Pirelli World Challenge in 2018. The direction of the class was presented to the teams at Utah by Jim Jordan, who was recently appointed to oversee the competition and development of the class. Here are a few of the main talking points:
No major changes for the TCB, TCA or TC classes. Any new car additions will have to be approved by the series and meet the series’ long term goals for the class. With respect to the teams, current cars competing will be eligible until they “timeout” according to the series’ rules.
[epq-quote align=”align-left”]We view TCR as an exciting development, but also see a place for traditional “shop built” touring cars – Jim Jordan[/epq-quote]
Cars will comply to TCR rules, but must be a model that is sold in the United States. Currently VW, and Subaru meet criteria. Alfa Romeo will have a 2017 Giulia available in the United States with Audi and Mazda also looking at TCR spec. Kia is currently developing a car for TCR and Honda is looking at a new Civic for 2018 with a potential unified worldwide model. Honda’s current TCR model is not sold in the US for the streets.
Continue with a more traditional “touring car” focus, meaning the class will be open to current and newly approved models that meet the following criteria:
- Run a 2+2 (2 seats in front, 2 seats in back) configuration. Cars can be coupe or four-door. In very few cases where an OEM partner is producing a complete factory-built car, “2-seaters” may be considered
- FWD, RWD and AWD allowed
- Homologated drivetrains and major components must come from either the OE or a builder designated by the OE
- Complete “factory” built cars are strongly encouraged (example: BMW 235iR)
- Cars will only be approved at the request of an OEM. WC Vision wants cars widely produced and available in the United States
Cars that are classified as SCCA Touring 4 and certain Touring 3 cars will be eligible. The age of the car will be limited to 3 years out of production with very limited modifications permitted. The focus of the class is driver and team development and have a cost effective way to move up from club racing.
A final decision will be made by July 1, 2017 on the continuation of the TCB class. The decision will be dependent on OE and team participation.
“We held this meeting with our teams because the management group at Pirelli World Challenge wants to be transparent and communicate the long term plans for the class. We view TCR as an exciting development, but also see a place for traditional “shop built” touring cars. We think these concepts can co-exist within the same race, but not the same class,” said Jordan. “The TCA and TCB classes offer an excellent starting point for teams moving up from Club or Local level racing. It is a cost effective rules package focused on developing drivers and teams. We have some more announcements coming soon to make the transition from Club racing to racing in the Pirelli World Challenge even easier for new teams. Our goal is to grow Road Racing as a whole and we are excited about the new class structure as a way to help the sport grow.”