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26 February 2011

Air today Gone tomorrow

Well 2013 actually.

Announced by John Read at Autosport, Modifications will be withdrawn from the standard A, B and C classes of the Dunlop European Challenge by 2013 to return the Series to its racing roots. They will still be allowed on track ofcourse, but only within the “Invitation” class, so cars like the GTFs, Cerberas, Marcos GT and Aero / Chevy Tuscans can still race. Also included in the brief are sequential boxes, flat floors etc and strict weight limits will return.

Over the past 5 years or so, John (John Read, Series Owner) has allowed the modification of the cars and an open “any TVR” format to encourage entrants who often wanted to race their own TVR. Like my good self with the “Monster Griff” in fact. But although numbers and variety increased, it was difficult to police the cars and keep the racing tight. There was also the “Arms Race” issue to be considered, where well heeled drivers could basically buy and develop the best upgrades and give themselves a considerable advantage forcing the rest to follow suit when they’d rather spend the cash elsewhere. John knew this could happen but saw enticing new racers as the priority.

Now the available car /driver pool has increased, John is looking to pull the racing back together. The best and easiest way of doing this is with car standardisation. Giving two full seasons to return the cars to specification and prevent those who have modified having to pull cars to bits overnight, he has given the Racers plenty of opportunity to return the cars to they form PW intended.

The only exception to the rule is likely to be the inclusion of Chevy engines. With the pool of AJP race engines exhausted and with spares getting harder and harder to obtain, a new cheap and readily available unit has to be sourced. The RV8 is a possibility, but is effectively a retrogressive step (back to B from A) but does have solid roots. The Chevy V8 however, is the preferred root for many racers. It has ongoing parts available along with power upgrades; and would be seen as a step forward by most. Add to the mix that many have already chosen this route and you can see that the writings on the wall. It is ultimately John decision though ofcourse.

I have to say that as a confirmed “Modifier” developing engines, aero and handling to get a Road/Track car on the podium again much lighter cars…only to see them then do the same and head on out of reach again; I’m with John on this one. The formula for close racing is fairly simple. Identical cars closely regulated and a return to this formula for TVRs has to be a good thing.

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