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Yesterday afternoon, ITV showed all three heats from the BTCC round at Oulton. Watched it and found myself once again feeling that the British tintops is going further and further down the line of 'bumper cars' and away from real racing.

It's always been a bit of an argy-bargy branch of the sport but the driving on display yesterday was appalling. The only similarly bad display of crap driving I ever seen in motorsport was a few showings of the MGF series in Australia that turned up on Sky Sports and at least they had the excuse of being amateurs.

Need to tell someone you are on their tail? Tap them and take their rear valance off.

Not enough room to get around the outside? Put four wheels on the grass and rub your side alongside them.

Watching the guy in front take advantage of a mistake and overtake at a corner? Follow them through, if the opportunity to get two cars through wasn't there just hold the wheel straight and prepare for some barging back.

Keen to force a mistake from the guy in front? DOn't rely upon mental pressure of being up his tailpipe, tap him and swerve left and right with your front splitter in his valance (assuming you haven't already taken that off) unsettling the rear of his car while he is braking.

Even Anthony Reid, a driver with years of experience behind him is threatened with removal of his license should he have to be discipled again. His last incident involved putting all four wheels onto the grass on the inside of the corner and t-boning championship leader James Wass-his-name's Vectra in a move that you wouldn't even believe in a corporate night out go-karting. What on earth is going on? (This wasn't at Oulton BTW this was at the previous round, not sure which circuit)

I remember back around about 1997, the first TOCA game came out on the PlayStation and there was a huge TV and Cinema advertising campaign to push the game which empathised the 'crash and bash' aspect of it and I think this was when it started to go downhill. The series had a massive shot in the arm publicity-wise and at this point people I knew who nothing about motorsport outside of F1 would mention the Touring Cars to me as the series 'where they just drive into one another and have punch-ups in the pit'. Has the BTCC come to believe its own publicity and decided just to offer up that?

Coop

EDIT - James Thomson. And it's the Astra not the Vectra
 

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True, but it is entertaining none the less.

You have to remember it happens in all sports.. thinks back to Porsche Challenge at North Staffs...

You have to keep people entertained, 4 pot 2ltr cars just dont have that in todays world, maybe throw a turbo into the mixture have outputs at 3 or 400bhp.. should a bit of a laugh then! separate the men from the boys! It's a bit like mag race those cars... all that downforce and no power!


Inte
 

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Gary Skipp
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Touring Cars have allways been notoroius for contact during racing, right since the 80's.

I think the Oulton Park race was very entertaining, a lot more so than the crap F1 earlier.
 

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I agree, funnily enough tend to miss 'Speed Sunday'. Yesterday, was the first time watching BTCC for ages, absolutely gobsmacked.

Punting cars off left, right and centre. There were a few instances of good driving cars going neck and neck around bends without contact (so it can be done!) shame alot of drivers resort to Digital 'esque escapades of rear ending, pushing cars wide etc.

I agree BTCC cars should be Digital cars!


James
 

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Anthony Reid's driving/crashing and attitude about it last week annoyed me so much that I am not bothered to watch BTCC any more. Let me know if he does get banned, I might start watching it again!
 

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I watched the F1 race that was televised before the BTCC race, and it was dire tedious stuff. Then the BTCC was on what a contrast it was fantastic, exciting yeah there was some argy bargy but so what. During the F1 race i was laid on the sofa half asleep, Yet as the BTCC racing progressed i found my self getting closer and closer to the TV.
Yes i wholeheartedly agree some of the driving in the BTCC is "over enthusastic" but it close with several different winners so far this year. I personally would rather watch BTCC than F1 (in it's current state) and thats from someone who has probably missed no more than 3/4 F1 races in the last 20 years.
F1 really needs to do something to bring back the excitment. According to todays daily express there was 50,000 less people at the nurburgring this year than 2years ago, despite it being very close to Schummis home town.
Any how my 2 penneth
Wayne
 

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Jeez, some people moan cos F1's dull, then we get a bit of action in the BTCC and they are moaning about that! No pleasing etc etc.
 

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i was there! blenty of panel bashing - i had to deal with some of them. Did seem to keep everyone interested though.
Touring cars have always been a contact sport, although not as much as it may seem.
Anyway! i enjoyed it, but thats just me...
James (marshal)
 

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QUOTE (Coopdevil @ 31 May 2004, 12:22)Even Anthony Reid, a driver with years of experience behind him is threatened with removal of his license should he have to be discipled again.
He may have years of experience, but I never realised that God was his team boss!


Whilst a bit of paint swapping can be, and is entertaining, most forms of motorsport including touring cars is supposed to be non contact. Why don't the teams save a whole rake of cash and go banger racing instead?

Mark.
 

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QUOTE (Difflock @ 31 May 2004, 22:43)Why don't the teams save a whole rake of cash and go banger racing instead?
I thought it was banger racing??

Still prefer F1. Even though not much happens I still find it exciting, and much more interesting then Touring cars.
 

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Lenny Broke
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G'Day
The V8 supercars have degenerated to this level to some extent here in Oz.
Ever since our ASN has handed over the category mangement they have become somewhat self managed.
I don't know if it is the same up there but the trend has been to use former drivers in key official roles ie race director -ex F1 driver, chief steward -ex driver, driving standards observer- ex nat champ.
Also the teams have some say in the way the rules are set.
I wonder if it's a case of the loonies running the asylumn perhaps ??

my two bobs worth
Cheers Lenny
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
QUOTE (lobsterboy @ 31 May 2004, 22:10)
Jeez, some people moan cos F1's dull, then we get a bit of action in the BTCC and they are moaning about that! No pleasing etc etc.
I'm not singling LobsterBoy out for a reply, just a general reply to the 'yes, but it's exciting' crowd.

It is exciting... but only in the same way that a fight outside a pub is exciting.


For every bit of close racing and 'will they touch/won't they touch' there is just too much bumper cars and inept driving. It's not too long ago that Keith Odor (sp?) was killed in the BTCC (mid 90s I think) maybe some of the current crop of younger Touring Car drivers don't think this sort of thing can happen anymore.

Coop
 

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Actually that was in the German Super Touring Car Championship, and was nothing to do with dangerous driving. He just lost control, at the Avus track which is famed for being dangerous, and after bouncing off a barrier was hit by another car that couldn't avoid him.

The racers know the risks involved, but you have to admit these days the BTCC cars could go head on with a wall at 80mph and the driver would be fine. They are extremely safe because they are modeled on safe road cars, and then made safer.

Still there is no excuse for irresponsible driving like the display from Anthony Reid at Silverstone. It should be made clear that forcefully pushing someone out of the way is not right. But also be made clear that swapping paint is still acceptable as the cars are just too wide for the race track. If you made it so the cars could not touch (like in F1) there would be very few overtaking manouvres (like in F1).

The way I see it, the only bit of punishable driving came from Reid, and he was punished for it. What more do you want?

Lotus
 

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I haven't seen much of this racing for a good while but I did see the Oulton race.
Whether it's camera distortion, I don't know, but that circuit simply looked too narrow for cars of that size and pace. It's the usual overtaking difficulty syndrome all over again, just like many GPs, Monaco in particular.
 

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I've driven around Oulton Park. Yes, it's plenty wide enough for overtaking, unles you want to try 4 abreast

I was born in Winsford in Cheshire so Oulton is my "local" circuit as it were. I'll not have a bad word said about it (the actual track that is...)



Mark.
 

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I wonder does anyone have any comparative width measurements of real racetracks?
Also the kind of speeds these cars actually achieve in racing conditions.
I would suggest that the available width has as much bearing on overtaking possibilities as the obvious factors of max speeds and the lengths of track available.
It seems to me that as speeds rise, many tracks that used to provide ample overtaking opportunities, might not do so any longer. The tracks haven't necessarily changed but the performance of the cars racing on them has inexorably risen. It's something that needs careful consideration when choosing suitable venues.
Oulton is fantastic for bikes - I am no longer too sure that it is true for very high powered cars.
 

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Oulton Park as a race circuit has existed for ages.

The track is one of the thinnest of those that the touring cars race on, in comparison to Silverstone and Donnington - which are both much larger tracks and have more money invested in them. Oulton Park is one of the original race tracks in England and very little has changed, apart from resurfacing and overall track width increasing by a few inches. Also remembering, that the track we see today is not how the orginal was. It has moved. (eg the concrete on the right hand side at Clay Hill, going under the footbridge is some of the remains of the old track).

The track does offer some beautiful scenery, not many other venues can match.
I marshal there!

James
 
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