The 2020/21 New Zealand V8 Touring Car Championship season will look vastly different to previous years with a full revamp of the technical and sporting regulations.
The finalised list of series articles has now been published, fine-tuning the details of the shape of the new-look championship.
Firstly, the refreshed category will be split into two classes: BNT NZV8s and TTV8s (Trans-Tasman V8s). Plans are in the pipeline to have the two classes eventually split, though, with unknown numbers of TTV8 cars, both will be running side-by-side for the first few seasons.
Under the bonnet of the BNT NZV8s, the basic rule of thumb is that any sized naturally aspirated V8 engine is go. There are no zero restrictions on engine modifications.
Chassis and body shape regulations have also been relaxed with those now eligible including: SuperTourer, TLX, Mitchell Xtreme, TTV8-TA2, BMW Open V8s, Howe GT, any other V8 Touring Cars with body shapes manufactured from 2000 onwards, TL specification Cars.
Previous restrictions on driver aids have been lifted, with no limitations on the gearbox, differential, suspension, aero or brake packages.
The new rules are designed to encourage an extensive range of cars on the grid. Already the opening round this weekend has seen the likes of the DFM Audi A5 GT, the NASCAR-powered Collins Motorsport Mustang and Nick Ross in his Nissan Altima as the first big guns to confirm their entry.
A full driver entry list is expected to be released shortly.
Tyres are open to all manufacturers. However, there will be a limited number of sets available for drivers at each round.
Drivers will be only be allowed to present eight ‘dry’ tyres for marking at the opening round in Pukekohe. Marked tyres are those only available to be used in qualifying and the race. Every following round, drivers will be limited to present just four marked tyres.
Each weekend will follow a three-race format: two marble draw sprint races on Saturday and a single one-hour feature race on Sunday.
While a marble draw will determine the starting grid for the two sprint races, the fastest overall lap time achieved by the driver in race one and two will decide the starting order for the feature race.
The feature race carries the most points (100 for the winner over the usual 20) and allows drivers to partner up with a co-driver if they wish.
To level out the playing field, each car must complete a compulsory pitstop between the 20- and 40-minute mark.
During this pitstop tyres can be changed, and one crew member can add fuel to the car. However, the duration of each pitstop will vary with faster cars serving longer pit stops than slower ones.
This is consistent with the new Balance of Performance (BOP) regulations where pit stop lengths will be determined by the lap times set by the car in the earlier two races.
To avoid drivers potentially cheating the system, any driver that has gone slower than the full capabilities of the car in the sprint races, they must nominate a lap time. Suppose they exceed their designated time by more than 0.9s. In that case, the driver will be penalised two seconds for every infringement.
A maximum of three crew members are permitted to work on the car during the CPS. However, they must wait until the vehicle has grounded to a complete halt before working in the lane.
There will be five rounds for the BNT NZV8s and TTV8s this summer, all of which will be contained within the North Island.
The series kicks off this weekend at Pukekohe Park before the Christmas break. It will pick back up again at Hampton Downs in January before rounds at Manfeild and Taupo. The season will then conclude in April at a yet-to-be-determined venue.