British Touring Car Championship

Turbo – NA Parity

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    Don Mateo

    It’s been one of the season’s biggest controversies and Jason Plato in particular has let rip about it whenever he’s been in front of a camera, especially if he’s had a bad day, but what do we think about the way parity between turbo and NA cars has been handled this year?

    Personally I’ve found Jason Plato’s rants rather tiresome this season, he’s often come across as a sore loser, and I felt his case was somewhat undermined by the fact that he still had a fair few victories to his name. However, at times the performace advantage of turbos was quite obvious (Oulton Park sticks in my mind, and of course the incident at Knockhill), and teams like Tech Speed and WSR with NA cars that should have been near the front seemed to be struggling for results.

    I can understand the frustrations of Plato and others who were promised parity at the start of the season and appeared not to get it, and annoying as Plato’s rants have been, there has been a genuine issue to address.

    It was always going to be difficult for the organisers to balance the performance of 3 different types of car. I think they were a bit slow to respond at first, but the last few races have been much closer and they seem to have got a better balance. My only gripe is that they seem to have come down harder on the NGTC cars in the last round just as they were starting to show some promise, and after all, these are the cars that eventually everyone will have to have.

    I’m actually glad Plato is still in the title hunt, as it shows that the perfomance equalisation has become more effective as the season has progressed, but if he loses the title I wonder how much he’ll blame the lack of parity earlier in the season.

    Hopefully next season there won’t be so many issues and the championship can be a straight fight between drivers without such issues confusing the picture.

    Anyay, apologies for the essay, what does everyone else think?


    It a shame that the season could be tainted by such a thing. Mid season rule changes are never good and everyone comes off looking stupid. The people who had the advantage at the start of the season don’t get the credit they maybe deserve as people will look back and say “oh they won because of this or that”. Then when everything is levelled out, the people who win from then on aren’t given the credit once again.

    I’m also glad that Plato is still up there because it gives the season something else to focus on. Turbo vs non-turbo has always been a point of great discussion whether it be touring cars or F1 and there will never be a definitive answer it seems.

    Keith Collantine

    What I think makes it even more complicated is they already have success ballasting (which I abhor) for this purpose.

    I accept a need to create equivalence between different engines, and that it’s not an easy balance to strike.

    But surely it removes the need for success ballasting? With both we have the worst of both worlds.


    I think last weekend proved something people don’t seem to be understanding: naturally, different circuits suit different cars. That is the way it always has been. Brands GP suits the Chevrolet (also the car was using a WTCC setup for the hot weather) and that is why Plato dominated race one and two. It was not a case of the turbos and NGTC cars being pegged back, they would have struggled anyway.

    At Silverstone it will be a different case- if it stays dry, the Hondas will breeze past on the national straight and the NA cars will be able to keep up through the corners. There is clearly a lot of work to do next year and hopefully everything will be sorted.

    I still agree with ballast though, really mixes up the races.

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