Alan Gow: LPG regulations still "a work in progress"

Series Director Alan Gow says restrictions on Team Aon may change in either direction at Knockhill, as the series strives to ensure fairness both this year and during the NGTC changeover.

Speaking to TouringCarTimes, Alan Gow talked about the new phenomenon causing controversy in touring car racing, the LPG/Biogas powered vehicles and their equalising turbos seen in both the BTCC and the STCC.

With Team Aon running a Ford Focus adapted to LPG this year, and Volkswagen running a Scirocco in Sweden, previously a ballasted GT car, but now a full fledged S2000 chassis now on equal footing with it’s STCC competitors in terms of weight. These two cars have both had a strong run of results in recent races, with their drivers now in strong contention to snatch the title from champion heir apparents, Jason Plato and Richard Göransson.

“It’s the first time over there (STCC), and certainly over here, that a competitive LPG car has been run,” said Gow.

“They’re (Team Aon) continually improving their car all the time, not just in the engine but in the chassis and everything else, and we’re learning about how they work all the way through.”

“As we’ve said all year it’s a work in progress, and we’ll always make changes where and if necessary. The changes we’ve made this weekend may not be appropriate in a couple of weeks time, and we may have to go back on them.”

The LPG Ford’s aren’t the only turbo-charged cars on the BTCC grid, with Pirtek Racing, Pinkney Motorsport and Special Tuning UK all running cars with the new Next Generation Touring Car (NGTC) engine built by Swindon Engines.

Alan Gow spoke about what he expects to see next year.

“You might see four full NGTC cars, you might see another four cars running the NGTC engine in S2000 cars, and then the next year more again, and that’s the way I always envisioned it would be…we didn’t want to have people junk their assets straight away.”

The BTCC is promising performance parity during the changeover years, with more NGTC models and engines coming in, and only the older BTC-spec cars being outlawed, there will be a combination of many different specifications competing in 2011, but Alan doesn’t expect it will be anything the series isn’t used to handling:

“If there’s one championship in the world that’s pretty good at performance parity it’s ours. Go back to the nineties, in one year we had 4 cylinder, 5 cylinder, 6 cylinder...front-wheel drive, four-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive. We know what we’re doing, and you’d have to say we get it right.”

- Touring Car Times staff

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