The 2012 Belgian Touring Car Series, planned to be renamed this year to the Belgian Sprint Championship, is unlikely to take place after a major fall out between the series’ organisers and Belgium’s National Sporting Authority (ASN), the Royal Automobile Club of Belgium (RACB).
Speed World, who organised both the BTCS and the Belcar endurance series, which were both to be renamed to the Belgian Sprint and Endurance Championships for 2012 respectively, were unable to come to an agreement with the RACB regarding the management of this year’s series, which led to Speed World Director Christian Lahaye resigning in frustration at the beginning of March.
Speed World then instigated court proceedings against the RACB, but on the 19th March the court judged that Speed World’s claim was unfounded and ruled in favour of the RACB which had pulled Speed World’s licence to run the two series.
With the court action over, there’s now a race against time in order to see Belgium’s national series take place this year, with the opening round of the BTCS, which was due to support the FIA GT1 World Championship on April 22nd, seeming very unlikely. Racingworld.be reports that the RACB is likely to nominate Kronos as the new organiser of Belgium’s premier circuit championships, with the 24 Hours of Spa weekend in late July likely to be when any relaunch takes place.
If the 2012 BTCS doesn’t take place, its final champions would have been Phillipe Steveny and Didier de Radiguès, who won the series with the Kia Buy Way team in 2012, ending a three year run by Frédéric Bouvy and Delahaye Racing. Though Bouvy stood down from the BTCS mid-season to focus on endurance racing and didn’t effectively defend his title.
Other strong competitors in recent years include British team Chad Racing, which also fielded Kias in the Silhouette 1 class for many years; Delahaye Racing who ran three Renault Mégane Eurocup cars last season and Neri Competition, which fielded a Volvo S60 for former Formula 1 driver Eric van de Poele and ex-BTCC and WTCC driver Vincent Radermecker in the last two years.