FIA confirms new WTCC regulations for 2014

The FIA World Motor Sport Council has today confirmed that new regulations will come into force for the 2014 FIA World Touring Car Championship.

This change will be the most significant technical change in the history of Super 2000.

The WMSC announcement reads:

New Technical Regulations for 2014 Super 2000 cars were agreed in principle by the WMSC to provide for more spectacular cars with bigger aerodynamic devices and greater performance through weight reduction and power increase, while maintaining similar costs. More technical freedom will be allowed in order to cancel the current system of waivers and balance of performance. However, a balance of technology between front and rear wheel drive cars (balance of technologies) will be maintained.

This opens the way for Citroën to enter in 2014 (and perhaps Renault as well) from a clean sheet of paper. The regulations are an update on Super 2000, and part of the plan is to give the cars a more aggressive appearance whilst still remaining true to the production-based concept behind Super 2000.

From the outside, they might look a little more like the British Touring Car Championship’s cars, but the internal changes will be nowhere near as drastic, with the cars continuing to be free for the manufacturers to develop as they see fit.

The change to the waiver system is vital. Arena Motorsport entered the WTCC at the beginning of the year with a car which they thought was correct in the spirit of the regulations, and had some of the features already used by the other manufacturers, but with the FIA now enforcing the Super 2000 technical rulebook more strictly for all new cars, Arena were forced to change their suspension ahead of the Slovakia round of the Championship.

Exceptions soon snuck in however, with Lada entering their Granta Sport at Hungary and Portugal but without being able to score points as it didn’t fully comform to the FIA homologation, and Honda’s new Civic was entered under STCC homologation. This is allowed as from 2011 cars are able to be entered and score points under national homologation, which allowed Volvo Polestar Racing to compete with their C30 which was originally built for the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship.

The FIA announcement implies it will be moving away from the waiver system, but will still balance out the difference between front and rear-wheel drive cars. Historially this has been achieved through different base weights (the BMW 320 has principally been set 20kg heavier than the front-wheel drive cars before this year), and the starting advantage is negated in the first race by the use of a rolling start.

The only other announcements of the day were that diesels wouldn’t be allowed in the 2013 season, though in effect with only S2000 1.6T cars permitted to enter full seasons as from this (2012) season, that decision is almost moot. The SUNRED SEAT Leóns which were still waiting for the new ORECA-built engine at the start of the year ran with SUNRED’s own engine as it was more competitive than the 2.0 TDI engine, and only Tom Boardman ran the TDI engine this year up until the Portuguese round whilst the Special Tuning Racing team waited for their second engine.

It was also confirmed that the Brazilian round of the WTCC, which was scheduled for the 28th July, will now not take place.