The new TC3 International Series has revealed more details ahead of its inaugural championship season next year, announcing the technical regulations, calendar details and the first team to have signed on.
The championship – founded by former World Touring Car Championship boss Marciello Lotti – is marketing itself as a cost-effective spin-off of the WTCC, targeted at C-category tin-top racing cars such as those which compete in the SEAT León Eurocup championship.
Series organisers have today confirmed that the inaugural championship season will feature twelve rounds, with five in Europe, four in Asia and three in the Americas. A complete calendar will be released later this month.
The initial technical regulations have been written with the following criteria:
Eligible cars: WSC list for 4/5-door saloons
Body shell: Reinforced production body shell; wheel arch modifications allowed to accommodate tyres
Minimum overall length: 4.20 metres
Maximum overall width: 1.95 metres
Engine: Turbo-charged petrol or diesel up to 2.0-litre
Torque: circa 410Nm
Power: circa 320 Bhp
Lubrication: Wet sump
Exhaust: Homologated catalytic converter using production parts
Traction: On two wheels
Gearbox: Production or TC3 International Series sequential; production paddle shift accepted
Front Suspension: Production lay-out; parts free design
Rear Suspension: Original design of production car with reinforced components
Brakes: Front: max 6 piston calipers, brake discs max diameter 380mm; Rear: max 2 piston callipers
Production ABS accepted
Wheels: Maximum dimensions of rim: 10″ x 18“
Front splitter: 2014 SEAT León Eurocup (pictured)
Rear wing: FIA Appendix J Art. 263 2014
Ground clearance: Minimum 80 mm
Power/Weight Ratio: Subject to the WSC Balance of Performance
Series organisers have also revealed details of the event formats, with each round featuring two races – both with standing starts – over a minimum distance of 60 kilometres.
Grids will be decided using the qualifying format from the 2013 World Touring Car Championship, with a two-part qualifying format. The opening qualifying session will run for 20 minutes, with the second (involving the fastest twelve cars from Q1) running for 10 minutes.
The grid for the first race will be based on the combined results of Q1 and Q2. The first ten drivers of the combined Q1 and Q2 results will started in reversed order for the second race.
The series will also have a success ballast system, although it uses a model more familiar to those who follow the British Touring Car Championship: 30 kilograms is awarded to the winner of the previous meeting, with 20kg for second place and 10kg for third.
The series will adopt the FIA points scale of 25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1 for the top-ten race finishers.
Two teams have already indicated a strong interest in joining the championship, with 2013 FIA European Touring Car Cup Single-Make Trophy champions Target Competition confirming they will compete with SEAT León Eurocup cars.
Also known to be interested is the Onyx Race Engineering squad, which has confirmed that it will develop Ford Focus racers for the championship, after being forced to abandon its plans to enter this year’s FIA World Touring Car Championship.
Image via SpeedHunters