Another war of the manufacturers looks set to erupt in the World Touring Car Championship, with Chevrolet announcing that it intends to appeal the Okayama Stewards’ ruling to allow the RBM BMWs to race with sequential gearboxes.
The central theme to its argument is that the switching of Andy Priaulx and Augusto Farfus’ BMWs from five-speed H-pattern gearboxes to six-speed sequential units allows the respective drivers to run with 30kg less ballast on account of the additional weight of the new units.
Theoretically, this means that Priaulx and Farfus – who qualified 1-2 at Okayama ahead of this afternoon’s two races – are now 25kg lighter than the Chevrolet Cruzes and 45kg lighter than the turbodiesel SEATs, which have to run with the most performance ballast.
Prior to the start of the 2010 season, the only driver allowed to run with a sequential gearbox in the championship was Alessandro Zanardi, with the part being specifically homologated on his BMW on account if him racing with specially-modified hand controls.
What will potentially scupper Chevrolet’s appeal is that at the start of the season, the grid agreed to allow Liqui Moly Engstler driver Andrei Romanov the use of the sequential gearbox. With that in mind, race stewards this weekend gave the green light for all BMWs to use the gearboxes (you can read their ruling on the left), which RBM and Poulsen Motorsport immediately took up for their cars.
It would therefore seem unlikely that Chevrolet’s grounds for appeal will be looked upon favourably when they were privy to giving the rule the green light in the first place.
As of Monday, Chevrolet will have 48 hours to lodge its appeal.
[Original image via FIA WTCC official site]