The first wave of compensation ballast adjustments for the 2013 FIA World Touring Car Championship season will come into effect this weekend when the field heads to the Slovakiaring.
In a bid to improve competition throughout the field, the FIA has decreed that BMW and LADA will be allowed to run at the lowest minimum weight of 1,130kg.
Taking the lap times from each manufacturer’s two quickest drivers from the preceding two rounds at Monza and Marrakech, the Chevrolet Cruzes were – not surprisingly – deemed the quickest car make in the field, and they will have their minimum base weights lifted by 40kg, making them run at the highest possible limit of 1,190kg.
Rival outfits SEAT and Honda will remain on the 1,150kg at which they started the 2012 season.
While LADA is not likely to have any difficulty getting its two little Granta models down to the 1,130kg mark, BMW will require a miracle – not to mention a bid of compassion from the FIA rulemakers.
As we reported in an earlier story, the much larger BMW 320TC model has a base weight above 1,150kg anyway, meaning that the reduced base weight allowed by the FIA is unachievable.
While that modification would give it a weight saving of at least 20kg per car, it will, however, need the approval of the FIA Stewards to do so.
LADA’s cause has been helped by a switch in its driver line-up at the previous round in Morocco, where rookie driver Mikhail Koslovskiy was brought in as Aleksei Dudukalo’s replacement. The youngster’s relatively slow lap times worked in the two-car outfit’s favour, allowing the Granta to reduce its base weight this weekend.