Drivers who take part in a full season in the FIA World Touring Car Championship’s Yokohama Trophy – now reserved for older-spec machinery – will receive a hefty €40,000 starting bonus from the category’s sponsor.
As the series gets set to usher in a raft of radical regulation changes for the 2014 season, series organisers – in a bid to keep grid numbers healthy – will continue to allow cars conforming to the 2011-13 regulations to compete.
These cars will be denoted as TC2 category competitors, although they won’t have a prayer of being able to compete with the 2014-spec TC1 racers, which will enjoy greater aerodynamic advantages, a 50kg base weight reduction and an additional 50bhp in engine power output.
A number of the established outfits don’t have the budgets available to make the upgrade to the much more expensive TC1 category cars, leaving them with the choice of either exiting the series or running in the TC2 class.
The two independently-run German outfits, Weichers-Sport and Liqui Moly Team Engstler (pictured above), are both expected to continue to field their BMW 320TCs in 2014 in the TC2 class, alongside a number of SEAT León WTCCs run by Campos Racing, Special Tune Racing and Münnich Motorsport.
So to help matters, the series’ longstanding tyre partner, Yokohama, has indicated it will chip in with a €40,000 bonus to all entrants that commit to a full season.
WTCC organisers are still to confirm the amount of race-by-race prizemoney that it will make available to the Yokohama Trophy competitors.
Last year, Yokohama put in almost half a million Euro into the pool, offering €6,000 for each race win, dropping down by €1,000 increments for the top-six finishers in each race.