For 2019 The Irish Touring Car Championship (ITCC) will be an all-Ireland affair, with racers from Northern Irish classes and previous ITCC competitors joining forces for what promises to be one of the most competitive seasons of saloon car racing in recent years.
The new change in formula for 2019 is the brainchild of ITCC class regulars Brian Sexton, Philip Burdock and Martin Duffy, and NI Saloon regular Andrew Armstrong. Boasting 10 races over 5 weekends, the calendar will take in 2 weekends at both Kirkistown and Mondello Park, while the remaining weekend will see the class visit drivers’ favourite, Bishopscourt.
A large number of NI Saloon competitors have already shown interest, including Andrew Armstrong in his BMW M3, the Honda pairing of Alan Stewart and Neil White, alongside 2018 and 2017 ITCC Champions Philip Burdock in his Golf GTI and Shane Rabbitt in his fire breathing rotary engined Mazda RX7. Keith Campbell in his Honda-powered VW Corrado, and Adrian Dunne in his rapid Citroen Saxo will take on the 210bhp/ton catagory.
As well as the fact that the championship now covers the entire island, there are a number of new rule changes for 2019 to encourage new and old drivers and cars onto the grid. The class will be primarily broken down into three Tonne/BHP catagories – 210bhp/Tonne, 250bhp/Tonne, and 320bhp/Tonne. These new regulations will be strictly enforced with the introduction of John Staunton of JOMO Engineering as Class Technical Scrutineer.
Further information on the changes to the rules and regulations will be made available in the coming weeks.
The provisional 2019 ITCC calendar is as follows –
Round 1&2 March 30th Kirkistown
Round 3&4 May 11th & 12th Bishopscourt
Round 5&6 June 21st 22nd Kirkistown
Round 7&8 July 13th & 14th Mondello
Round 9 & 10 September 14th 15th Mondello
Images from Michael Chester.