TOURING Car Masters organisers have unveiled the first steps in a shake-up of the category’s rulebook ahead of the 2022 season.
Out of action since May due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the category has worked closely with competitors to complete an in-depth review of its sporting and technical regulations.
Planned changes include a revision of the existing class structure designed to streamline criteria for drivers in each class and encourage older-specification TCM cars to return to the grid.
The ProMaster, ProAm and ProSports classes will remain, however a more definitive, performance-based driver seeding system will be implemented to provide a clearer definition of who is eligible for each class.
That could result in ProAm drivers moving up to the ProMasters class mid-season should they achieve significant race results that warrant a reclassification.
The ProSports class will become separate from the existing structure and will instead be a home for TCM machinery that has not raced for some time.
The ProSports class will run as part of the same grid as the main TCM field, however will likely start behind the full pack to ensure both their race, and that of the main TCM classes, are contested independently.
TCM is also working with Motorsport Australia on refining the series technical regulations to fit the revised ProSport class.
“The feedback we’ve received is that the advancement of the cars currently competing at the front of the TCM pack has seen several existing car owners elect to park their cars for fears of being uncompetitive, which is understandable,” category manager Liam Curkpatrick said.
“The revised ProSports structure will be designed to allow those cars to compete for their own class honours within the broader TCM field.
“While it is tagged an ‘invitational’ class, ProSports would be first designed to bring existing TCM machinery back to the track rather than, for example, attracting Group N competitors and vehicles.
“That is not our goal and this exercise has not been about filling the grid for the sake of it.
“It’s about making a serious effort to cater to the people who have existing cars sitting in garages, and then looking at people who are interested in joining the category and have appropriate machinery to do so.
“We have also had several inquiries from people with cars that are very close to TCM specification already.
“The cars invited competing in ProSport will be approved by the category before competing and will run as close to our rules as possible, including running the control Hoosier tyre.
“It’s not designed to be a free-for-all, rather a cost-effective and common-sense way of getting people back on track yet still being able to compete for a trophy.”
TCM organisers have also confirmed that the once popular ‘baby car’ class will return at three events next year.
While dates and specific rounds are to be confirmed, the small car ‘two-litre TCM’ category will be open to two-litre machinery at selected events.
Previous cars in the class included Tony Karanfilovski’s Alfa Romeo GTA-M, Phil Showers’ Ford Escort RS and the Datsun 510 raced by Cam Mason, prior to stepping up into the V8 Mustangs.
The class will run if three or more cars are entered for one of the nominated rounds.
The Porsche IROC class will also return at nominated rounds next year, with several of the popular Porsche 911RS models set to tackle Mount Panorama, Bathurst this December.
Work is ongoing on the 2022 TCM series regulations with the final versions expected to be approved by Motorsport Australia later this year.
TCM will return to action as part of the six-day Repco Bathurst 1000 event starting on November 30.