The Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship yesterday announced an exciting change to its qualifying format, which will be in operation at every race weekend during the 2024 season and beyond.
The BTCC’s ‘Quick Six’ qualifying will feature three short segments, creating further interest for fans in attendance and the hundreds of thousands more that will be able to watch every qualifying session and race live via ITV Sport.
The format – similar to the one successfully used in IndyCar – will comprise the following:
After Free Practice Two (FP2) the cars will be divided into two groups.
Those that finished FP2 in odd position numbers (one, three, five and so on…) go into one group and those that finished FP2 in even position numbers (two, four, six and so on…) go into the other group.
- Each of those two groups contest a separate ten-minute session
- The fastest six cars from each group advance to Q2 ‘Top 12’
- The ‘Top 12’ cars qualify together in a ten-minute session
- The fastest six cars advance to the Q3 ‘Quick Six’ final qualifying
- The ‘Quick Six’ qualify in a ten-minute session to set the top six grid positions
This new format will also see FP2 taking on more importance, with a greater number of qualifying simulations expected due to teams having limited on-track time during each qualifying session.
While the introduction will undoubtedly bring fresh qualifying excitement for the fans, the news has also been welcomed by teams and drivers alike, with the endorsement of the change during the scheduled recent end of season teams meeting.
Alan Gow, BTCC Chief Executive, said: “We’re always looking to bring further energy to the championship, but it’s also important that the competitive integrity remains. So, I believe our new ‘Quick Six’ format will bring a heightened blend of competitiveness and intensity to BTCC qualifying. As well, it helps the drivers by reducing the amount of cars on track during all three of the qualifying segments.
“I’ve long admired the way IndyCar use this system for its road courses – it’s ideal for the BTCC and in keeping with our policy of providing short, sharp and intense action. The pressure will certainly be on the teams and drivers, more than ever before, to quickly ‘nail’ their qualifying laps in each short segment.”