The 2021 British Rallycross Championship will have a new points system adapting the one used last year. It moves it more in line with the World Rallycross Championship with 30 the maximum number of championship points available every round.
Last season points were given out for the Semi-finals and Final. For categories that had less than 10 cars and did not run semi-finals, points were given for qualifying positions instead. This year points will be given out for qualifying, semi-finals and final finishing positions. It means the World Championship points system will be used for qualifying and the semi-finals, though with 2 additional cars making it to the final a slightly modified points allocation will be used.
Here’s the break down:
Previously only 14 points were available in a weekend for each category. This year that is increased to 30, though only if semi-finals are run. With insufficient entries only 24 points are up for grabs. It means that qualifying becomes even more important. Not only will it continue to set the grid for the semi-finals it can affect the championship battle. With a DNS in any session scoring 0 intermediate points, failing to start any session effectively relegates that driver to the bottom of the qualifying standings. Teams will be looking to avoid any unnecessary loss of points.
One notable example last season was Mark Donnelly skipping Q2 at round 2 to fix a power steering issue. This year we’ll be more likely to see cars limping to the start grid to score some qualifying points then immediately retiring to the pits to finish repairs.
The update to the points system also fixes a small “glitch” with the system that did not give 1 point to 6th place finishes in the semi-final. Only one driver was affected by this in the semi-finals, John Rook in the BMW Mini championship at round 1. However, it had a much larger effect for qualifying points as most series did not run semi-finals at any round. This meant every 6th place finisher in qualifying did not score 1 point for their efforts. This had originally been assigned incorrectly until being spotted by this author. The final standings were corrected before the season officially ended early.
Had this system been used last season Mark Donnelly would still have been crowned champion. Instead of scoring 36 his points total would be increased to 75. O’Donovan stays in 2nd place on 72, one further back than in reality. The top 5 all remain static with the first change being Mike Sellar jumping from 8th to 6th. This system rewards attending every round with lower results rather than racing at some rounds but with good success. In categories with low entry numbers the champion will likely be a driver who attend every round, even if they are lacking in top results.
For 2021, in the event of a tie in the intermediate standings drivers will be ordered by number of 1st place finishes in qualifying, then number of second place finishes etc, until one is classified higher. Should this still not separate them the quicker driver in the last qualifying session will be placed higher. This is a move away from last year’s regulation change that brought it inline with WRX. Last season as with the World series, a tie was broken by whomever was fastest in the final heat.
The regulations also give us an insight into the new electric cars that are set to race this season. Their weight must be above 1540kg including the driver. This compares to 1300kg of the internal combustion cars they will be up against. Power is limited to 450kW, equivalent to 612hp. Many cars in the series run up to 600hp with potentially 1 or 2 hitting or exceeding the ERX car’s capabilities, though if they do it is by a small margin.
The final regulation changes only affect supporting categories. Every series supporting the British Rallycross Championship will not have any dropped scores. This comes despite most set to visit Mondello and Spa in a 9 round calendar which could mean many competitors will skip events for budgetary reasons.
Supernational, Swift, Junior, RX150 and the All4 Super Minis will attend all 7 rounds with the Supercars as well as having double header rounds at Pembrey and Knockhill. BMW Mini and Super 1600 will follow this almost exactly apart from skipping the single Irish round. Retro Rallycross will only contest the events on mainland Great Britain leaving 7 rounds with Retro Group B/4WD also missing the Scottish rounds for 5 events. The new Electro rallycross championship is currently set to compete across 3 rounds, all at Lydden Hill.
Rallycross action will start in 1 week's time with practice from 9am on Saturday 29th May. Check out my latest video or season report from last year to be caught up on everything that happened in 2020.