Yes, that's right, almost a year since it finished, the European Touring Car Championship by Chaz Draycott Media will be returning, and it will be a very different beast compared to how you last saw it.
In its first season, the series had pre-made liveries, randomly-selected teams and a format that showcased an old-school BTCC-style "Sprint and Feature Race" format. The amount of details that have been brought over to Season 2 total absolutely zero. New cars. New format. New everything, except maybe the logo and some of the circuits we're visiting.
The championship makes the predicted switch to TCR cars for season 2 - iRacing has recently boosted its TCR contingent with the arrival of the Honda Civic Type R, Hyundai Elantra N and Hyundai Veloster N. Combine them with the Audi RS3 LMS and you get a very comprehensive touring car racing experience.
The format has moved away from the two-race evening and gone down a route very close to the heart of rallycross, with short, small-grid, quick-fire heat races being brought in. The idea is that the grid is capped at 24 cars, who all set a Qualifying time. They are then split into four six-car heats. The podium finishers go straight through to the Feature/Final, and the other 12 go into two six-car Consolation races. The top two of each go into the Feature/Final, starting at the back of the grid, with the 3rd and 4th place finishers fighting for some championship points, based on their fastest laps during the Consolations.
The Feature/Final is then a standard 20-minute Sprint Race to the chequered flag comprised of 16 cars. Sounds simple, right? Well it's bound to be exciting either way.
Aside from a brand new format, a big rule change is being brought in to promote a mixed grid of cars. On a first come first served basis, any car model that exceeds 6 examples on the entry list (only counting the 24 competing drivers at the time) will have 10kg of ballast applied to each one, increasing by an extra 10kg for every car over the 6 mentioned.
This is a rule that's been implemented in championships at the top level before, and it really makes more of a difference than you'd expect. It'll be interesting to see how it works over the short races the series has on offer.
It will all be broadcasted live on Chaz Draycott Media as you'd expect, and companies & brands are welcome to step forward to discuss sponsorship opportunities ahead of the season launch.
Entries will open on chazdraycott.com at 18:00BST on the 26th of September 2022, with the first round taking place almost a month later on the 24th of October. You can take a look at the rulebook here to get acquainted with all the regulationsI hope to see you on the grid.