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BTCC: Drivers to pass pre-race booze test

2014-05-29 09:14
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NO MORE BOOZE IN BTCC: Mario Andretti (right) holds the 1976 Japanese GP trophy with James Hunt - known for partying up a storm before race days. The BTCC is the first body to take a stand against alcohol in motorsport. Image: AP

ALAN BALDWIN

LONDON, England - The British Touring Car series is to introduce mandatory pre-race alcohol tests for all drivers and officials, a first for British motorsport.

The BTCC said in a statement on Wednesday (May 28 2014): "Any driver or official who fails the zero-tolerance test will not be allowed to participate until they do pass the test."

The statement added that, while it believed drivers and officials would not risk their and others' safety by drinking during a race weekend, tests would be carried out every day at every event.

COMPULSORY TESTING

Series director Alan Gow warned: "Random breath-testing does happen on occasion at various motorsport events but the BTCC is the first championship to mandate zero-tolerance and to back this up with compulsory testing each day at each event.

"This was a bit of a personal crusade for me. I have long thought that the sport does not carry out enough alcohol testing."

Gow said all drivers and officials supported the measure.

Formula 1, whose victorious drivers spray sparkling wine on the podium and several of whose teams are backed by beer and spirits brands, is also a signatory to the World Anti-Doping Agency's code and conducts' random drug tests.

Britain's James Hunt, the late 1976 F1 Drivers' champion, was famed for his indulgent party lifestyle fuelled by sex, cigarettes and alcohol, but those wild days are long gone in the sport.

The US-based Nascar series, which has an official beer supplier, has a substance abuse policy that covers alcohol with random blood, urine, saliva and breath tests.
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