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Cosworth Electronics wins BTCC Hybrid contract

24 July 2019

Cosworth Electronics has won the contract for the design, supply and servicing of the BTCC Hybrid System for the 2022 British Touring Car Championship.

BTCC organiser TOCA awarded the contract following a competitive pitch. There were very challenging specifications – particularly those regarding packaging, performance and low-cost – that TOCA had outlined. All major TOCA technical partners worked very closely together in order to define the specification, technical integration and performance parameters of the hybrid system.

The additional hybrid power will be used by each driver for either passing or defending and will introduce new competitive strategies and opportunities during each BTCC race.

Performance simulations undertaken by Cosworth show that the most significant gains will be achieved at the low engine RPM ranges; the hybrid power burst will bring the engine up into the turbo ‘window’ more quickly. This will provide drivers deploying the system the chance to pull alongside or gain ground on the opposition.

In a simulation using Silverstone Circuit, with two cars accelerating out of Copse Corner, the car with the hybrid power deployed should gain around 8m before the next braking zone.

After lap one, drivers will have control over the amount of their hybrid energy they use or regenerate – and when – during the course of each race. The driver will have a steering wheel mounted button to engage the hybrid once full traction has been achieved. The hybrid deactivates on a second button press, the use of brakes, on reaching the time or energy limit, a reduced throttle pressure or sudden acceleration/deceleration.

Prior to introduction, rigorous testing and simulations will refine the more exact nature of the driver-selectable hybrid power delivery (i.e. how many seconds per lap, when/how it can be used etc.) as well as configuring the varying amounts of regeneration and hybrid power that will be used to replace the current success ballast system.

The total weight of the hybrid system is well within the current operating window of all NGTC cars and their components; the total system weight will be some 10kg less than the maximum success ballast weight (75 kg) previously used.

A technical and performance overview of the system follows….

2022 BTCC – Cosworth Hybrid system
– Technical Overview –

‘P2 off-axis’ hybrid system;

  • 60v high power – low volt system
  • Electric motor integrates within modified current BTCC Xtrac gearbox
  • Separate custom hybrid motor cooling unit
  • Utilising the best power-to-weight hybrid motor currently available
  • Compact size and weight: 7.5 kg
  • Little disruption to current NGTC specification
  • Calibrated and driver-adjustable regeneration

Bespoke Delta Motorsport 60v battery pack;

  • Battery weight: 20 kg – housed within IP67 rated isolated composite safety cell
  • Incorporated battery coolant system
  • Quick release connectors
  • Easy removal and replacement – less than 10 minutes
  • Charging via 240v wall socket – one hour full charge time
  • Replaces current ballast box

Modifications required to current car;

  • Updated gearbox case (not all internals) to incorporate electric motor
  • Additional electronic connections
  • Changes to some intercooler locations and pipes.
  • Upgraded Cosworth ‘Antares’ electronics suite
  • Total fully installed system weight approx. 64 kg – including electric motor, battery, controllers, looms, pumps, pipes, cables, fluids etc.

Hybrid Performance;

  • Push to pass or defend – power gain of approx. 40+ bhp
  • Maximum of 15 seconds per lap – available after first lap
  • No limit on number of uses per lap – can only be used when full traction
  • Alternative calibrations for wet track conditions
  • Cars will drive the length of the pit lane on full electric power
  • Configurable percentages of hybrid output/regeneration rate – this will replace the use of success ballast weights
  • On-car LED light system to display hybrid deployment
  • Hybrid power is additional to the current BTCC 2 litre turbo engine power – there is no reduction to either its power output…. or exhaust note

Comprehensive annual lease scheme;

The BTCC – Cosworth Hybrid System annual lease fee of £20,500 (i.e. £2,050 per event) includes:

  • Complete electric hybrid motor
  • Complete bespoke battery pack
  • Hybrid cooling hardware
  • Hybrid power and control looms
  • Car installation sign-off and systems check
  • At-event Cosworth hybrid engineer support
  • Full annual service/maintenance/refurbishment
  • Systems and safety training
  • Warranty

In August last year, the BTCC was the first major touring car championship in the world to announce the move to hybrid – and now the first to specify the exact timing, pathway and technical details of their hybrid power. Although it could have been introduced from 2021, it was decided to stay with the original 2022 introduction date in order to allow ample preparation.

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