BTCC Hybrid makes race debut
The British Touring Car Championship welcomed a newcomer to the field at Silverstone, with the race weekend debut of the new 2022 Cosworth BTCC Hybrid.
The car, whose hybrid system has been developed by Cosworth, is set to bring the series – that has seen half a century of intense racing and iconic battles – into a new era.
The race weekend was an important milestone for the new car. Our hybrid package has successfully completed multiple private test days, accumulating the equivalent of more than an entire season’s worth of mileage. However, we still needed to collect essential data from a real race weekend. This was the reason behind the hybrid car taking part at Silverstone.
Our hybrid element performed encouragingly during the shakedown, two practice sessions, qualifying and the three races over the weekend. Working in combination with the M-Sport engine through a spec Xtrac gearbox, our hybrid system gives the drivers up to 15 seconds of additional electric energy per lap, in a push-to-attack-or-defend configuration. The system also solely powers the car in the pitlane for the start of each session and regenerates electrical energy during braking.
During the weekend we managed to run through all the programmes that typically take place during a race event. We also got the chance to run the car in traffic, following other cars in close proximity, which gave us a better understanding of the temperatures on hybrid components such as the motor and battery. It was also important to get an understanding of how the coolers of these components coped in hot turbulent air.
Neal Bateman, Cosworth Electronics Head of Support: “We have been working tirelessly to prepare the all-new BTCC Hybrid car ahead of its competitive debut in 2022, and the Silverstone weekend was an important milestone in its development. We are very pleased to have been able to run the Hybrid car in proper race conditions. We’ve been able to manage the battery and systems in between sessions too. It was great to have the car running in traffic during race two, to get proper temperature into the hybrid element in the draft of other cars. The focus was not on performance, however over the course of the weekend we built up some speed and showed some real pace. It’s been a positive step for us; we’ve learnt a lot from this race weekend, and we are looking forward to the remainder of our testing programme.”
Andrew Jordan, TOCA Hybrid Test Driver: “We found pace throughout the weekend getting up to the top two or three in terms of lap time. We got some good fast laps in during race one and three with a fastest lap during race two. We’re very close to the front now in terms of pace so it’s been a good test. Everything has run smoothly this weekend which is good. It’s a big change for the teams next year so to be able to show strong reliability stands the system in good stead for next year.”