Cosworth set to lead BTCC’s hybrid revolution
Cosworth will design and supply a brand new hybrid system for the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) from the 2022 season after being awarded the vital contract by organisers TOCA following a competitive tender.
Cosworth has fast established its credentials as a tier one supplier to the automotive and motorsport industry with its innovative high-performance powertrain and electronics solutions.
Being appointed by TOCA to supply a revolutionary hybrid system to the popular BTCC series showcases Cosworth’s ability to lead the next generation of hybridisation – both in racing and on the road – and its holistic approach.
“Being appointed by TOCA to supply the new hybrid system for BTCC is an important validation for the ground-breaking work we are carrying out in hybrid technology,” commented Cosworth’s Managing Director Electronics Tom Buckler.
“As a tier one supplier to the automotive industry, Cosworth Electronics is leading the way in this area. BTCC has been a trusted partner of Cosworth’s for many years. This contract is validation of the technical relationship we share, and reinforces motorsport’s position as an excellent proving ground to develop technologies for our automotive partners.”
The BTCC was the first major touring car championship in the world to announce the move to hybrid, in August 2018, and is now the first to specify the exact timing, pathway and technical details of its 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.
The contract was awarded to Cosworth Electronics after a successful round of tenders that met with the very challenging specifications – particularly those regarding packaging, performance and low-cost – that TOCA had outlined. All major TOCA technical partners worked 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.
“Cosworth have been a major technical partner with the BTCC for over two decades and I’m delighted that we will extend and expand this relationship to take us into our exciting new hybrid era. I’ve no doubt whatsoever that Cosworth will go ‘over and above’ what is required to ensure the success of this important new contract.” Alan Gow, BTCC Chief Executive