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Running up the hill

20 September 2021

There are few events that can consider themselves as iconic or exciting as the Goodwood Festival of Speed and its legendary hill climb. It is one of the staples of the motorsport and automotive calendar, bringing together the world’s car manufacturers, racing teams, drivers, and fans for a unique demonstration of the industry’s past, present and future.

This year’s Festival of Speed was run as a UK government trial event, enabling fans the return to Lord March’s grounds once again to marvel at some of the most prestigious vehicles. The atmosphere was electric and Cosworth-powered vehicles were in abundance.

In addition to Cosworth’s heritage, Goodwood showcased some of its latest technology, in the form of the Cosworth BTCC Hybrid, which made its debut up the famous hill – a focal point of the entire event.

Its hybrid system will make its race debut at Silverstone in September, and feature across all cars on the BTCC grid from 2022.

Cosworth put the car through its paces in testing around Oulton Park in July ahead of the Goodwood weekend, clocking up 118 laps and over 263 miles of running during the two-day test with the Speedworks Motorsport team.

The car has used the same major components since its inaugural test in July 2020 with no issues or maintenance required. Significantly, all components have now done over an entire season of running, proving the reliability of the platform, which we have developed in close co-ordination with the technical team at BTCC organisers, TOCA.

Cosworth’s testing had been completed at Oulton Park, Speedworks made light work of the preparations to get the car over to the Goodwood Festival of Speed for its debut at the illustrious event. Goodwood is in many ways the ideal showcase with its combination of history and future, the perfect place for our BTCC Hybrid car to display the latest in hybrid technology as it powers the series into an exciting new chapter.

The car took part in demonstration runs to exhibit the benefits of the hybrid system. The car ran faultlessly and showed off the electric-only mode, running on battery power alone on its way to the start line and around the pits. This feature was part of the requirements set out by TOCA, reducing emissions in a situation where a lower power output is required.

The Cosworth BTCC Hybrid will continue testing for the remainder of the year, with it making its race debut at Silverstone on the weekend of the 26th of September as part of the scheduled development programme. The car will take part in all practice and qualifying sessions and will start all three races from the pitlane to ensure it does not have any implications on the championship contenders’ races.

Alan Gow, BTCC Chief Executive: “Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the plan is to run at Silverstone in both free practices, qualifying and the three races.

“It will be invisible as far as championship points go, and wherever it qualifies it won’t be starting from there.

“Competing at our Silverstone event is part of its full development cycle; although the hybrid components and engine have done far in excess of a season’s worth of running, we want it to also go through a normal race weekend procedure. So, whilst it won’t get involved in any real dicing with other cars, it’s important that our fans and partners have the opportunity of seeing the hybrid car in action ahead of 2022.”

Neal Bateman, Cosworth Electronics Head of Support: “Following completion of the validation process during the two-day test at Oulton Park, we were happy to see the car running up the hill at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. It’s the first time the car has been in the public eye just for demonstration purposes and it couldn’t have happened at a more iconic event. We are incredibly pleased with how development of the Hybrid System has been progressing with successful and largely trouble-free testing, as well as anticipation building ahead of its debut on all cars from 2022. Ahead of that, the car will be taking part in the Silverstone round in September, which will allow us to get representative feedback in situ during a BTCC race weekend.”

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