The BTCC hybrid test car, a Speedworks Toyota Corolla, ran in all sessions over the Silverstone BTCC weekend 25-26 September, driven by 2013 BTCC champion Andrew Jordan. The test car featured Xtrac’s P1546 transmission in combination with M-Sport’s new TOCA BTCC control engine and Cosworth’s new TOCA hybrid system.
The MGU is highly integrated into the gearbox casing and drives into the gear cluster through a gear set. The whole hybrid gearbox integration has been designed so that existing competitors can update their current gearboxes with the hybrid drive kit easily and cost effectively for racing in 2022. RWD cars have Xtrac’s new P1580 transmission which integrates the same hybrid system and which RWD competitors can update to with the hybrid drive kit.
Xtrac front and rear wheel drive gearboxes, with the rear differential, are standard gearboxes for the TOCA BTCC cars.
The system, billed as the first affordable competition hybrid system for touring cars, provides the driver with a steering wheel button activated 25Nm boost for up to 15 seconds per lap, a figure calculated to allow the driver to ‘push to get alongside’ as opposed to the ‘push to pass’ seen in other series, in a bid to preserve the championship’s reputation for great racing, without it being artificially enhanced.
The car qualified 0.506 seconds off of the pole lap pace – a solid result for a test car being run with a focus on reliability over performance. Despite this the car started all three races from the pit lane, with instructions to only overtake on straights and not to ‘tangle’ with any championship contenders.
Jordan was able to make a number of overtakes using the hybrid system exactly as it was intended: using the push button to deploy additional power on the straight, drawing alongside the car ahead into the next corner.
The hybrid car also set a number of unofficial fastest laps in the race, with the times being suppressed in the results so as not to have any impact on the 2021 championship.
All systems have performed reliably over a season’s worth of running prior of the Silverstone weekend which bodes well ahead of the hybrid introduction in 2022.