Hybrid power entered the BTCC in 2022, becoming the first touring car series worldwide to feature the technology. Further tweaks were made to the system’s deployment for 2023 and, now boasting a 97.3% reliability rate, in line with other major components of a BTCC car, the series organisers have now decided to shift the focus of its development to overall performance.
The effect of the Hybrid Energy Management System (HEM) over the past two years has been minimal at best, with the feature proving largely forgettable throughout the campaign. Now, through the use of a combination of hybrid power and turbo boost, there will be twice as much power at the driver's fingertips.
“We are now receiving double the power delivery, which will definitely add some spice to the racing,” explained Ash Sutton, the newly crowned four-time champion who sampled the uprated system at Snetterton during a Goodyear test in September.
“It will be much harder to defend from as the delta between a car with and without hybrid-turbo boost will be much greater. You will see cars being able to pull alongside each other via the system and maybe even make overtakes at corners we traditionally haven’t been able to before.”
While the power has doubled, the sporting regulations will remain the same for the application of the hybrid-turbo, with drivers given the ability to deploy the power for a specific amount of time per lap in qualifying according to their championship position and previous finishing positions on race day.
The announcement comes just a week after the championship announced a new IndyCar-inspired qualifying format, which BTCC Chief Executive Alan Gow says literally showcases the way organisers are “looking to bring further energy to the championship”.