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Supercars keeping close eye on BTCC hybrid plan

Tom Howard

Tuesday 30th July, 2019 - 6:00am

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Supercars is continuing to consider hybrid technology for the future

Supercars is keeping a watching brief on the British Touring Car Championship’s plan to adopt hybrid power in 2022 as it considers similar technology for its Next Generation regulations. 

The BTCC is the first major touring car category to commit to a hybrid system in its cars, revealing a detailed plan regarding how it plans to administer the technology last week. 

Hybrid power is being considered by Supercars for its long-term future with studies into the possible use of systems beginning last year.

Supercars has been in regular contact with the BTCC, run by Australian Alan Gow, among other categories, including NASCAR and IndyCar, as it works towards securing its future direction with its Next Generation platform from 2021.

BTCC’s hybrid plans

The BTCC has sent through details of its plan to Supercars to help with their evaluation of the technology.

Last week, series organisers TOCA confirmed that it will introduce a push button system that will offer drivers a hybrid power boost of up to 40 horsepower to attack or defend for a maximum of 15 seconds per lap, with regeneration taking place under braking. 

It will be delivered by a 60 volt battery system, developed by Cosworth Electronics, weighing no more than 64 kilograms and fitted to an upgraded Xtrac gearbox. 

At a cost of $20,500 ($37000) for season long lease, it will also be used as a balance of performance tool instead of its success ballast model to equalise the field.   

Supercars has opened the door to the possibility of hybrid power in the future having this year moved to a Xtrac transaxle, the same brand as the BTCC, which has the capability of incorporating hybrid power.

Championship boss Sean Seamer has confirmed that hybrid power remains under consideration for the future with the series in close contact with the BTCC.  

“We are in contact with the BTCC and other categories considering similar technology. This is still under consideration as part of our long term planning,” Seamer told Speedcafe.com.

“They’ve (the BTCC) done a great job of it. 

“Alan’s (Gow) obviously connected to the series. I speak to him quite frequently about everything that’s going on, as I do with NASCAR, and the guys at IndyCar, so we’re always talking. 

“He sent it (the plan) through and we have been on the journey with him and looking at everything as we are trying to learn and consider what’s going on with NASCAR and the other series around the world.

“The transaxle that we’ve got now, enables that hybrid technology.”

Hybrid technology is just one item Supercars is considering for its Next Generation platform having already confirmed that it is considering a new control chassis to also help entice more manufacturers and models into the series.

The championship is meanwhile developing its technical platform for next season with several changes expected.

A reduction of aero on cars, improving the durability of engines, the introduction of control dampers and a move to a drive-by-wire throttle system are all being investigated.   

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