The Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship has announced that all cars will receive double the power via its hybrid-turbo boost system from next season onwards.
The BTCC became the first touring car series in the world to introduce hybrid power when it was officially launched for the 2022 season, which was followed by further tweaking to the way in which the hybrid power was deployed in 2023.
With reliability now at some 97.3% – comparable with any other major components that make up a modern-day touring car – the decision has been taken to continue its development with a further focus on overall performance.
The Hybrid Energy Management System (HEM) provides drivers with the ability to deploy the hybrid-turbo for a dedicated amount of time per lap in qualifying and for a number of laps in the races – depending on their championship position (for qualifying) and their race finishing position on race day.
Now, from 2024 that same push of the button will have double the amount of power output.
Next year’s increased power levels will be through a combination of both hybrid and turbo boost, with the final figure being double of that available during the 2023 season. The combined hybrid-turbo boost will work completely in tandem and will be deployed via the same original HEM system.
As has been the case since its inception, drivers will control where and how much they choose to deploy the hybrid-turbo – via a button on the steering well – provided they have reached the minimum required parameters.
The uprated system was tested by three cars at a special Goodyear test day at Snetterton in September, with all drivers enthusiastically endorsing the difference that the increased power boost now makes.
Ash Sutton, recently crowned four-time champion, said: "For the 2023 season we saw the first tweaks to the hybrid system, which was a positive step forward for the championship, but I have had a taste of what’s to come for 2024!
"During a test at Snetterton we were able to work with TOCA to trial a few different options for next season, and we are now receiving double the power delivery, which will definitely add some spice to the racing.
"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."
This latest development follows last week’s announcement that the BTCC will be introducing a ‘Quick Six’ qualifying format from next season – similar to the one operated in IndyCar.
Alan Gow, BTCC Chief Executive, said: "With the hybrid system now proven to be extremely reliable, the time is right to further develop its overall performance.
"As we said last week with the introduction of ‘Quick Six’ qualifying, we are always looking to bring further energy to the championship and this latest development quite literally does just that."