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BTCC doubles hybrid power boost for 2024 season

The British Touring Car Championship has doubled the power boost from hybrid deployment for the 2024 season.

Colin Turkington, Team BMW BMW 330e M Sport

The series has made the move for its third season of hybrid use “to continue its development with a further focus on overall performance”, with “reliability now at some 97.3% – comparable with any other major components that make up a modern-day touring car”.

It also comes amid claims that the racing has become more processional since the old system of success ballast was dropped when hybrid was introduced in 2022.

The use of hybrid-turbo boost during 2022 and 2023 is understood to have provided an additional 30bhp, meaning this will increase to approximately 60bhp on engines that are estimated to produce approximately 375bhp – under the 2024 rules, power will therefore be boosted by 16% when hybrid is used.

The tweaks to the boost regulations come following last week’s announcement of a new format for qualifying.

It is understood that there will likely be no significant changes to the 2023 rules on number of seconds’ usage of hybrid per qualifying lap and number of laps in the race.

In qualifying, this ranges from one second per lap for the championship leader to 15s for those outside the top seven. In races, those outside the top seven in the championship or preceding races can use hybrid on half the laps, decreasing in increments of one lap.

During 2023, champion Ash Sutton set pole position on five occasions while running the minimum 1s hybrid. The new rules should make it tougher to do so and could even put the championship leader into a battle to make Q2 or Q3 under the revised qualifying format.

Ashley Sutton, NAPA Racing UK Ford Focus ST

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Ashley Sutton, NAPA Racing UK Ford Focus ST

Alliance Racing Ford driver Sutton was one of three drivers to trial the new boost rules, along with Tom Ingram (Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai) and Colin Turkington (West Surrey Racing BMW), at Snetterton in September.

Four-time champion Sutton said: “[It] 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.”

BTCC chief Alan Gow added: “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.”

The new boost rules are understood to come with the blessing of BTCC tyre supplier Goodyear and other technical suppliers to the series.

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