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Jake Hill, ROKiT MB Motorsport BMW 330e M Sport
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BTCC Donington Park
Analysis

How the BTCC's new hybrid era aced its first test

Expectations were high for the start of the British Touring Car Championship’s hybrid power era, and despite nerves and problems to solve prior to its debut the new rules gained widespread approval. Here’s how the first test at Donington Park was passed and the thorough examinations that are to follow

The build-up to opening night wasn’t without its niggles (when is that ever not the case in motorsport?), but the first race weekend using hybrid power in the British Touring Car Championship was a resounding success.

Whether by luck or design, series organiser TOCA revealed a 2022 schedule that kicked off at Donington Park, the East Midlands venue that has usually provided some of the best racing of the season during the current era of NGTC cars. So yes, we had great racing, but it was no more or less great than we have come to expect here. We had some places gained by use of the hybrid power boost, but it wasn’t akin to the DRS drive-by cruising to which we’ve become accustomed in Formula 1. And the cars are faster. Even with a 70kg increase in base weights to account for the Cosworth-built hybrid and its battery, Jake Hill smashed Gordon Shedden’s 2021 qualifying record by 0.576 seconds, and Hill’s new race lap record was 0.272s under Ash Sutton’s old mark from 2020.

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