The BTCC doubles its hybrid power boost for the 2024 season
The series has made the move for the third season of hybrid use to “continue its development with greater emphasis on overall performance”, with “reliability now at around 97.3% – comparable to any other major components that make up a modern-day touring car”.
It also comes amid claims that racing has become more practical since the old system of success ballast was dropped when the hybrid was introduced in 2022.
The use of the hybrid turbo boost over 2022 and 2023 is understood to have provided an additional 30bhp, meaning this will increase to around 60bhp on engines expected to produce around 375bhp – under the 2024 rules, power will be boosted by 16%. When a hybrid is used.
The amendments to the promotion regulations come after the announcement last week of a new qualification format.
It is understood that there are unlikely to be major changes to the 2023 rules regarding the number of seconds to use the hybrid per qualifying lap and the number of laps in the race.
In qualifying, this ranges from one second per lap for the championship leader to 15 seconds for those outside the top seven. In races, those outside the top seven in the championship or previous races can use the hybrid system on half the laps, with increments reduced by one lap.
During 2023, champion Ash Sutton has claimed pole position on five occasions while running the 1-second minimum hybrid speed. The new rules should make it more difficult and could put the Championship leaders in a fight to reach Division Two or Division Three under the revised qualifying system.
Photography: JEP/Motorsports 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.
“(This) will definitely add some excitement to the race,” four-time champion Sutton said.
“It will be more difficult to defend because the difference between a car with and without a hybrid turbo boost will be much greater.
“You’ll see cars being able to stop side-by-side through the system, and perhaps even pass corners that we couldn’t do before.”
BTCC Chairman Alan Zhao added: “With the hybrid system now proving to be highly reliable, it is time to further develop its overall performance.
“As we said last week with the introduction of the ‘Quick Six’ qualifiers, we are always looking to bring more energy to the tournament and this latest development does just that.”
It is understood that the new boost rules come with the blessing of Goodyear, the BTCC tire supplier, and other technical suppliers to the series.