Preparations for the introduction of the British Touring Car Championship’s Hybrid era continued last week as the Cosworth-TOCA Hybrid Toyota Corolla took part in the two-day Goodyear tyre test at Oulton Park.
Clocking significant mileage around the Cheshire circuit with former champion Andrew Jordan behind the wheel, the car ran with the new-for-2022 TOCA engine which has been produced by M-Sport.
Running alongside a majority of the grid competing in this years championship, Jordan completed 118 laps and more than 263 miles as he worked through a methodical test and development programme.
Significantly, all major hybrid components in the test car (such as the hybrid motor, battery and electronics) are exactly the same as those in the car when it first ran in July 2020, with no component failures or maintenance needed.
“We’ve already done a number of other days in the car at Anglesey, but it’s important to come here so we can see performance-wise, the level that it’s at, and also to get miles on it,” said Hybrid Development Driver Jordan.
“It needs to be reliable for when the championship goes to Hybrid power next year, so we’ve done a lot more laps than anyone else purely with that reliability in mind. Minor things come up, mainly software-tweaking, as they always will during the development process, and we’re working through them as we’re going.
“I’m really happy to be involved with it all. Yesterday I felt a bit behind the car, I haven’t driven it around here before, but today I feel much more on it. I’m trying to give feedback where I can, but I’m enjoying it.”
Neal Bateman, Cosworth Electrics Head of Support, added: “These two days have been part of the final stages of our validation process and it’s also the first time we’ve properly run in the public eye. We’ve been able to complete a great number of laps, weather permitting – which has presented its own challenges!
“Both yesterday and today, we’ve completed lots of deployment of the hybrid electronics utilising different strategies – including the pit lane strategy of running electric to the end and then the engine starting and driving out, which has been excellent. So we’re very happy with the miles we’ve got from the test. It’s all building towards the excitement of running it next year.”
Testing is set to continue throughout the remainder of 2021 before the full introduction of hybrid power next year.