The 2022 BTCC hybrid theory

Soon, the high-tech world of hybrid powertrains will be introduced into the British Touring Car Championship. But will it be a boost or a bust for what is already an ultra-competitive landscape? Robert Ladbrook spoke to the main players

Circuit test of the 2022 specification BTCC hybrid Toyota

From 2022, all BTCC cars will be running a new, bespoke hybrid system. But could it hurt the racing?

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It’ll be one of those eerie things. The sort where you know what’s happening, yet your brain struggles to compute familiar vision with alien sound. When the British Touring Car Championship combatants roll out of the pitlanes around the UK from 2022 they’ll look the same, but be very different. They’ll be silent, at least for a few moments. Then, once clear of the pit exit line, that usual rasping crackle of exhaust will return. Cue loud exhale. Normality resumes.

The BTCC’s decision to introduce hybrid technology into a series that has become so renowned for doing things the simple way has already caused a stir. How much will it change? Does it risk ruining the racing, stretching budgets and bringing on that most negative of reactions, people simply switching off?

The BTCC currently enjoys a lot of strengths. Huge grids, sensible budgets, superb marketing, stick-shift sequential gearboxes, drivers making the difference. So why the need for change?