TCR building up to hybrid era

Testing continues ahead of the introduction of hybrid technology into TCR touring car racing for 2024, which includes the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series among other categories globally.

Leading into the introduction of hybrid is arguably one of the most transitional years in touring car racing through the inaugural Kumho TCR World Tour, new or updated models from Honda and Lynk & Co, while Toyota grows its footprint in South America.

In addition to this, Garry Rogers Motorsport’s commitment to TCR will increase as it develops the new Peugeot 308 for the category following its initial announcement it was providing the hybrid plug-in.

Hybrid will enter the TCR scene at an important time as manufacturers move to support energy sustainable categories.

Testing of the hybrid system has been undertaken by Romeo Ferraris, which has experience with electrical systems through its ETCR entry and homologated the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR used by Ashley Seward Motorsport in Supercheap Auto TCR Australia.

Discussing the hybrid development at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst International, WSC Founder and President Marcello Lotti reflected on the process undertaken up to that point.

“It’s a plug-in kit,” said Lotti.

“It’s easy to fit into the car, with a manual to install and after you switch on the car it works, it’s very easy.

“The problem we had was it was too efficient because we’re working on when the hybrid is finished, it gives the driver strategy, but when we started testing, we’ve discovered the recovery of the energy is probably too good and 30-minutes with that much.

“It didn’t work in terms of the strategy we wanted, but it was also developed for the environment, however we want this to be in the hands of the driver be it ‘push to pass’ or other ways.

“We’ve decided to limit it with software through a minute or 90 seconds for example to the driver.”

The new plug-in kits will be distributed by the manufacturers involved in TCR racing as confirmed in January this year. The Mild Hybrid System will supply additional power to the thermal engine in a range of between 20-30kWs by recovering energy during braking and deceleration phases.

It is expected the system will be tested this year in selected TCR series.

The next round of the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series is schedule to take place at Phillip Island on May 12-14 as part of the Shannons SpeedSeries.

Tickets are now available at www.motorsporttickets.com.au