Former British Touring Car Championship driver Darren Turner has been appointed as the development driver for the new hybrid car that is due to be introduced in 2022.
Turner – who raced in the BTCC between 2006-2008, winning four races – has been appointed as the official development driver for both TOCA and Cosworth, and will be developing the hybrid Speedworks Motorsport-built Toyota Corolla.
Although he hasn’t raced BTCC machinery for the last 12 years, he has been competing GT’s with Aston Martin, finishing third in last year’s World Endurance Championship standings.
Speaking about the announcement, Turner said: “It’s a really interesting project. I hugely enjoyed the British Touring Car Championship when I raced in it and this is a brilliant opportunity to get back in a touring car and do something a little bit different.
“I’ve not had the opportunity to use hybrid with anything else I have done before, in terms of race cars.
“I want to come at this fresh – I will meet the team and the guys doing the development and we will work out clearly what the objective is, because it isn’t just about the ultimate performance of the cars.
“It’s about making sure that it enhances what the racing currently is like and it adds to what the British Touring Car Championship is all about.
“And of course another important aspect is durability testing – we’ll be putting the equipment through some punishing test cycles.
“As the hybrid deployment will be for both attacking and defending, we will need to work on how it is best configured so that it’s easy to understand and easy to use.
“It’s also important that the fans can see it and understand what’s going on.
“All involved will be going through a learning process with it, but that is exactly what this testing programme is for… we want to see what it is capable of, and then work out the best deployment strategies from there.”
Cosworth Electronics, who are the official hybrid supplier for the series, had contracted Speedworks Motorsport to build a hybrid Toyota for development and the car build is now complete.
With the car ready, Turner will get his first taste of the hybrid machinery at the Goodyear two day tyre test at Snetterton on 7-8 July.