BTCC Hybrid’s Race 3 retirement down to cracked weld in high-mileage exhaust manifold

The BTCC Hybrid’s Race 3 retirement on Lap 6 was caused by a cracked weld in a manifold which in itself accumulated over two seasons-worth of mileage.

A front-wheel drive Toyota Corolla BTCC Hybrid made its race debut at Silverstone in the hands of 2013 champion Andrew Jordan.

Overseen by M-Sport and Cosworth personnel, the car was put through an authentic race weekend scenario.

The objective was to gain further mileage and setup knowledge on what is not yet a complete project but will debut as a mandated powertrain infrastructure from next year.

Alan Gow, BTCC Chief Executive, said: “The fast laps the Hybrid car achieved – running on the exact same tyres as the rest of the grid, as well as a normal race setup – underlined the inherent performance of the car.

“… The main goal was to go through an entire race weekend sequence; putting the car, the system and our partners – Cosworth and M-Sport – through the ‘stress-test’ that a race weekend brings, as well as comparing the performance of the car, albeit at the very beginning of its competitive life cycle.”

Credit: BTCC

M-Sport confirmed the Hybrid system itself ran faultlessly and were ‘delighted’ with the maiden race weekend outing.

It retired on Lap 6 during the final race due to a slightly cracked weld in the exhaust manifold which had covered over two seasons-worth of mileage both on the dyno and the car. This was unrelated to the Hybrid system.

Jordan trialled the new aspects of the Hybrid including the 15 seconds of push-to-pass which entails a 10% power increase. However, it was not tested through any competitive race pace at Silverstone.

The new-for-2022 TOCA engine by M-Sport and Cosworth will replace the outgoing Swindon powertrain, and it has completed all of its durability and performance programmes.

Like the Swindon engine, it will be for teams who do not intend to develop their own power unit from 2022.

There are components and software which have not been fully validated to make a finalised product, but a rear-wheel drive Hybrid BMW will join the Hybrid Corolla during further testing over the coming weeks and months.