BTCC starts process for next engine contract

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British Touring Car Championship organizer TOCA has officially launched the tender process for the supply of the championship’s next specification engine.

The BTCC, the UK’s biggest national motor racing championship, employs a 2-liter in-line four-cylinder turbocharged engine in its cars, producing in excess of 350bhp.

Teams entering the series can either build their own engine, which must be from the same family as the model of car entered and meet the strict technical regulations of the series, or alternatively use an unbranded ‘TOCA engine’ from the championship organizer.

Since it was first introduced in 2011, the TOCA unit has been supplied by Swindon Powertrain – in 2015 the company beat eight rivals to win a five-year extension of its contract from 2017 to the end of the 2021 season. Among the 30-car field in the 2019 championship 18 used the TOCA engine, taking 12 race victories.

Now the tender process is open for the supply of the series’ next TOCA engine, with expressions of interest invited up to the deadline date of January 20. The next five-year contract will run from 2022 until the end of 2026 and is expected to be awarded in June 2020. BTCC organizers state that this will ensure that a cost-effective engine with proven reliability is ready in time for the start of the 2022 season and available for use by any BTCC team.

The new engine will need to comply with the 2020 technical regulations, fitting all current cars entered for the series, and accommodate a number of specification components including the turbocharger, wastegate, intercoolers and ECU. Its development will also need to incorporate the integration of the hybrid systems under development for the BTCC.

Cosworth Electronics is currently developing the hybrid units which will be incorporated into the specification gearbox and will provide 40bhp power boosts for up to 15 seconds a lap. The hybrid systems will be introduced for the 2022 season, at the same time as the new engine.

2018 engine under repair (Pic: Andrew Charman)

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Andrew Charman is a regular contributor to PMW. He has been working in motorsport for more than 35 years, specialising in Touring Cars and US motorsport, particularly NASCAR.

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