04 Jun: M-Sport Power for BTCC

M-SPORT TO SUPPLY NEW BTCC ENGINE

M-Sport has been awarded a five-year contract by TOCA – Series Organiser of the British Touring Car Championship – to supply the next ‘TOCA BTCC engine’ from 2022 onwards.

Seeing off stiff competition from a number of interested parties, the Cumbrian firm were amongst four shortlisted to present a ten-page presentation to the BTCC teams last month.

After a series of follow-up questions with M-Sport Managing Director, Malcolm Wilson OBE, and Head of Engine Development, Nigel Arnfield, M-Sport were selected as the teams’ preferred supplier.

Since 2011 a competitive TOCA engine with proven durability and cost-controls has been available should any team not wish to carry out their own engine programme – and M-Sport will now oversee the design, development and supply of this hugely popular and successful initiative.

Some 55 percent of the 2020 grid use the TOCA engine, and they have placed their trust in M-Sport. Delivering winning performances in some of the world’s most acclaimed motorsport series, M-Sport and its award-winning engine department are now delighted to continue their success story within the BTCC.

Working through a vigorous testing and development programme over the next 12 months, M-Sport will also work closely with Cosworth who have been awarded the contract to design, supply and service the new BTCC Hybrid System – also scheduled to be introduced in 2022.

Engines will be available via outright purchase or fully-maintained lease with M-Sport providing comprehensive engineer and technical support at all BTCC race meetings and TOCA test days.

M-Sport Managing Director, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said: “We’re delighted to have been selected to supply the new TOCA BTCC engine in 2022. The BTCC has long been a popular and prestigious part of the British motorsport scene, and we’re all looking forward to working with TOCA and the relevant teams on this new and exciting project. I firmly believe that M-Sport has some of the best engineering expertise in the country, and with the development of our on-site Evaluation Centre this capability is only going to increase.”

M-Sport Head of Engine Development, Nigel Arnfield, said: “We’re excited to be working on the new TOCA BTCC engine and would like to thank the teams for their trust in us. When it comes to design and development, M-Sport has more than 20 years of experience and our engine department oversees various specifications throughout all levels of race and rally. Working alongside our valued customers we have created an award-winning department, and look forward to working closely with the BTCC organisers and competitors in the creation of another top-performing engine.”

BTCC Chief Executive, Alan Gow, said:“I’m delighted to welcome M-Sport into the BTCC family and congratulate them on their successful tender. The opportunity to supply the TOCA engine from 2022 understandably attracted great interest from an extremely high calibre of bidders, so it is testament to M-Sport’s professionalism and expertise that they were able to come out on top of such a competitive and comprehensive process.”

02 Jun: Rallying’s future?

Time to Think – and to Plan

Given the fact that rallying has been suspended for the foreseeable future, it gives us all to time to sit back and ponder what that future might look like. If this article can generate some GENUINE debate and practical suggestions then I might just pass them on to Motorsport UK – along with my own!  Contribute on Facebook or here – [http://www.jaggybunnet.co.uk/contact-us/]

Motorsport UK has announced a new set of rules and technical regulations to allow electricity to enter the world of amateur motor sport. Unfortunately, rallying will get left behind until such times as two person crews are allowed to share a cockpit. That means we have a wee bit of an opportunity to get the rules right before the sport kicks off again – whenever that might be. This is not criticism of MS UK, just an acceptance of fact. Until the boffins come up with a proven vaccine for this bluidy covidia business then we will have to accept that two in a car is unlikely to happen any time soon.

Introducing such a radical new concept is going to be difficult. Some hybrid cars can have more than one electric motor and some of the fully electric jobs have one driving each wheel. With hybrids you also have a naturally aspirated, turbo or supercharged engine. Coming up with a set of regulations that attempts to even that out will require not just mental dexterity and technical expertise, but a touch of black magic as well!

Late last year, Vauxhall Opel started testing its Corsa-e Rally car. Quick and agile but limited in range. It uses the same battery as the production car with a 50-kWh motor that enables a range of 209 miles (337 kms). The rally car has three modes: ‘Competition Mode’ which gives full power and maximum torque for at least 37 miles (60 km); ‘Rain Mode’ that gives a torque curve adapted to slippery surfaces; and an energy-saving ‘Eco Mode’ for use between stages and going to service.

It would be relatively easy to accommodate hybrid cars as the rules stand, but the electric machines pose more of a problem. Before they could become practical propositions, there would need to be a quickly interchangeable and reasonably priced battery pack option. Manufacturers will give you different prices for different packs because they all seem to measure power, charging and discharging rates differently. It’s also worth bearing in mind that these battery packs lose efficiency – up to 20% after 5 years according to some reliable sources.

As for replacement or spare packs, some of these cars have over 7,000 battery cells in their packs. Just try going down to Tesco and asking for 7000 of those infuriating Bunny drumming cells. At current high street prices that will be around £11,000, then add all the electronic gubbins to manage and make these packs work. Oh, and one other thing, they might only have a couple of hundred in stock! On-event charging would be quite impossible.

Electric cars bring another problem to the sport. There would need to some form of safety and technical training for Scrutineers, Marshals, Medics and Breakdown crews. Just another cost to hang on the organisation of events.

Such cars might therefore be considered … [Next Page 2]

02 Jun: Rallying’s future? Pg2

Time to Think – and to Plan – 2 Such cars might therefore be considered ideal for single venue events only at the present time, with short stages and shorter road sections. Or, like Coltness CC’s well received and enjoyed McRae Gravel Challenge 3 years back which had basically 4 […] Read more »

02 Jun: Rallying’s future? Pg3

Time to Think – and to Plan – 3 And so it will be again with hybrid and fully electric vehicles. If we don’t get on top of this before it starts, the technology race will kick off, costs and prices will increase and more folk will be put off […] Read more »

02 Jun: Rallying’s future? Pg4

Time to Think – and to Plan – 4 Thinking back to the Craigvinean event there was indeed one selfish, irresponsible oaf who was defying the requests of Course Car crews and refused to move from his chosen vantage point – until a few other spectators stepped in and suggested […] Read more »

27 May: The Perfect ‘Spy’ Car

The Ultimate ‘Company’ Car … Something is stirring deep in the heart of Newport Bagnall. It has a 4 litre, triple SU fed straight-six, generating some 290 bhp. It might be a bit pricey, but it’s the only way that a very select few will get to feel like James […] Read more »