The British Touring Car Championship is just over a week away from the start of its ‘reset’ season.

In an echo of Formula 1, Britain’s premier motorsport series has a major technical rule change for 2022 that will shake up its challenge to teams and drivers. Whether it mixes up the competitive order, too, remains to be seen, but as our full preview explains, significant top-order driver and team switches have added to the sense of anticipation.

Like everyone, BTCC ringmaster Alan Gow is raring to go. The season will begin a little later than usual this year, at Donington Park on 23/24 April, to give teams more time with the mandatory Cosworth-made hybrid system that has only recently been fitted to all cars on the 30-strong entry list.

As Gow admits. “I’m looking forward to a race weekend when there are no issues,” he says. “There will be glitches; we all know that. We see it in every formula when comprehensive changes are made. If we can come out of a race weekend and say no one had an issue and all the calculations we made on the amount of hybrid [power boost] worked well, that’s what I’m looking forward to.”

No blinkers in the BTCC

The introduction of hybrid technology is accepted by most as a necessity.

“It’s very important,” says Gow. “You can’t ignore what’s going on in the world around you. As our transportation moves increasingly towards hybrid or electrification in whatever form that takes, we have to stay relevant, not just to the manufacturers involved but also to the sponsors and spectators.

“We’re also introducing 20% sustainable fuel [R20], which is a huge thing. That’s double what the government mandates for forecourts. That along with hybrid is a really powerful message to send.

“Importantly, we’re not doing it at the expense of the on-track action; it will actually help in that regard. Hybrid is a performance enhancer.”

New balance on power