Dan Cammish welcomes BTCC hybrid switch but warns against Formula E electric ‘mistake’

The BTCC is introducing hybrid engines at the start of the 2022 season, which will allow drivers to use supplementary power during each race to gain a tactical advantage and aid overtaking.

The specified hybrid power units, which will be developed by Cosworth Electronics, are set to be fitted as an addition to the cars’ current drive trains and will be introduced within the existing NGTC (Next Generation Touring Car) technical regulations.

Halfords Yuasa Racing star Cammish has welcomed the shift towards sustainably energy, but warns the BTCC should avoid going fully electric in the manner of the burgeoning Formula E series.

“I think going all electric would be a mistake, but I think hybrid is the best of both worlds,” Cammish exclusively told Express Sport.

“We’re not turning the petrol engines off. They will be the same two-litre turbos we have now but it’s that little bit of extra oomph. Obviously there is a little bit of extra cost and complexity to something that is already quite complex but I know I’m in a great team to deal with that.

“I’m happy with hybrid, but don’t want it to go any further. I certainly don’t want to see the BTCC go to electric because I feel motor racing is about the noise and the smell. It’s such an intrinsic part of it.

“I’ve been to Formula E, and as much as I’m a fan of the racing, you can’t deny that when the lights go out there’s something missing from that championship. It’s undoubtedly the noise and smell.

“When the F1 lights go out, the engines rise and you get that buzz, that tingling feeling that electric can’t deliver and never will deliver. But is that just me, who is a motor racing fan that has grown up in that era?

“Maybe the kids that grow up now who don’t know about it won’t miss it. Times change.”

Manufacturers such as Honda and BMW have traditionally used the BTCC as an opportunity to showcase their road cars and increase brand awareness among the public.

And with the automotive market rapidly shifting towards the development of hybrid electric vehicles, the upcoming power unit change should make the series that much more attractive to the leading contenders.

Formula E has already experienced this surge, with entries from Mercedes and Porsche set to join Nissan, Audi, BMW and Jaguar on the grid next year.

While Cammish is desperate to see the BTCC retain its petrol-based roots, the Honda ace would not mind seeing a subtle change to the points system in the UK’s premier motorsport category.

The Leeds-born racer is currently tied-fourth in the championship, having notched seven podiums so far this season in the Civic Type R (FK8) as he consistently provides the closest competition to the all-conquering BMWs of Colin Turkington and Andrew Jordan.

However, Cammish’s customary strong finishes in the opening two rounds of each weekend mean he has found himself with plenty of work to do in the reverse-grid races when the second half of the top 10 are placed in a random draw for pole position.

“I wouldn’t award the same amount of points for Race Three as we do for Race One and Race Two,” explained the 30-year-old.

“They [Race One and Race Two] are very much the feature races of this championship where you’ve got to qualify to do well, and you’ve got to carry the weight [success ballast] well. But if you hang around at the back of the top 10 you might get a chance of a reverse-grid pole, and then win a race.

“People say to me ‘Dan you’ve not won a race yet this season!’ If I didn’t do as well in Race One and Race Two, I’d probably have a good chance of winning the third race.

“Some people are up there in the championship because they keep doing quite well in Race Three, but it’s such a lottery.”

Dan Cammish currently drives a Honda Civic Type R (FK8) in the British Touring Car Championship. The series continues with Rounds 19, 20 and 21 at Thruxton on August 18.

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