Photo: Daniel Ahlgren

STCC chairman: “Electric racing will happen”

STCC chairman Hans Bååth has said that electric racing is certainly in the championship’s future, after PWR Racing unveiled their PWR 001 electric touring car concept at Mantorp Park, which was driven around the circuit by development driver Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky on Saturday.

The project, which Bååth is also a part of in his dual role at PWR Racing as the PWR 001 project manager, was unveiled to the public on Saturday after secret testing in recent weeks.

The electric running gear has been placed in one of the team’s TCR-specification Cupra TCRs, but could be transposed to any other type of racing car, but Bååth believes it’s almost certain to be a part of the STCC’s future.

“There’s no time plan as yet,” he said to TouringCarTimes. “This, as a prototype, is an FIA electric-spec vehicle, and it’s pretty much sorted out, but the real challenge is to create a series. There are no time plans for when it can happen. There are so many new things to handle for an organisation, and this is something that has to take its time.

“It’s not just a challenge for a racing series or a car builder, but also for all those businesses that work with infrastructure. We see this attracts a lot of interest from motor manufacturers, battery and engine management system manufacturers, as well as the charging industry; it’ll take time but the interest is really big for a series like this, so you have to open up your eyes and see not just what is at the tracks today, but also what we can bring to the track.”

Although the car was launched within the STCC weekend, and by the STCC teams’ championship-winning PWR Racing squad, which are the SEAT-backed team in the series, Bååth adds that there’s no firm plans for the STCC go to all-electric yet, nor is the programme associated with or a competitor to car manufacturer SEAT’s Cupra e-Racer E-TCR project.

“We’re not saying the STCC is going full electric yet,” explained Bååth. “This is a way of trying to understand what are the challenges and what needs to be done to make it happen. If this is interesting enough for the different businesses related, then it’s not a problem. It’s a matter of time, but it’s absolutely doable if you have the right support.

“I definitely see that something like this will happen. OK this is based on a car we have, but the technology, the battery, the battery management, the motor, that doesn’t have to relate to this specific type of vehicle. It could be something completely different, but it will happen.”