Photo: Aston Martin Racing

Darren Turner secures hybrid testing role

Darren Turner has been named as the British Touring Car Championship’s official Hybrid Development Driver as the series continues to work on the new system that will be introduced for the 2022 season.

Turner will work with both series organisers TOCA and hybrid supplier Cosworth on the development of the system, which will see the 46-year-old taking to the track in a new Toyota Corolla that has been built by Speedworks to conduct an intensive test and development progamme.

The 46-year-old previously raced in the BTCC from 2006 to 2008 with SEAT and has been hugely successful in sportscar racing, taking class honours at Le Mans on three separate occasions.

Turner will sample the hybrid version of the race-winning Corolla for the first time in the Goodyear tyre test at Snetterton next month.

“It’s a really interesting project,” Turner said. “I hugely enjoyed the British Touring Car Championship when I raced in it and this is a brilliant opportunity to get back in a touring car and do something a little bit different. I’ve not had the opportunity to use hybrid with anything else I have done before, in terms of race cars.

“I want to come at this fresh – I will meet the team and the guys doing the development and we will work out clearly what the objective is, because it isn’t just about the ultimate performance of the cars. It’s about making sure that it enhances what the racing currently is like and it adds to what the British Touring Car Championship is all about. And of course another important aspect is durability testing – we’ll be putting the equipment through some punishing test cycles.

“As the hybrid deployment will be for both attacking and defending, we will need to work on how it is best configured so that it’s easy to understand and easy to use. It’s also important that the fans can see it and understand what’s going on. All involved will be going through a learning process with it, but that is exactly what this testing programme is for… we want to see what it is capable of, and then work out the best deployment strategies from there.”