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Hybrid technology being evaluated for rules package beyond 2021

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HYBRID technology could form a part of Supercars racing within the next five years.

As part of preliminary investigations into how it will evolve the championship’s technical rules in the midterm and long-term future, electrical systems similar to those found in Formula 1 and sports car racing — which harvest wasted energy and redeploy it as part of the car’s power output — are being considered.

Hybrid technology has actually been eligible in Supercars since the arrival of the Gen2 rules package at the start of 2017, when rules were opened up to allow non-V8 engines and body shapes other than the traditional four-door sedan.

“It was basically open (to hybrids) as long as the manufacturer had a plan and a pathway to put it in place,” then Supercars CEO James Warburton told foxsports.com.au in early 2017.

“As I said when we launched Gen2, nothing’s on or off the table.

“When we had the discussions with Lexus it was about RC-F, which was a challenge to fit on the chassis — which we did in the end — and then they decided not to because they had a global GT program.

“But (hybrids), absolutely.”

However, no manufacturers have so far opted to try and develop a hybrid power unit package to use in Supercars.

With the Gen2 regulations in place until the end of 2021, the Supercars Commission is currently actively investigating what the next evolution of the sport will look like for 2022 and beyond.

Hybrid technology could well be a part of that should a manufacturer be interested, with Supercars CEO Sean Seamer revealing that the sport is doing its due diligence on the topic.

“We will include manufacturers in those discussions to get their feedback and their inputs, and in terms of what works for them, and make sure that we understand what their long-term product road map looks like,” he told supercars.com.

“They’ve asked what hybridisation might look like.

“Do we have the ability to do it? Is it something that we will consider as part of Next Generation? To which we have said, ‘yes, we will look at that as part of the program and the planning’.”

The evaluation of all things related to the championship’s next set of technical rules is expected to be complete by the end of 2018.

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