DTM presents electric racing concept
The DTM marketer ITR has presented a concept for a purely electric racing series, which could be launched in the future as part of the supporting programme of the touring car series. The plans go beyond the concepts of other electric racing series such as Formula E or ETCR – also with regards to the powertrain.
The vision sets out the possibility of standard vehicles whose electric motors should enable power peaks of up to 736 kW – the important 1,000 hp mark in the old world – and top speeds of well over 300 km/h. The new car will be equipped with a new generation of electric motors, which will be used in the future. It becomes interesting with the energy storage system, where it will be possible to use either batteries or a fuel cell with hydrogen tank.
There are also plans for fully automatic pit stops in which robots change batteries and tires. In the coming months, ITR intends to continue work on a detailed feasibility study. “This is a courageous and innovative concept,” says Gerhard Berger, Chairman of the ITR. “Anyone who wants to shape the future of motorsport and also offer racing with alternative drives that inspires fans must look further ahead. And it’s obvious that manufacturers who want to get involved in motorsport are increasingly focusing on alternative drive concepts.”
With the largely standardised technology, costs are to be kept low. The car is to be based on the well-known DTM safety cell made of carbon fibre. This monocoque will then be used to mount bodies designed by different manufacturers.
According to DTM CEO Berger, the concrete implementation still depends on several factors. “First of all, technical feasibility. But we’ve been investigating this area quite intensively, and now need to draw on the expertise of specialists as we continue to evaluate its feasibility. This includes battery and robot manufacturers, for example, when you consider the ambitious and ground-breaking technology for the pit-stops,” says the former Formula 1 driver. “Naturally, financing the development also plays a major role – you have to get that properly balanced.”
In the past, Berger had repeatedly voiced criticism of Formula E. In the ITR’s press release, the Austrian driver puts his accusations into concrete terms. “I’ve always said that Formula E is justified as a marketing platform and that I can understand why many companies are getting involved,” says Berger. “My criticism was directed at the sport itself because I think the cars are too slow and the driving style too strongly characterised by strategy and energy management.” Berger expects “spectacular wheel-to-wheel racing” from its own concept, as these are “powerful driving machines”. In comparison: The power of the Formula E racing cars in the race is limited to 200 kW, in qualifying and with the “fan boost” up to 250 kW is permitted for a short time.
At the same time, work is underway on hybrid drives for the DTM, which are to be introduced into the racing series in 2022. For this purpose, a viable specification for the introduction of a hybrid system based on the current two-litre turbocharged engines has been drawn up with the manufacturers involved in the DTM and other development partners.