A consortium of German partners will establish the Hyraze League as the world’s first automobile racing series to use hydrogen from sustainable sources. The concept now presented envisions 588 hydrogen-powered cars competing using eco-tech both in the real world and online.
Behind the Hyraze League are experienced partners from motorsports, technology and safety, namely the ADAC, Dekra, DMSB, HWA, Schaeffler and WESA. They want the “environmentally-produced” hydrogen to fill two fuel cells in each racing car. These cells will convert the H2 into electricity to power the four electric motors.
While the league has yet to show a working vehicle, the first season will rely on standard parts coming through the partners. HWA AG, a company that emerged in 1998 from the motorsports department of AMG and works in the racing area for Daimler AG, will sign responsible for the overall concept and essential components. The automotive supplier Schaeffler is the leading partner for parts such as electric motors and steering. A new type of steer-by-wire system implemented in the vehicle by the Group, for example, controls the steering system using purely electronic impulses. The mechanical connection via the steering column can thus be eliminated. Intelligent control systems enable vehicle dynamics functions such as torque vectoring.
At the same time, Hyraze League claims to free up chassis design, however, not without mandating composite structures from natural fibres. Only the reinforced hydrogen tanks will continue to be made from carbon-fibre typical for race environments.
Another requirement where the series differs from strictly speed-driven races is the aerodynamic developments. Hyraze, in the communication, decided to cut downforce-producing aerodynamic parts to keep costs for competing low as well as lengthen braking distances to increase energy recovery.
To further reduce the ecological impact, said new braking system is to capture any brake dust to minimise air pollution produced by dust particles from tire abrasion. Plus, the tyres developed from renewable raw materials are to reduce tyre wear. Together with a strictly limited number of tyres, this significantly reduces the amount of fine dust pollution.
The series also combines virtual and real motorsports and brings racing drivers and sim racers from Esports together. The teams have two drivers for each car – one for the actual races and one who takes part in the Esports events. The results of both races count towards the championship standings in equal measures, so that one team will eventually win both disciplines. As a Hyraze partner, the World eSports Association (WESA) is involved in developing the general conditions in a virtual environment of electronic games.
In the real world, DMSB and the ADAC want to ensure from the outset that the Hyraze League finds attention in motorsport. Hermann Tomczyk, ADAC Sports President, considers the hydrogen racing series “a genuine pioneering step in the world of motorsport”. The ADAC, as a member organisation and motorsport event veteran, hopes to “allow a broad target group to experience fascinating, future-oriented technology,” the president added.
It has yet to be seen, where the races will take place when the Hyraze League launches in 2023. Perspectively, the partners want to go global, says a joint press release.
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