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DTM reveals revolutionary electric concept

7 November 2019

DTM promotor ITR has revealed a spectacular vision of how it thinks touring car racing could evolve in coming years, as it transitions to electric vehicles.

In the concept unveiled by ITR, the race cars could use either batteries or hydrogen fuel cells to store energy on board. With the adoption of these technologies, ITR envisages pit stops featuring large industrial robots carrying out the tasks which pit crews already complete, such as changing the wheels, they would also remove and replace the battery pack or hydrogen tank located in the car’s underbody. By using a high-performance electric powertrain, the futuristic race cars would be able to outputting more than 1,000 bhp for brief periods of time and achieving speeds in excess of 300 kph.

ITR chairman Gerhard Berger praised the “courageous and innovative” concept. “You have to look far ahead if you want to shape the future of motor sports and offer racing with alternative drive systems that inspire the fans. It is obvious that manufacturers who want to become involved in motorsport are increasingly focusing on alternative drive concepts,” he said.

The concept series would, at least initially, appear in a supporting role to DTM. It continues the German category’s trend of becoming more environmentally friendly, from the shift to efficient, high-performance, four-cylinder turbo engines for the 2019 season, to the trials of greener fuels and plans for the introduction of sustainable drive technologies, such as hybridisation, in 2022.

To make the proposed series feasible, the necessary technology would have to be delivered through a collaboration with a single-source supplier. This would not only ensure parity of the racers, but also help control costs, which could be shared by all entrants, while development would also be kept to a minimum thanks to largely standardised units.

This cost control is one of the factors that ITR hopes will make the concept series attractive to manufacturers. In addition, the promotor argues that it would also mean that carmakers could enter race cars that resemble their electric road-going line up; something not currently possible in all electric series. The series would also offer manufacturers an R&D opportunity, giving them the chance to explore and develop technologies for their road cars.

Read the full interview with ITR chairman Gerhard Berger here. 

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