Driving for the technological edge
Schaeffler Paravan Technologie and Mücke Motorsport cooperate in the context of the DTM
Premiere at the 2021 DTM for Space Drive technology: In the coming season, for the first time in DTM history, a Mercedes-AMG GT3 - entered by Mücke Motorsport - will compete without any mechanical connection between the steering unit and the steering gear. After two years of technology development under racing conditions in the GTC Race and at the 24h race at the Nürburgring last year, the time is ripe for the demanding GT3 field of the 2021 DTM. The #18 car entered by Mücke Motorsport will be piloted by Gary Paffett, who is celebrating his comeback in the 2021 DTM. Together with the engineers from Schaeffler Pa-ravan Technologie GmbH & Co. KG, he will be driving the development of the Space Drive technology at race pace. The Briton was already DTM champion in 2005 and 2018.
"We are looking forward to the DTM. With the first-time focus on GT3 vehicles, the traditional series is an ideal platform for us to further develop the Space Drive System and test it under these tough conditions," says Roland Arnold, CEO of Schaeffler Paravan Technologie GmbH & Co. KG and founder of Paravan GmbH, which developed the technology from mobility for the disabled. "In the last two years we have already proven that Space Drive works reliably under the extreme conditions of racing and received important impetus for further development. Over the winter, we analysed the extensive data material and made further optimisations. Now we have to deepen these findings and get important impulses for the future Space Drive 3 development. With Peter Mücke, we have an experienced partner at our side, be it with a view to development or also to the DTM." With Mücke Motorsport, an old acquaintance is returning to the DTM. The Berlin-based racing team was already on the grid as a Mercedes-Benz and Mercedes-AMG works team from 2005 to 2016. "We are very pleased to be able to further develop the Space Drive Techno-logy with Schaeffler Paravan in the context of the DTM," says team boss Peter Mücke. "Motorsport has always accelerated technology development, and in this area we would like to contribute to future development with our expertise."
We are very pleased to be able to further develop space drive technology with Schaeffler Paravan as part of the DTM. Motorsport has always accelerated technology development, and this is an area where we would like to contribute our expertise for future development."
Gary Paffett is no stranger to the DTM behind the wheel of the Space Drive. The 40-year-old Briton raced successfully in the DTM from 2003 to 2018, winning the championship twice (2005 and 2018) and driving for Mercedes-Benz and Mercedes-AMG for 15 successful years. During that time, he claimed 17 pole positions, 23 wins and 48 podium finishes, as well as two championship and four runner-up titles. "A lot has changed in the DTM," says Paffett, looking ahead to an exciting season. At the test in Hockenheim, he took a seat in the Space Drive cockpit for the first time. "It was great to get back into a GT3 car. Driving with steer-by-wire steering was something completely new for me. It felt very similar compared to conventional steering. Of course there are small differences, but I was very happy with the response and feedback. The project has a lot of potential for the development of future-oriented technologies. It's great to be part of this development process and to be able to race on top of it."
The Space Drive technology has been approved by the Deutscher Motor Sport Bund e. V. (DMSB). (DMSB) in 2019. The Audi R8 LMS GT3 was the world's first vehicle of this type to be used in the GTC Race. In the meantime, the technology has been firmly anchored in the regulations. The vehicle, which does not require a mechanical connection between the force feedback steering unit and the steering gear, is equipped with technology that has its origins in mobility for the disabled. Testing the robustness and durability of the system in this high-profile environment is the next logical step. We hope this will provide us with further important findings for large-scale production. In this way, we are creating an important basis for new mobility concepts for the future. Space Drive is already road-legal today and an important key technology for autonomous driving in Level 4 and 5," says Roland Arnold.
The DTM debut for the Mercedes-AMG GT3 and Mücke Motorsport is scheduled for 18-20 June in Monza, Italy, preceded by a test at the Lausitzring (4-6 May). The other races will take place at the Norisring (2-4 July), the Lau-sitzring (23-25 July), Zolder in Belgium (6-8 August), the Nürburgring (20-22 August), the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria (3-5 September) as well as Assen in the Netherlands (17-19 September) and the Hockenheimring (1-3 October).