Norisring DTM finale: First podium for Space Drive
The first Space Drive podium in the DTM
First podium for Space Drive Mercedes -AMG GT3 and the team around Mercedes-AMG Team Mücke Motorsport The #18 Mercedes-AMG GT3 with Maximilian Buhk achieves the first podium place - 3rd place - with a steer-by-wire vehicle at the DTM season finale at the Norisring and thus makes racing history, a perfect end to the season!
Confirmation of the performance of Space Drive technology
The final minutes of the 2021 DTM season were as exciting as a thriller for the Mercedes-AMG Team Mücke Motorsport and the engineers of the Schaeffler Paravan development team. In the last few metres, the almost inconceivable happened - a podium finish in the DTM. The Mercedes-AMG GT3 #18, which does without any mechanical connection between the steering unit and the steering gear and is equipped with the steer-by-wire technology Space Drive, not only scored points at the Norisring, but also clinched its first podium. Two points in the first race on Saturday and 15 points on Sunday gave the team a furious end to the season on the 2.3-kilometre street circuit on the banks of the Dutzendteich in Nuremberg and a confirmation of the steadfastness and performance of the Space Drive technology.
We have learned a lot with the steering and I have the direct comparison to the conventional steering and the space drive steering and I just sit in and I don't have to think about it.
Actually, the penultimate race day of the season had not started quite so optimally for Buhk and his team. He only started the first race from 14th on the grid - a difficult starting position. After a turbulent start, in which his company car suffered some damage, he quickly made up a few positions and in the end brought home two important points for himself and the team with ninth place. Maximilian Buhk started the DTM season finale on Sunday from a solid 10th place on the grid. After a good start, the Hamburg driver quickly made up places. As the leading pack closed in again in the closing stages of the race, the northern German acted skilfully, overtaking two rivals on the penultimate lap and ultimately finishing in 3rd place, securing the first ever DTM podium finish for a steer-by-wire vehicle in the history of motor racing for his team and Schaeffler Paravan, which this season is developing the innovative Space Drive steering system - born out of mobility for the disabled and a key technology for autonomous driving.
Looking back, Mercedes-AMG Team Mücke Motorsport can look back on a successful season, with some ups and downs. However, the team got off to a flying start with a 6th place finish in the very first race in Monza. For Maximilian Buhk it was his first DTM race and for Mücke Motorsport it was a successful comeback after 5 years of DTM abstinence, with a very special car and a forward-looking project. The development of Space Drive was raised to a completely new level of development by the Schaeffler Paravan engineers with the step into the highly competitive field of the DTM. Since 2019, the Space Drive system has been approved by the DMSB and is being tested and further developed in the tough field of motorsport. From 2021, it will be a fixed component of the DTM regulations. Peter Mücke Team Principal Mercedes-AMG Team Mücke Motorsport: "That was a worthy end to the season for us and the project: in the points twice and on the podium in today's race. This is a great recognition for everything we have done all year. We have now driven the last development stage with the steering. We are happy to see it going steadily upwards. Thanks to Schaeffler Paravan for the trustful cooperation and for going this way with us. We collected a lot of data and gained a lot of knowledge about the system and the car. If you consistently work on it from event to event, you can achieve such top results. This confirms us in our work."
Maximilian Buhk: "The Norisring is not easy. At the beginning, I had a hard time finding the optimal line. We were able to improve a lot over the weekend. To finish in third place is fantastic. Everyone deserves this, the team and Schaeffler Paravan, because there are many technicians and engineers in the background working on the steering and Team Mücke, who put their heart and soul into their work. Since Monza, we have steadily worked our way up, had a couple of highlights and could have scored more points. You can see the development over the year. We have learned a lot with the steering and I have the direct comparison to the conventional steering and the space drive steering and I just sit in and I don't have to think. It feels very similar. This DTM season has been a very special one in my career."
Roland Arnold, CEO of Schaeffler Paravan Technologie GmbH & Co.KG and founder of PARAVAN GmbH is thrilled: "I would never have thought that we would be able to finish on the podium in our first season. We are here as Schaeffler Paravan, as pioneers for the development of a completely new steering system. We were the first to compete in the DTM without a mechanical link - without a steering column. It's important to understand what that means. We are continuously developing the Space Drive System and generate important vehicle parameters from all the races that affect the entire chassis system. This data is needed for autonomous driving in the future. In this way, we are making an important contribution to safety, to the development of driving automation and are developing much more than steer-by-wire. We have the ambition to further develop the system on all levels. But today I would first like to thank the entire team, which has made this success possible with a lot of commitment and dedication." Maximilian Buhk scored a further 17 points this weekend to finish the season in 15th place with a total of 28 points. Mercedes-AMG Team Mücke Motorsport is in 11th place in the team standings with 34 points.