Siegerehrung am Lausitzring
Space Drive Space Drive 2.8 Racing

Space Drive Racing team with Triple victory

The steer-by-wire cars with the Audi R8 LMS GT3, Mercedes-AMG GT3, Porsche 911 GT3 R and McLaren 570S GT4 - which manage without any mechanical connection between the steering unit and the steering gear - dominated the field at the season opener at the Lausitzring and were able to stand at the top of the podium three times in the DTM supporting programme. "We have made a huge leap forward in development compared to last year and this is now reflected in the results," says Roland Arnold, CEO of Schaeffler Paravan Tech-nologie GmbH and founder of PARAVAN GmbH, which developed the road-legal system from the field of mobility for the disabled.

AMG GT3 und Porsche 911 GT3 R mit Space Drive auf der Lausitzringstrecke

Already on Friday, the team was able to make the competition sit up and take notice with a bang in the 60-minute Goodyear 60 race. David Jahn and Jannes Fittje took the first pole position with a steer-by-wire vehicle in the history of the GTC Race and in racing in general with the Porsche 911 GT3 R from KÜS Team75 Bernhard. Just three tenths behind was the Mercedes-AMG, driven by HWA Engineering Speed with Maximilian Götz. Carrie Schreiner and Markus Win-kelhock shared the cockpit of the Audi LMS R8 GT3, operated by Phoenix Racing and finished in 6th place, Christer Jöns completed the steer-by-wire quartet with the McLaren 570S GT 4 from Dörr Motorsport and started from 14th place. The first victory of the season was finally taken by Maximilian Götz with the Mercedes-AMG. The driver duo of Markus Winkelhock and Carrie Schreiner finished third after a strong race, ahead of Jordan Pepper and the only 16-year-old Hugo Sasse in the Bentley Continental of T3 HRT Motorsport. The fastest drivers in training, Fittje and Jahn, had bad luck with their steer-by-wire Porsche and had to park their car after a good 17 minutes with engine problems, the risk of consequential damage being too great. Christer Jöns finished 11th in his McLaren.

In the first rain event of the steer-by-wire vehicles, the cars were also able to convince with a consistent performance.

Axel Randolph, Head of Racing of Schaeffler Paravan

KÜS Team75 Bernhard had to work hard throughout the night to be back on the grid in time for the qualifying session of the first GTC race on Saturday afternoon. The effort was worth it, as the Porsche with start number 117, driven by David Jahn, once again finished in second place. In the spectacular qualifying in the rain, Markus Winkelhock was also able to achieve his first pole position with a steer-by-wire Audi. Maximilian Götz completed the Space Drive trio in third place, just 0.8 seconds behind. The GT4 McLaren was 11th on the grid. "Even in the first rain event of the steer-by-wire vehicles, the cars were able to convince with a consistent performance," reports Axel Randolph, Head of Racing at Schaeffler Paravan Technologie. "All the cars ran stably and were able to drive to the limit." The first GTC race round was postponed until Sunday morning after the cars had already lined up on the grid, due to oil on the wet asphalt.

Impressions

Drei Steer-by-Wire Rennwagen fahren am Lausitzring über die Ziellinie
Siegerehrung Lausitzring
Siegerehrung der GTC Race am Lausitzring
Der Audi R8 LMS GT3 mit Steer-by-Wire Lenkung am Lausitzring
Einsatz am Lausitzring
Steer-by-Wire Porsche und Mercedes im Renngeschehen am Lausitzring
Porsche 911 GT3 R und AMG GT3 mit Drive by Wire auf dem Lausitzring
McLaren von Dörr Motorsport am Lausitzring
Am Lausitzring fahren verschiedene Steer-by-Wire Fahrzeuge
Der McLaren 570S GT4 fährt am Lausitzring
Lausitzring Finale
Modifizierter Audi R8 GT3 am Lausitzring

In the first GTC race on the third day of the DTM, the three steer-by-wire GT3 cars fought a thrilling three-way battle over the classic 30-minute distance and fought out the podium places among themselves. Markus Winkelhock could not be denied his first steer-by-wire victory at the Lausitzring. The former Formula 1 driver was in full control of the race, despite Mercedes-AMG driver Maximilian Götz moving up. The 34-year-old from Uffenheim had passed David Jahn, who was second in qualifying with the Team75 Bernhard Porsche 911 GT3 R, in a brilliant overtaking manoeuvre and was able to leave him behind in the further course of the race. The Porsche driver only came up again just before the chequered flag to complete the almost historic photo finish with winner Markus Winkelhock and Maximilian Götz, the runner-up. Christer Jöns finished 13th.

In the second qualifying session on Sunday lunchtime, the dominant Space Drive field was broken up. Maximilian Götz took his first steer-by-wire pole in the GTC Race with the Mercedes AMG. Markus Winkelhock finished third in the Audi, 0.16 seconds behind. Jannes Fittje started from 5th place in his Porsche, Christer Jöns finished 13th in his McLaren. In the second GTC Race of the day, Markus Winkelhock had to turn into the pit lane right after the start. "For safety reasons, we brought Markus back into the pits to reboot the steering system, which had been switched off briefly on the grid," explained Axel Randolph. Starting from last place, he drove a strong race and ultimately finished in 5th place. Maximilian Götz fought thrilling duels at the front with Bentley driver Jordan Pepper and was able to prevail in the end. The fight for 3rd and 4th place was also exciting. In the end, Kenneth Hayer in his Mercedes-AMG from Car Collection was ahead of Jannes Fittje in his Space Drive Porsche. Christer Jöns finished 13th in his McLaren 570S GT4 and was again the winner of his class.

"We have shown that the system works very well and reliably and that we are competitive and have even dominated," says Mercedes driver Maximilian Götz. A few rain races are missing for the drivers to develop, they agreed after the weekend. "David then drove straight onto pole, which was of course top. The first pole for the whole project," reports Jannes Fittje, the second Team 75 KÜS driver on Porsche.

 

"In the rain we were able to gain a lot of experience, the first time under racing conditions. We also gained some important insights into the system. McLaren driver Christer Jöns, who finished all three races in first place in his class, also draws a positive conclusion: "The system works perfectly with the McLaren and is mature. As a racing driver, it's quite normal to drive the car." The longest-serving Steer-By-Wire driver, Markus Winkelhock, is impressed by the leap in development since the start of the project. "I felt incredibly comfortable in the car. We are absolutely on the right track. You don't feel any differences anymore, compared to the normal steering." This also applies to the first qualifying in rain: "The reactions in the car are much faster than in the dry. The system has to work much faster there." Winkelhock's first advantages also become clear. "I drive less aggressively. That protects the tyres, especially over the distance in the race."

In just three weeks' time at the Nürburgring, from 11 September, the Space Drive technology carriers will once again take to the starting grid in the GTC Race. In total, the GTC Race will compete four times this season in the supporting programme of the DTM, then on 9 October in Zolder and for the season finale on 6 November at the Hockenheimring. Further information at www.gtc-race.de

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Anke Leuschke