Steer-by-Wire McLaren performs successfully at Red Bull Ring
Successful guest start at the ADAC GT4 Germany at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg: The Schaeffler Paravan McLaren 570S GT4 #99, equipped with the space drive system and supported by Dörr Motorsport, made its second guest start in the series after Hockenheim and held its own in the tight and fiercely contested field with a sixth place on Saturday and fourth place on Sunday. The special feature of the steer-by-wire system is that there is no mechanical connection between the steering column and the steering gear. The ADAC GT4 Germany has become a permanent fixture in the ADAC GT Masters supporting programme and ensures exciting racing action with a colourful field of GT4 bolides from seven manufacturers.
The McLaren was driven by regular driver and ADAC GT Masters veteran Christer Jöns, who has also been at the wheel of the development car in the GTC race since the start of the season. The duo was completed this weekend by last year's ADAC GT4 Germany winner, Norwegian Mads Siljehaug. "Being able to help develop the space drive system is stimulating because it will cover a lot of areas in the mobility of the future. It motivates me to be able to contribute improvements in this area," says Mads Siljehaug. "I found the driving rhythm with the Space-Drive steering quite normal, just as I experience it in a normal car. I thought it would be different, but it was very close to the reality of normal steering."
The result is impressive: "We already saw at the last race in Hockenheim that we are fully competitive. Here at the Red Bull Ring we put it together, with sixth place in the first race. Today we were able to go one better with fourth place. There were spectacular overtaking manoeuvres, which we mastered with aplomb," Christer Jöns reported after the race and went on to explain: "The Red Bull Ring is a high-speed circuit with many fast passages, two hairpins as well as fast corners, and therefore has a completely different characteristic to the Hockenheim or Nürburgring. It was clear at both races that the McLaren was able to show its strength here."
This project is driving and testing for the future of the automobile. Space Drive is an important key technology for autonomous driving
"We are proud to be able to contribute to this ambitious development project. In the ADAC GT4 Germany, the development engineers from Schaeffler Paravan have a direct comparison between the steer-by-wire steering system and a conventional steering system. "Dörr Motorsport uses two other identical vehicles in the series in addition to the Space Drive McLaren," reports Head of Racing Axel Randolph. "This gives us a direct comparison of the steering parameters and allows us to compare data very specifically and draw conclusions for development."
A special challenge, besides the strong field, were the very cool temperatures on both race days - framed in the picturesque backdrop of the already snow-covered mountain peaks. The McLaren test carrier #99 started twice from the second row of the grid, with the McLaren trio securing the top three grid positions in both qualifying sessions with outstanding lap times.
On the first day, the driver duo experienced a rollercoaster of emotions. Starting from third place, Christer Jöns lined up in seventh. "Safety first applied in this situation," he explained after the race. "It was more important for me to stay out of the traffic for a while and to make a clean start." The plan worked, the 33-year-old veteran was able to return to his original position relatively quickly and work his way up to second place before the safety car phase. In the second half, Mads Siljehaug took over the cockpit, third on the track, but struggling with performance problems. Due to the long safety car period, in the low outside temperatures, there were also temperature problems on the McLaren, which resulted in a line loss. In the end he ended up in 6th place, with his teammates Christopher Dreispring and Aleksej Sizov in the McLaren 570S GT4 #59 finishing third. The McLaren 570S GT4 #69 driven by Phil Dörr and Fred Martin-Dye from Dörr Motorsport was able to win the race.
On the second day of racing, the Dörr McLaren Armada was again able to start the race from the top three grid positions after an exciting qualifying session. In seventh position, Mads Siljehaug was the first of the field to pit. Afterwards, the #99 with Christer Jöns came into traffic and first settled into position 10 before working its way back up to sixth. The safety car shortly before the end brought the field back together and Christer Jöns took his chance. After a spectacular overtaking manoeuvre on the last lap, the McLaren narrowly missed out on the podium at his second guest start in the ADAC GT4 Germany, ultimately finishing fourth. "The field was close together, I was able to take my chance and overtake the KTM in the penultimate corner. That was really close racing," Jöns concluded. The other two Dörr Motorsport McLaren finished second (#69) and tenth (#59).
"I can already see advantages," says Mads Siljehaug after the race. If you can adapt the steering to the track and the car, then that is an important factor in the world of racing, because it is crucial for racing drivers to feel the steering as well as possible and to adapt their driving style to the steering - and that will be possible with the Space Drive system. I think it's also a prerequisite for a new generation of vehicles."
About Schaeffler Paravan Technologie GmbH & Co.KG
Schaeffler Paravan Technologie GmbH & Co. KG is a company specialising in the development of fail-safe drive-by-wire systems - "Space Drive" - and chassis system solutions. It is based in Herzogenaurach with an operating facility in Pfronstetten-Aichelau. Schaeffler Paravan Technologie is a joint venture (90 per cent Schaeffler and ten per cent Roland Arnold) and was founded in October 2018. The space drive system developed by Paravan founder Roland Arnold was completely transferred to the joint venture and will be industrialised there. For future autonomous driving vehicles, Schaeffer Paravan is also developing a "rolling chassis" with intelligent corner modules - with integrated Schaeffler wheel hub motors, brakes, space drive steering (90 degrees) and suspension in one system.
About Dörr Motorsport
McLaren, Lamborghini, Lotus, Bugatti, Pagani, Pininfarina, Dallara and Aston Martin are the brands with which the Dörr Group makes car enthusiasts' hearts race. This makes the more than 85-strong team led by owner Rainer Dörr one of the most diverse super sports car dealers in Germany. Since its founding in 2011 in Frankfurt am Main, Dörr Group has expanded to Stuttgart, Munich, Berlin and Hockenheim and has created a launch pad for well-worn super sports cars with the Home of Speed by Dörr Group at the Hockenheimring. Motorsport is the DNA of the Dörr Group. With the Dörr Driving School, the team makes it possible for amateurs to move from karting into GT racing and to experience racing in their own super sports car. The Dörr Group is the sole sales partner of McLaren Customer Racing in Germany and Kart Republic in D-A-CH and the Benelux countries. Dörr Motorsport is currently entered in the ADAC GT4 Germany with two McLaren 570S GT4 and another Lamborghini Huracán Evo in the GTC Race / Goodyear 60.