Uniqueness in a double pack: Schumacher times two
Ralf and David Schumacher are new Space Drive brand ambassadors
With Ralf and David Schumacher, the six-time Formula 1 winner and his son are now involved in the Schaeffler Paravan track-to-road development programme for the innovative Space Drive driving and steering system. Together, they want to support the Schaeffler Paravan engineers in making the revolutionary drive-by-wire technology ready for series production in the automotive industry.
"We are very pleased that we were able to win Ralf and his son David Schumacher for the Space Drive project together - as a unique competence double pack, so to speak. Ralf is a very experienced racing driver and well-known TV motorsport expert and his son David is a rising star in the motorsport sky. We can benefit from the expertise of both in the Space Drive series development. I am very excited about their feedback, whether on the race track or on the road," says Roland Arnold, CEO of Schaeffler Paravan Technologie GmbH & Co.KG.
Impressions from the first day of testing
The innovative driving and steering system Space Drive emerged from mobility for the disabled a good 20 years ago and has already helped more than 10,000 people gain new mobility. In the meantime, the road-legal drive-by-wire system has been further developed into a key technology for autonomous driving, innovative vehicle concepts and a valuable data supplier, with a view to completely new safety features. Since 2019, Space Drive has been successfully tested in motorsport and continuously developed. In the GTC Race and in the DTM, Space Drive technology is part of the regulations and is also used in the Nürburgring 24h Race, in the ADAC GT Masters and in rallies. Successful racing drivers such as Bernd Schneider, Markus Winkelhock, the reigning DTM champion of 2021 Maximilian Götz in numerous GTC Race events, DTM Space Drive driver Maximilian Buhk or rally driver Armin Schwarz have, together with the Schaeffler Paravan development team, raised the steer-by-wire technology Space Drive to a new level, which represents an important basis for autonomous driving at Level 5.
I am delighted to be able to support Space Drive in promoting such a sensible technology with enormous potential for the future. I am firmly convinced that motorsport must once again become a recognisable driver of innovation. What is tested in racing stress and under the strain of the racetrack can always fulfil its tasks later in series production.
Ralf and David Schumacher are convinced of the Space Drive technology and have already extensively tested the technology carriers in various production vehicles: "I am pleased to be able to support Space Drive in promoting such a sensible technology with enormous future potential. I am firmly convinced that motorsport must once again become a recognisable driver of innovation. What is tested in racing stress and under the strain of the racetrack can certainly fulfil its tasks later on in series production. Ralf Schumacher continues: "Space Drive helps, whether as a decisive component for autonomous driving or in mobility for the disabled, to give many people with handicaps the opportunity to participate in working as well as social life without outside help."
David Schumacher will compete for Mercedes-AMG Team Winward in the DTM in 2022. The young German talent will pilot a Mercedes-AMG GT3 for the German-Texan team in the renowned racing series. The 20-year-old earned his first spurs in Formula racing. Last season, David contested the FIA Formula 3 Championship for the Italian Trident team and took one victory and two podiums in this toughest of all junior series.
"For me, my first DTM year is about getting to know the series and its challenges. My Winward team and I see the 2022 season as an apprenticeship year for me. In addition to the DTM, I will be involved in the further development programme of Space Drive together with my father at Schaeffler Paravan and will certainly also compete in races with the innovative steering system. Of course, I am very much looking forward to this new task of father and son - unique in motorsport, as far as I know," says David Schumacher about the tasks ahead of him. "David Schumacher is a young and very talented driver whose commitment we are very happy to support, in the DTM and for our further technology development," says Roland Arnold.
The 2022 DTM will be contested at eight events with 16 rounds in Germany, Portugal, Italy, Austria and Belgium. The season kicks off on 30 April at the Algarve Circuit in Portimão. Pro7 will broadcast all DTM races live and also provide extensive pre- and post-event coverage.