ETAS has been sponsoring Manthey Racing, the Nürburgring 24-hour race’s most successful team, since 2013. ETAS interface and measurement modules are used to optimize the Manthey Racing cars while the drive recorder logs measurement data.

01/23/2015

ETAS sponsors motor racing

At the 24-hour race 2014 at the Nürburgring, the ETAS-sponsored Raeder Audi TT-RS 2.0 won in the SP3T class and came in 25th overall.

ETAS has been sponsoring Manthey Racing, the Nürburgring 24-hour race’s most successful team, since 2013. ETAS interface and measurement modules are used to optimize the Manthey Racing cars while the drive recorder logs measurement data.

Having notched up five overall wins at the 24-hour race since 2006, the Manthey Racing team and its self-constructed Porsche 997 GT3 RSR cars are star performers at the event. ETAS began sponsoring the Raeder Motorsport team, also headquartered at the Nürburgring, in 2011. It was when the two teams merged in 2013 that ETAS first made contact with Manthey Racing, ultimately leading to an expanded sponsorship deal. The decision to merge the teams was strongly influenced by the two team leaders’ similar approaches to life and work: passion and enthusiasm for professionalism in motor racing.

One of the challenges facing teams is the cars’ extremely high electricity consumption during the 24-hour race’s night stints.

This was a worldview very much shared by ETAS sales engineer Stephan Rott, who initiated contact between ETAS and Raeder’s managing directors in 2011. “My goal was to showcase how ETAS solutions perform in a challenging context,” Rott explains. One such solution is the ES581 USB CAN bus interface, which tests the functions of the CAN bus in the Manthey Racing cars; others include the ES720 drive recorder, the ES595 interface module, and measurement modules from the ES400 product family. The modules continuously acquire vehicle data such as ECU variables, temperatures, and pressures under real conditions during races and training as well as on the test bench for subsequent analysis and optimization. To enable the Ethernet-based ETAS solutions to be used at any point on the test bench with a minimum of cabling, the test bench was equipped with its own network.

 “Any cables we did use, we fitted them in the wall. They’re accessible only at the places measurements are carried out. This allows us to minimize risks. The ETAS products also offer further potential that we intend to exploit in 2015,” says Alexander Schneider, who is responsible for vehicle electronics at Manthey Racing. According to Schneider, the importance of electronics for racing car performance is growing all the time. One of the challenges facing teams is the cars’ extremely high electricity consumption during the 24-hour race’s night stints. The cars’ oversize headlights – exactly how big they are depends on drivers’ preferences – can cause voltage problems for the generators used in racing cars. Here as elsewhere, the desire to make racing cars as light as possible while minimizing performance losses and ensuring an adequate supply of electricity is pushing vehicle engineering to its limits. “Lots of testing is required just to measure and record currents and locate potential weaknesses, and then to adjust the vehicle accordingly,” explains Martin Raeder, managing director with overall responsibility for technology.

ETAS-sponsored Raeder Audi TT-RS 2.0 at the pit stop.

At the 24-hour race 2014 at the Nürburgring, the ETAS-sponsored Raeder Audi TT-RS 2.0 won in the SP3T class and came in 25th overall. “The drama and excitement of this year’s race will have stoked the interest of spectators and the media for the event,” says Martin Raeder. “The 175 cars on the starting grid ranged from the Renault Clio Cup to our Porsche 911 RSR – in other words, vehicles at very different performance levels. The resulting differences in lap times mean that the top cars have to perform up to 50 overtaking maneuvers per lap. Naturally, that poses a certain risk for competitors, especially on the Nordschleife track, but it’s also a large part of the race’s appeal.” Another reason for the increased media attention is the race’s famous participants. Alongside well-known DTM and Formula 1 drivers such as Marcel Fässler and Nick Heidfeld, Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner also took part 2014.

By sponsoring motor racing, ETAS can deploy its products and solutions in a highly challenging environment with an emphasis on maximum performance. Combining state-of-the-art technology and big emotions, motor racing series give ETAS direct contact with new target groups and are also an opportunity to cement existing relationships. “At the same time, it’s exciting and interesting for ETAS customers, not to mention ETAS associates, who get to see their own work perform in the high-octane world of motor racing,” says Stephan Rott, summarizing the benefits sponsoring brings to ETAS.