DTM promoter ITR has presented its conceptual vision for the future of touring car racing, using 1000 hp vehicles powered by electric batteries or hydrogen fuel cells.
The concept includes options for both power types, which would require mid-race pit stops to replace the battery pack or hydrogen tank located in the car’s underbody.
This would be performed by large industrial robots that would also replace all four wheels in a single stop during a 40-minute race.
DTM currently has one mandatory pit stop for a new set of tires during its 55 minutes plus one lap races.
These high performance concept race cars would be able to produce more than 1000 hp for brief periods of time and top speeds of over 185 mph.
ITR’s vision sees the electric series launched initially as a support to DTM. It is currently working with a number of key suppliers to continue development of a more detailed feasibility study, but believes that such a project would only be possible with a single-source supplier in order to maintain technical parity and cost controls.
The electric drive system, including the motors, power electronics and battery or fuel cell, would be largely based on a common kit but with some engineering freedom.
DTM is already on a path to more sustainable motorsports, having introduced a new generation of efficient, high performance four-cylinder turbo engines this year, while beginning to trial environmentally friendly fuel.
It is also looking at opportunities to introduce sustainable drive technologies soon, including the possible introduction of hybrid systems in 2022.
ITR says its future concept relies on passing three main hurdles: technical feasibility, financial viability and interest from fans, manufacturers and sponsors.
It expects the platform to be attractive to manufacturers, which could enter cars resembling their road-going models and use the series to develop their high performance road cars.
“This is a courageous and innovative concept,” said ITR chairman Gerhard Berger.
“You have to look far ahead if you want to shape the future of motor sports and offer racing with alternative drive systems that inspires the fans.
“It is obvious that manufacturers who want to become involved in motorsport are increasingly focusing on alternative drive concepts.”
“Although hybrid and electric vehicles have established a foothold in the market, I think that a truly new and inspiring concept has been lacking up until now.
“In addition to millions of motorsport fans worldwide, we’re now talking with a large number of automotive companies and suppliers who would like to become more involved in motorsport.
“With this project, we want to demonstrate that we’re open to what the future holds and that we have something new to offer the world’s manufacturers.”