If the emergence of Components E heralded the arrival of motorsport’s electrical future in 2014, then 2021 would be the yr during which EV-based racing undergoes its subsequent revolution. That is because of an all-new touring automotive class: the all-electric PURE ETCR collection, which begins at Italy’s Vallelunga Circuit on June 18th.
Earlier than I get into PURE ETCR, don’t get me incorrect. I really like Components E. The tech is superior, and the on-track motion is above and past most Components 1 races. It’s simply that FE will not be essentially accessible. In any case, not everybody can afford a Porsche Taycan, an Audi e-Tron, or a Jaguar I-PACE; simply three of the automobiles represented by three of the producers competing on the planet’s first all-electric racing collection.
What’s extra, there’s no denying that the 2020s are the age of the electrical automotive. Electrical autos are poised to make file gross sales amongst patrons in the USA in 2021. In the meantime in 2020, gross sales of EVs grew by 43 p.c in 2020 in the UK. Such is the UK’s dedication to EVs, Prime Minister Boris Johnson acknowledged that there can be a countrywide ban on the sale of all brand new ICE cars by 2030.
However again to the enjoyable stuff. PURE ETCR is a collection devoted to showcasing how superior and accessible EV racing might be. Primarily based on what we all know and also you’re about to seek out out, I’d go as far to say that it’s some of the thrilling championships in years.
Over the course of a PURE ETCR weekend, a number of the world’s greatest touring automotive drivers will compete in a collection of roughly 10 kilometer dash races or ‘Battles’ to be topped the general occasion winner. The drivers will begin every Battle behind a Motocross model gate, and can line-up side-by-side as they might do in a Rallycross occasion to make sure the normal “rubbing is racing” nature of touring automotive racing.
What’s extra, the championship goals to showcase the newest in accessible EV tech by a number of the world’s main electrical automotive makers.
The manufacturer-backed automobiles competing are the CUPRA e-Racer (an electrified model of the much-loved CUPRA Leon), and the Hyundai Veloster N ETCR. In the meantime, Italian privateers Romeo Ferraris have entered an in-house developed model of the Alfa Romeo Giulia with none producer backing.
All of those automobiles look completely rad, and the manufacturing variations gained’t make you seem like somebody who has taken out a PCP settlement to worship on the altar of mUh ElON oF mUSk.
Oh, and did I point out that the automobiles competing in PURE ETCR are essentially the most highly effective touring automobiles ever constructed? Yup, you learn that proper. These all-electric race automobiles with their single gear can produce up-to 500 kilowatts of energy from their powertrains; a determine which interprets as 670bhp and a 0-62mph time of two.7 seconds.
To contextualize this determine, let’s have a look at some numbers of different fashionable touring automotive championships world wide: a V8 Supercar will produce between 620bhp and 650bhp, and the turbocharged V6 Class 1 automobiles used within the ‘previous’ DTM between 2019 – 2020 made 580bhp with an extra 60 horses out there when push-to-pass was activated.
With this in thoughts, I got down to uncover how PURE ETCR’s technical brains have extracted these extraordinary numbers from the automobiles’ electrical motors and batteries, and the way the drivers will deploy virtually 700bhp on monitor.
To find the reply, Jalopnik was joined by former Components e and TCR driver, Michela Cerruti, who’s now the Operations Supervisor of the Romeo Ferraris outfit.
“To start with, the batteries are made by Williams Superior Engineering, and there are 4 electrical motors – one on every axle – made by Magelec,” she defined. “By working collectively on the calibration of their two programs, they struck the proper steadiness between peak energy and effectivity, which is across the 98% mark now – there’s just a little extra we may extract, but it surely’s completely a superb begin for an all-new championship.
“As for the way the drivers will deploy the ability, it’s just a little totally different to an ICE-powered race automotive as a result of we do not need a differential,” Cerruti continued. “As a replacement, we’ve an Digital Management Unit, which simulates the behaviour of a diff and is called ‘torque vectoring’.
“The ECU is managed by the motive force by way of the steering wheel. The unit controls the inverters which take a driver-determined quantity of energy from the battery, and ship to every of the electrical motors. That is what makes the automotive go ahead. What’s extra, like nearly all of road-going EVs, every of the motors are related by a single gear and the ability is distributed by the rear wheels.”
In accordance with Cerruti, the torque vectoring system and the way the motive force makes use of the steering wheel to find out how a lot energy they need is what from the ability unit is what makes PURE ETCR the world’s strongest and fastest-accelerating touring automobiles class.
“Principally, the quantity of energy taken from the battery is decided by the motive force once they select the mapping of their energy unit, relying on the foundations utilized to each session” she mentioned. “What’s extra, the automobiles of their normal kind have 300kW of energy, which is round 402bhp. The utmost peak energy of 500kW is barely out there for round 40 seconds in every race and might solely be activated when the automotive is transferring, so it’s fully right down to the motive force about how and once they need to use it.”
Xavier Gavory, the PURE ETCR Sequence Director, believes that the ability of the automobiles and the normal shut nature of touring automotive racing is what is going to win over EV-skeptics and likewise create a brand new era of electrified motorsport followers. Moreover, he feels that using the off the shelf charging tech and the fan-friendly PURE ETCR Vitality Station will assist democratise electrification.
In any case, it’s fan friendliness that led to Components E’s latest 24% development lately and an all-important file breaking income of over EUR 200,000,000 in 2020.
“It’s completely regular to be resistant to vary, however I promise that PURE ETCR can be completely price watching!” Gavory mentioned. “We’ve to keep in mind that the automotive business is altering, going electrical, and so touring automobiles – which has all the time been the platform for producers to showcase the automobiles they promote – should observe too.
“I believe as soon as they watch PURE ETCR, followers will simply must see it to understand how cool it’s. It’s nonetheless going to have all of the hallmarks of touring automotive racing; door-to-door motion, wheel-banging, unbelievable drivers, however as a result of we may have quick Battles, the subsequent passing transfer or the beginning takes on further significance since you solely have a couple of laps to get again forward, not 45 minutes.
“What’s extra, we’ll use CCS2 chargers that may take the power degree within the ETCR battery from 10 p.c to 90 p.c in an hour.
“The automobiles all cost collectively within the PURE ETCR Vitality Station, which is a huge construction that would be the coronary heart of the paddock. They’ll be on full show and followers will have the ability to safely watch the method, see the power rising and perceive how simple and clear it’s to recharge an electrical automobile.”
But while the PURE organisers are making the entire proper noises in regards to the racing and the automobiles, some query marks on behalf of the followers nonetheless encompass the brand new championship with simply over a month to go earlier than the season opener.
Unsurprisingly, the followers’ principal issues are in regards to the sound emitted by the automobiles. Working this concern an in depth second, is whether or not the PURE ETCR machines can be as difficult to drive as similarly-powered touring automobiles such because the DTM Class 1 machines and V8 Supercars I discussed earlier.
To get driver’s tackle these issues, I spoke to Mattias Ekström who’s competing in PURE ETCR as a manufacturing facility driver for the CUPRA staff. As a reminder, the Swede is a two-time DTM champion with Audi, and in 2016, he took the FIA World Rallycross title winner along with his very personal EKS staff.
“To be sincere, I don’t assume you possibly can evaluate PURE ETCR with DTM as a result of they’re completely totally different ideas” Ekström defined. “The most important distinction is the electrical energy which supplies prompt torque, in addition to having to handle the torque vectoring which is completely depending on the motive force.
“In PURE ETCR, the traction management is sort of lively too. This lets you go sooner by corners than in a DTM automotive which has no driver aids, and also you additionally don’t have to fret about affected by any scary snap oversteer mid-corner.
“That mentioned, one of many largest challenges is the tyres we use in PURE ETCR. They’re all-weather, in order that they’re principally an intermediate. If it’s too heat otherwise you generate an excessive amount of warmth by them, the grip will drop off tremendous shortly. Equally, if it’s chilly or actually moist, then you definately would possibly wrestle to get sufficient warmth into them, in order that’ll be fairly troublesome.”
And Ekström’s tackle PURE ETCR’s lack of an ICE be aware?
“I perceive that the sound is a factor for the followers, and when the collection begins, even I as a driver assume it will likely be just a little unusual to not hear the ‘conventional’ sound of a race automotive,” he mentioned. “At the beginning I believe it will likely be a case of getting used to it, however the energy these automobiles have, the race format we’ve which is one thing like a hybrid between Rallycross and Motocross, then I believe they gained’t have a lot to fret about.”
And when the opening spherical at Vallelunga comes round on June 18, neither do I.