Pfronstetten-Aichelau/ Schipkau. Successful premiere for the Steer-by-Wire Porsche at the ADAC GT Masters last weekend at the Lausitzring. The Porsche 911 GT3 R with start number 117, which is equipped with the road-legal steer-by-wire technology from Schaeffler Paravan and does not require a mechanical connection between the steering wheel and front axle, completed a successful debut in the toughest GT 3 race. A strong 16th place was achieved by Martin Ragginger (32, Austria) and Norbert Siedler (37, Austria) on Saturday and a 24th place on Sunday. As guest entrants, they drove the Porsche 911 GT3 R of Space Drive Racing, the development platform for steer-by-wire vehicles from Schaeffler Paravan Technology GmbH & Co. KG.
The Porsche drivers immediately got on well with the innovative steering technology, which was developed from the mobility of the disabled, in the race. "We improved continuously in the race," reports Ragginger. "In motorsport everything is very close together, every little thing makes a big difference. Especially in the understanding between steering and set-up, where we as drivers have to learn to understand the system even better. But the potential is great." Already between the first test at the Hockenheimring for the race at the Lausitzring a good week ago the progress made was considerable. "The feeling was already very good," reports Norbert Siedler as well. "We were able to keep up very well and did some good overtaking manoeuvres in both races. The steering does exactly what I want."
"We have been able to optimize a lot since the first tests in spring. With the revised Space Drive system, the Porsche has been able to hold its own in the field excellently. This was the first race over such a long distance and under such tough conditions, be it in terms of temperature or the high-caliber starting grid," says Axel Randolph, team boss of Space Drive Racing. "We drove long distance times like the leaders and made up a lot of places."
The steer-by-wire Porsche 911 GT3 R was also able to complete a flawless run on the second day. Like the day before, the Space Drive System proved itself in racing. From 30th place on the grid, the racer moved up to 24th place. The morning qualifying session was the closest in the history of the ADAC GT Masters, with 31 cars finishing within one second. "After bad luck in qualifying this morning, we unfortunately only started from position 30. The Space Drive System worked faultlessly and reliably", Axel Randolph reports. "We can take a lot of knowledge back with us for further development and I think we will implement a lot", adds Kevin Arnold, former race driver himself and member of the Space Drive Racing Team, who does not rule out further guest starts in the series. "We will be able to further develop and hopefully work out clear advantages over the conventional steering column. But that is still a long way off.
"The Space Drive vehicle from Schaeffler Paravan had a very good weekend", confirms KÜS team boss Timo Bernhard. "First and foremost, it's all about the further development of Space Drive technology. Very good progress has already been made here. The future is encouraging, the system has great potential. We continue to work on improving it. We are very proud of this partnership with Schaeffler Paravan.
The next use of the Schaeffler Paravan steer-by-wire racing vehicles is already scheduled in a good two weeks' time, at the GTC Race from August 20, again at the Lausitzring, but then as part of the DTM supporting program.
The Porsche 911 GT 3 R could assert itself well in the field at the Lausitzring. Photo: Gruppe C
From left: The experienced Porsche drivers steered the steer-by-wire Porsche 911 routinely through the heavy racing traffic at the Lausitzring Photo: Schaeffler Paravan