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Schaeffler and Marco Wittmann team up with Schubert Motorsport for 2024 DTM season

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The “Green Machine” – the BMW M4 GT3 driven by Marco Wittmann as part of the Schubert Motorsport team. Photo: Schaeffler

2024-04-26 | Bühl

  • Brand ambassador partnership between Schaeffler and Marco Wittmann now in sixth year
  • Rear-wheel steering system by Schaeffler to be used for the first time in Audi R8 LMS GT2 “innovation taxi” driven by Markus Winkelhock
  • Matthias Zink: “DTM is the perfect platform for our ongoing growth and development.”

The new season of the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM, German Touring Car Masters) gets underway this weekend at the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben. This season, two-time DTM champion and Schaeffler brand ambassador since 2019 Marco Wittmann is driving as part of the Schubert Motorsport team. With his “Green Machine,” a BMW M4 GT3, the 34-year-old is hoping for a return to form after two difficult seasons. “I can’t wait for the DTM season to finally get underway. Everything is shaping up well,” he said. “The partnership with Schaeffler has grown into a close and trusting working relationship in many areas. I am enormously grateful to Schaeffler, and very proud of what we’ve built together over the past six years.”

DTM as an innovation platform
Motorsport has been in Schaeffler’s DNA for many years. The insights that Schaeffler gains in motorsport always flow through into research and development for its production-car solutions. And increasingly, the ideas and insights are also flowing the other way because Schaeffler is a DTM series and innovation partner, working closely with ADAC on the racing series’ technical and strategic development. This season, Schaeffler’s “innovation taxi”, an Audi R8 LMS GT2, will for the very first time feature rear-wheel steering technology. Over the DTM race weekends, fans can experience a hot lap with the innovation packed car on the circuit with a professional racecar driver. The innovation taxi also features the Space Drive steer-by-wire system and synthetic fuels, or e-fuels, introduced in the 2023 season. “Being a leading technology company, we need to be constantly growing and developing,” said Matthias Zink, Schaeffler’s CEO Automotive Technologies. “The dynamic environment of the DTM is the perfect platform for this because success, whether in sports or business, is all about innovation, agility and efficiency.”

Chassis technologies for motorsport and series production
In 2023, Schaeffler began partnering with Audi to showcase its technical innovations at the DTM in an “innovation taxi.” The Audi R8 LMS GT2 is available each race weekend for exclusive ride-alongs on the race circuit with former DTM and F1 driver Markus Winkelhock at the wheel. This year, for the first time, the taxi incorporates mechatronic rear-wheel steering, an innovative chassis technology developed by Schaeffler and supplied to global auto makers for use in series production. The technology adds intelligent steering functionality to the rear axle, enabling improved vehicle maneuverability and stability. The system is compact, lightweight, and quiet. Clément Feltz, Head of Chassis Systems at Schaeffler, explains how it works: “The heart of the system is the Schaeffler planetary roller gear, which converts rotary motion into linear motion. This turns the wheels on the rear axle in a steering motion. A further core component is the power pack, which comprises electronics, an electric motor, and software.” The other Schaeffler chassis technology incorporated into the innovation taxi is Space Drive, a steer-by-wire system that has been part of the vehicle since last season. Steer-by-wire systems have no mechanical steering column. Instead, the driver’s steering commands are transmitted by wire in purely digital form and converted into motion by actuators. This innovation is one of the key enabling technologies for autonomous driving.

Publisher: Schaeffler Automotive Bühl GmbH & Co. KG
Country: Germany

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