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New electric GT racing category announced - All you need to know

22nd Apr 2021 12:48 pm

The all-new electric sports car racing category will feature cars based on GT3 racers, fast charging and bespoke battery layouts.

The FIA, the governing body of global motorsport, has detailed what it calls a “groundbreaking” electric sports car racing category that is designed to serve as a platform for manufacturers to develop road cars. Read on to know more about it:

  • Electric racers to exceed ICE counterparts in qualifying pace and acceleration
  • Fast charging with a peak rate of 700kW
  • Competitors can choose their own battery layout

Based on GT3 cars

Racing at full-length, permanent circuits, the new racers will be based around the GT3 category (the same cars being introduced in the DTM this year), but the FIA is promising that they “will exceed their combustion engine-powered counterparts in areas such as acceleration and qualifying pace”. The 0-100kph time is estimated at 2.4sec and top speed at 300kph, with up to four motors allowed.

The FIA is convinced the technical regulations will deliver high-watermarks for electric motorsport in terms of range and performance.

Open to EV specialists and current GT racing teams

The body is keen to encourage competition from both manufacturers with existing sports car programmes as well as EV specialists that haven’t previously competed in racing. A balance is being struck between pushing creativity and keeping costs under control.

Depending on the base car used, the minimum weight will be between 1,490kg and 1,530kg, with a maximum power of 430kW (585hp). The weight limit is slightly up on GT3 cars, but the FIA says this is a deliberate cost-saving ploy.

Fast charging

Sports car racing traditionally revolves around endurance races, so for the new series, ultra-rapid charging is promised for mid-race pitstops, with a peak rate of 700kW, giving a recharge time of a few minutes to reach 60 percent capacity. Currently, the fastest roadside EV chargers can hit 350kW.

Charging facilities at circuits remain vague at this stage, but the FIA is promising that “the charging network will be developed to meet the fast charging requirements and, depending on the venue, will include elements of permanent and temporary infrastructure.”

Bespoke battery layouts

Unlike Formula E, competing manufacturers will be allowed to choose and build their own bespoke battery layouts. These will be supplied by Saft, a subsidiary of the Total oil company, which has designed lithium-ion pouch cells for the new series. Battery capacity is limited to 87kWh, while the maximum energy regeneration permitted is 700kW.

Further developmental freedoms will run to manufacturers being able to choose their own powertrain set-ups, with both two- or four-wheel drive being allowed. Torque control will also be allowed at each wheel.

Electric GT racer spec sheet

ChassisRoad car-based, possible GT3 conversion
Minimum weight 1,490 – 1,530kg
PowertrainUp to four electric motors
Transmission Rear- or four-wheel-drive
BatterySaft, based on a lithium-ion pouch cell
Battery capacity 87kWh
Maximum power 430kW (585hp)
Peak regen 700kW
Fast charging 700kW
Estimated 0-100kph time 2.4s
Estimated top speed 300kph

Also see:

 

2021 Formula E: Mahindra Racing earns podium finish in Rome E-Prix

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