Formula 1
R
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
Race in
40 days
MotoGP
28 Mar
FP1 in
17 days
R
Doha GP
02 Apr
Next event in
24 days
Formula E
R
Rome ePrix
10 Apr
Next event in
32 days
NASCAR Cup
07 Mar
Event finished
R
Phoenix
14 Mar
Race in
6 days
IndyCar
R
Birmingham
16 Apr
Next event in
38 days
23 Apr
Next event in
45 days
WEC
R
Spa-Francorchamps
01 May
Race in
53 days
13 Jun
Race in
96 days
Supercars
27 Feb
Event finished
R
Sandown
18 Mar
Next event in
9 days

Why electronics are key to managing modern engines in motorsports

In modern motorsport, electronics have become king. Where there once were mechanics and technicians fettling a car for laptime, the modern-day equivalent features data and software engineers crunching the numbers to run the engine, brakes and other components in the most efficient way possible.

That, allied to the expansion of telemetry with numerous different sensors monitoring everything from a driver’s inputs to component temperatures, means that selecting, installing the right electronic devices for the job has become a key factor between winning and losing.

In both DTM and Super GT500, which ran to Class 1 regulations in the 2020 season, Bosch Motorsport supplies numerous electronic components to all teams running in both categories. This includes the engine management systems, valves and fuel pumps that influence the operation of the powertrains, along with various other ancillary electronics that control sensors, braking, driver displays and all things in between. Bosch has been a partner of DTM since its rebirth in the year 2000 and, since the implementation of a common ruleset between the two series has also linked up with Japan’s Super GT500 series.

Bosch Mobility Solutions

Bosch Mobility Solutions

Photo by: Bosch

Bosch’s catalogue of parts is common to both series, and both make use of its MS 7.4 engine control unit within. With the possibility to control engines of up to 12 cylinders, the system can work flexibly with both low- and high-pressure injection systems within gasoline-powered engines. Under Class 1 Super GT500 makes use of two-litre inline-four turbocharged engines, based on those commercially available within road cars, and the engine management systems can be programmed to maximise the engine’s performance for any given scenario.

This is possible through the ECU’s internal amplifiers for injection and ignition, and must be able to work at full load to manage the functions of the engine. It also works with each of the sensors on board the car in tandem, so that any issues can be fed back to the ECU and dealt with accordingly.

The MS 7.4 can be used to govern the application of the throttle electronically, which engineers can tweak through their engine mapping work; the system also allows for functionality with traction control, launch control and management of the turbocharger on board the car. Weighing 1610 g, the unit works across an array of temperatures – from –20 degrees C to 85 degrees – and has four connectors. In addition the ECU manages up to 41 different analog inputs.

Bosch racing engineer on BMW racing car DTM

Bosch racing engineer on BMW racing car DTM

Photo by: Bosch

All of the electronics are developed in-house at Bosch, and the hardware is first defined by the design and layout of the internal circuit boards to manage all of the inputs and outputs necessary. The set-up has to handle everything from data processing, signal filtering to remove any anomalous results generated by noise, along with voltage stabilisers to ensure the ECU is producing the most accurate results possible. It also makes use of a platform module, also developed by Bosch, to manage external components and processors produced elsewhere. The mounting and final testing is then executed in-house at Bosch Motorsport.

The exterior of the ECU is produced from milled aluminium and features an array of fins to ensure that the product does not require any external cooling. This ensures that it can work within the correct temperature range and does not expose any of the internal components to a higher concentration of heat.

Throughout its development, the ECU has become smaller and lighter, while also featuring more modern components to remain relevant in the highly competitive arena of international motorsport. It is also part of a complete eco-system consisting of components, configuration tools and data analytics that can all be used to boost performance. This includes for example the DDU 10 display unit for use within the car’s cockpit. The graphical display unit offers readouts for the information a driver may require, and also features a data logger which can be operated with Bosch’s analysis tool WinDarab, making it a useful tool for drivers and race engineers alike.

Bosch Mobility Solutions

Bosch Mobility Solutions

Photo by: Bosch

Altogether, this provides a basis for the data to be analysed and calibrated according to the engineers’ needs.

Over the past 25 to 30 years, motorsport has transitioned from a pursuit led by mechanical tinkering and manual changes to a highly specialised endeavour in which data is king. And if you have the right electronics on board delivering the right numbers to an engineer’s laptop, you have everything you need to go out and win races.

To find out more about Bosch's race-winning technology you can visit www.bosch-motorsport.com or follow on Instagram @boschmotorsport 

Bosch Mobility Solutions

Bosch Mobility Solutions

Photo by: Bosch

shares
comments
McLaren squad 2 Seas Motorsport joins DTM for 2021

Previous article

McLaren squad 2 Seas Motorsport joins DTM for 2021

Next article

Abt team to remain in DTM under GT3 rules

Abt team to remain in DTM under GT3 rules
Load comments

About this article

Series DTM , Super GT
The slow-burner threatening to unseat Audi's DTM king Prime

The slow-burner threatening to unseat Audi's DTM king

It's taken him a while to emerge as a consistent title challenger, but in the final year of DTM's Class One ruleset, Nico Muller has smoothed the rough edges and has double champion stablemate Rene Rast working harder than ever to keep up in the title race.

DTM
Oct 14, 2020
Does 2000 hold the answers to the DTM's current crisis? Prime

Does 2000 hold the answers to the DTM's current crisis?

It's 20 years since the DTM roared back into life at a packed Hockenheim with a back-to-basics approach as the antidote to its high-tech past. Now it's on its knees again, so is it time to recall the lessons learned in 2000?

DTM
May 28, 2020
Ranking the 10 best Audi DTM drivers Prime

Ranking the 10 best Audi DTM drivers

Audi last week announced it would be exiting the DTM at the end of 2020, bringing the curtain down on 20 years of continuous participation since the series' reboot in 2000.

DTM
May 5, 2020
Why the DTM must reinvent itself after Audi exit Prime

Why the DTM must reinvent itself after Audi exit

Audi's announcement that it will withdraw from the DTM at the end of 2020 was the latest blow for a series that has lost three manufacturers in as many years. Some major soul-searching will now be required to assess how it can survive.

DTM
Apr 28, 2020
Why cynic Berger changed his mind over green tech in racing Prime

Why cynic Berger changed his mind over green tech in racing

DTM boss Gerhard Berger was a detractor of Formula E and held a reluctance for his series to embrace greener engine technologies. However, this cynic's tune has had to change to ensure DTM's existence as the motorsport world moves forward

DTM
Dec 13, 2019
What the fallout from Aston's engine split means for 2020 Prime

What the fallout from Aston's engine split means for 2020

Aston Martin's DTM arrival, via the R-Motorsport outfit, was heralded as a salvation of sorts for the series. After plenty of bumps in the road in 2019, the team finds itself in a similar position to the one it was in 12 months ago. Can it get its act together?

DTM
Dec 6, 2019
How the DTM and Super GT can build on their experiment Prime

How the DTM and Super GT can build on their experiment

The Class One 'Dream Race' staged by the DTM and SUPER GT proved a hit - from a competitive and collaborative standpoint. The next step will be for both parties to ensure a successful trial ends up being more than just that.

Super GT
Nov 29, 2019
Robot pitcrews and hydrogen – is DTM's concept plausible? Prime

Robot pitcrews and hydrogen – is DTM's concept plausible?

DTM organiser ITR has mooted a radical plan for a "truly new and inspiring" future motorsport series. How realistic are its suggestions of automated pitstops and 1000bhp hydrogen-fuelled touring cars?

DTM
Nov 11, 2019