The first official test sessions for ETCR cars got underway at Vallelunga last month, with further test sessions scheduled throughout November at the Italian circuit ahead of the series’ first year in 2021.
The first two test days took place on 19 – 20 October, with Hyundai Motorsport testing its Hyundai Veloster N ETCR, which was the first car ready for testing following the integration of the spec ETCR kit.
The test was supervised by the WSC Technical Department, whilst stakeholders from Williams Advanced Engineering, Magelec, Enel X and MDD also attended the test.
The initial testing was focussed on the optimisation of the control software for the systems, including power management, traction control, battery performance and recharge.
“We have spent the latest two years in the development of this project that has lately been delayed several months by the COVID-19 pandemic, and so we are understandably proud that we were finally able to run the first two official test days without meeting with major technical issues,” explained WSC President Marcello Lotti.
“We are delighted with the way the optimization of the control software is progressing and after this promising start we are curious to check also on the performance in the next tests.”
Two further test sessions are scheduled on 4 – 5 November and 27 – 28 November, but Lotti added that he is hopeful of additional tests for the other two manufacturers which have thus far announced their plans.
“We are currently checking whether it is possible to organise further sessions in December and offer the opportunity for testing the CUPRA eRacer and Alfa Romeo Giulia ETCR.
“Both cars are due to complete the integration of the ETCR kit at Williams Advanced Engineering between the end of November and the beginning of December.”
A bespoke charger has been developed for the world’s first electric touring car championship by Enel X, as the company’s Head of e-Motorsport Michele Cecchini explained.
“Enel X’s role as official smart charging supplier for ETCR confirms once again the Company’s constant commitment to innovation in cutting-edge technologies, sustainability and safety, and further underscores our drive to become a leading player in the eMotorsport sector, bringing our advanced solutions to circuits worldwide.
“The very demanding and unique environment of ETCR, requires high performance and the most relevant and solid expertise in the electrification field.
“The development and testing program set up with our latest technologies strives to ensure the full flexibility and reliability of our solutions.
“The Enel X team is glad to join forces with WSC, the organization behind ETCR, to help make this project become a reality.
“We are especially pleased that we have been exclusively entrusted with everything related to charging. Thanks to WSC’s forward thinking and fully committed approach, the project will redefine the entire electric motorsports category.”
Hyundai Motorsport’s development driver, Brazilian Augusto Farfus, was in action behind the wheel of the Veloster N ETCR during the two days of testing already held.
“It’s always nice to get behind the wheel, especially with the Veloster N ETCR as we are learning about the car and the systems with every run,” said experienced tin-top racer Farfus.
“Of course, while it’s great for me as a driver, the main focus was on the technical side. As the first ETCR car fitted with the WAE batteries and full specification e-kit it was the first chance for us at Hyundai Motorsport – as well as for the ETCR suppliers – to begin to see how everything worked together on a proper track.
“There’s a lot of work still to do, as you’d expect after only one test, but the days in Vallelunga were a very positive step.
“The Veloster N ETCR is a completely different car compared to the combustion engine TCR cars.
“The ETCR car is rear-wheel-drive, and the electric motors are mounted in the middle of the car. That massively moves the weight distribution compared to a standard TCR, so you have to make big adjustments to your driving style and to the set-up to get the best from it.
“As an electric car the acceleration is very, very strong, which I could really notice out of some of the slow corners at Vallelunga.
“ETCR cars will be fun to drive in competition, so hopefully I can be part of that after the experience from testing.”