There’s not much coverage of electric cars in racing, we tend to associate it with gas guzzlers, even if these types of racers are out there. It’s noteworthy that hybrid powertrains replaced diesel more or less from 2014 on, so EV’s could be the future. As long as the car is lightweight the power source is open to interpretation. Unsurprisingly the racing fraternity is always after the next best thing so electric may just be the start.
Many countries and cities are looking to ban combustion engines so eventually electric cars will be the standard for all races.
Just because the car is electric doesn’t mean needs look that different from a traditional racing car, which might surprise some early EV designers. One thing that is true of EV’s is that the lack of noise creeps out most people, so racing will need to find a way to add some noise or risk driving away their fans. Now the noise of traditional racing is excessive, potentially giving ear damage to pit crews, so maybe they don’t need to be as loud as they are now, but some accommodation must be made.
EV’s require charging a battery, presumably a race car would require more powerful chargers than domestic EV cars.
What Likely Won’t Change
Future cars will likely still be made of carbon fiber and they have to fit legal standards. Aerodynamics is important but each race also has a set of rules which you have to comply with. Le Mans for instance has more leeway than the more conventional races, such as Formula One.
Social media presence will remain a big component for teams. Pictures are currently uploaded to places like Facebook as well as “access all areas” content. (It’s not literally access to all areas by the way there will always be secrets withheld.)
Future Types of Races
Many sports have gone entirely virtual. The rise of Esports has created leagues in every traditional sport from bowling to basketball, as well as gladiatorial first person shooters. Racing is no exception and seems a natural fit since the racing industry pours millions into virtual simulators to enhance their ability to win IRL races.
Also many racing events are exceedingly short, about five minutes and so people tend to look at the esports or displays of rally cars at the track.
Esport play areas have proved popular in recent years, but you can also use computers to look at aerodynamics and performance as well as the physics of engines.
You could broadcast events on free to air channels which rely on advertising, a brilliant way to show the race to as many people as possible. Or we could see an uptake in Pay Per View events, or online only events coming out of Covid Lockdowns—however the latter seems extremely unlikely.
Future of Drivers?
Racing using automatic cars is quite a new phenomenon, the first Roborace, as it was called, was in 2015. Instead of relying on a driver to win, the strategy depends on programming the reflexes to be as strong as possible. Robodrivers all for analysing and re-analysing the statistics to see what works. Despite the name roborace its intention is to mix the skills of virtual and physical technology together.
The teams too are unfamiliar, namely the sponsors Arrival, Acronis, Michelin, Nvidia and Trimble. The robocars are built around a teardrop shape running on four electric motors using optics and radar in order to reach the speed of about 190mph.
The Near Future of Racing
For the new season of conventional racing which is due to start in 2022 they are looking at virtual design, experimenting with altering environmental changes such as weather in the simulated world, even looking at stress testing and which tires are the best.
The industry may be moving from America and towards Asia. There’s always a huge amount of competition out there; things will always evolve.