CUPRA and Ducati Corse

The digital brain of a champion

Martorell, 14 June 2018

  • The control modules of the CUPRA TCR and the Ducati Desmosedici GP process a vast amount of data on the operation of the engine, speed or the temperature of the tyres
  • Both vehicles are equipped with dozens of sensors that collect information in real time
  • Engineers from both teams analyse all the data to improve the racing performance of the vehicles

- 16 million instructions per second: This is the processing capacity of one of the four control modules on the CUPRA TCR. There are two modules in the engine and two more in the cockpit. “They are interconnected and operate in parallel to manage the engine, the electric system, onboard computer and gearbox”, specifies Xavier Serra, head of R&D at CUPRA. Likewise, the control module on the Ducati Desmosedici GP manages up to 10,000 parameters to measure the performance of the motorcycle at all times on the track. For example, it can control how the rear wheel responds depending on the track surface or weather conditions.

- Competition electronics for everyday use: “The electronics on a production model CUPRA provide the basis for the system found on racecars”, points out Xavier Serra. The control module is adapted with the necessary functions for track racing, such as “speed limiters in the event that yellow flags appear on the track”, adds Serra.

- Different rules, same goal: In MotoGP, all the teams rely on a common main control unit to manage the engine, gearbox and accelerator. Unlike on the racecars, the parameters can be modified on the motorcycles prior to each race. “We programme more power for the straights and gentler performance for cornering. There really is a broad range of modification possibilities”, assures Canè. On the other hand, the new touring car championship rules are very strict when it comes to electronics and engine management; traction control is forbidden and the ABS can only be engaged in endurance races such as the 24 hours of Nürburgring.

- Work doesn't stop at the end of the race: A race weekend generates about 25 gigabytes of information, which the engineers carefully analyse afterwards. “We have to wait until the race is over to download the data and study how we can make our car better”, says Xavier Serra. “For us, the real race begins on Monday”, concludes Canè.


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