Williams F1 have teamed up with German sportscar manufacturer Porsche to bring the world the first 911 GT3 R Hybrid.
The 911 will feature the innovative hybrid drive system which was being developed for the F1 car (KERS) during the previous season but following on from the decision by teams to drop KERS for 2010 Williams continued development of the system for applications in road vehicles.
Ian Foley, Managing Director of Williams Hybrid Power said, “We are delighted to see our technology being adopted by one of the world’s leading engineering companies and most prestigious automotive manufacturers in one of their racing cars. Partnering with Porsche on this project has been a very positive experience and we are grateful to them for choosing to work with us.”
Alex Burns, Chairman of Williams Hybrid Power and Chief Operating Officer of Williams F1 said, “This is a milestone for both Williams Hybrid Power and Williams F1. Together we have worked to bring this technology forward to the point where it can be tested in a racing car and deployed in a road car. We hope that this will be just the start of the evolution of hybrid systems developed for Formula One moving across to applications where they can contribute to cleaner and more powerful vehicles.”
Here’s the technical info from Porsche on how the system works: The flywheel generator itself is an electric motor with its rotor spinning at speeds of up to 40,000 rpm, storing energy mechanically as rotation energy. The flywheel generator is charged whenever the driver applies the brakes, with the two electric motors reversing their function on the front axle and acting themselves as generators. Then, whenever necessary, that is when accelerating out of a bend or when overtaking, the driver is able to call up extra energy from the charged flywheel generator, the flywheel being slowed down electromagnetically in the generator mode and thus supplying up to 120 kW to the two electric motors at the front from its kinetic energy. This additional power is available to the driver after each charge process for approximately 6 – 8 seconds.
Following it’s debut in Geneva the 911 GT3 R Hybrid will be tested on long-distance runs on the Nurburgring including the 24 hour race on the Nordschleife on May 15-16.
Porsche say that the focus of the work is not to win the race but serve as a spearhead in technology and a ‘racing laboratory’ providing know-how on the subsequent use of hybrid technology in road-going sports cars.