The US racing association NASCAR has been thinking about its own electric stock car series for some time. Recently, however, things have been quiet about the Stromer plans in the wrong way. Thanks to a Joe Gibbs Racing e-Toyota specially built for pit stop training, there could now be a suitable role model.
How would you like to live next to a NASCAR team? Probably pretty good at first - assuming you like roaring V8 sound and prominent neighbors. But even the coolest residents can quickly get on your nerves if they overdo it. And that's exactly what the stock car teams are particularly good at with their intensive pit stop training: Because in the tight oval races every second counts, even when it comes to service, which is why there is a lot of practice during the week.
In Huntersville, North Carolina, it's at least a little quieter for the neighbors of Joe Gibbs Racing - whether it bothers them or not. The Toyota top team based there has built its own electric stock car for its pit stop training, which is not only quieter but also cheaper than a retired racing car. The reason for this can be found in the change to the "Next Gen" vehicles.
Revolutionary design, but not electric
The new car format introduced this season finally lifted NASCAR into the technical present. Among other things, independent wheel suspensions are now used everywhere, sequential five-speed gearboxes are installed and light-alloy rims with central locks are fitted. For this purpose, the manufacturers Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota have been using an outer skin made of composite materials, a wide diffuser and cheaper technical standard components since this year.
Because the procurement of these materials and parts is expensive and production remains tense due to disrupted supply chains, the debut of the new racers at the pit stop training brought various problems. Joe Gibbs Racing first rebuilt the old practice car based on the previous generation as makeshift for the technology revolution. But then it quickly became clear that the proportions of the renewed V8 muscle packages are too different.
As a replacement for a rare current car, the Toyota squad created a kind of stock car prototype especially for the training ground in the backyard. Athletics director Matt Osborn reported to the specialist magazine Road & Track : "It was significantly cheaper than modifying a current 'real' car for our purposes. We hope that in the long run it will even be much more durable and therefore cheaper to maintain And, oh yes: It's also more environmentally friendly, of course." He and his team also hope that the lack of sound will make errors easily audible and recognizable.
Plans for an E series are stalled
However, the Twitter video for the Camry makes it clear that the technology is only designed for this specific purpose.The electric motors and batteries, which are not explained in detail, bring the training Toyota up to speed, but only when approaching the pits. Nevertheless, it is an exciting prospect of a whirring NASCAR future, which is unsurprisingly controversial in the comments.
The US racing association itself has already flirted with its own Stromer series. Speaking to auto motor und sport, Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR's Chief Operating Officer, said: "As the automotive industry is constantly evolving, we too have a lot to think about. Above all, we are looking closely at the idea of an all-electric demonstration series. We are working We're working closely with the manufacturers on development and may be able to get something up and running as early as next year or the year after that. The first plan is for six races."
But after a leak about the plans in July, which included all-wheel drives, high-voltage systems and powerful electric motors with over 1,000 hp, nothing was to follow. A hoped-for start as early as next year is therefore becoming increasingly unlikely. At least the neighborhood in Huntersville can claim to have seen the future.