Nürburgring Aston Martin Uses Beru f1systems TPMS
Aston Martin Racing’s recent Nürburgring 24 hour V12 Vantage and Rapide entries ran Beru f1systems’ Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) to improve tyre performance and safety, the pressure systems maker has reported. “TPMS is being increasingly used by motorsport teams to improve both performance and safety,” says James Shingleton, applications engineer, Beru f1systems. “TPMS allows engineers to better understand tyre behaviour during usage. By closely monitoring tyre pressure and temperature, race engineers can optimise vehicle performance and tyre wear, while the system’s puncture detection algorithms provide drivers with warning of damaged or deflating tyres, giving them time to reduce speed or stop safely, and preventing further damage to the tyre.”
Beru f1systems’ TPMS comprises one electronic sensor per wheel, with receiving antennas mounted on the vehicle. The antennas are linked to an ECU which sends data to the driver and pit garages. With data output on a high speed CAN bus, the Aston Martin race cars’ TPMS is linked to a bespoke display in order to inform the driver of any variance in temperature and pressure, and provide any necessary deflation warnings. In other motorsport applications, it is possible to integrate the system with the car’s existing dashboard.
Aston Martin first approached Beru f1systems in 2009 to supply its DigiTyre system. With extensive knowledge of system set-up for GT cars, Beru swiftly identified its ‘Lite’ system as the most appropriate for the race cars. This system uses an OE grade ECU, antennas and low frequency (LF) triggers. The company used race specification sensors as a precaution, although logged data later revealed that OE specification sensors would perform to the same level.
The system used on the 2010 cars utilised production specification TPMS hardware, with only software modifications to make it suitable for race use. The LF arrangement is designed to automatically detect which wheel sensor is fitted to each corner of the car. This is said to offer a significant advantage considering the high number of pit stops made per car during the Nürburgring 24 hour race. The automatic learning facility is common to the system now fitted to the roads cars, avoids any manual positioning of wheel sensors, and allows wheels to be fitted to any corner of the car.
“Using the radio, the driver can inform the pits as to which tyre needs to be changed,” says Shingleton. “This saves precious time as the team can prepare the right wheel prior to the driver’s pit stop.”
The Aston Martin cars achieved a pair of podium results at the race, with the Rapide running faultlessly to finish second in class SP8, whilst the V12 Vantage, having led its class for most of the race, recovered from a late fuel pump problem to take third place.