The DTM championship has sought to improve its sustainability credentials by opening up technical regulations to allow environmentally friendly alternatives to carbon fiber. For the 2020 season, it is partnering with Swiss supplier Bcomp to use its natural-fiber-based composite materials on certain mandatory parts.
Bcomp materials replace carbon fibers with natural materials, while retaining the same strength and weight characteristics as many CFRP systems. Its ampliTex and powerRibs technologies have already been validated by BMW Motorsport and Audi Sport during DTM pre-season testing. For example, the ‘shoe box’, an aerodynamic section that sits outboard of the rear diffuser, will now be made from Bcomp material.
“With a high exposure to contacts, the DTM shoebox is a typical motorsport bodywork wear part which needs to be replaced or repaired after almost every race. With natural fiber technologies we achieve the same weight as with carbon fiber while additionally taking advantage of the anti-splintering and environmental benefits. It is an ideal start to introduce Bcomp’s sustainable light weighting solutions,” explained Layla Wagener, specialist sport and engineering engineer with DTM.
Once the parts are fully proved under competition conditions, DTM plans to apply the material to other areas of the car throughout the 2020 season, which is due to get underway at the start of August.