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Volkswagen Brings in DRS for Nürburgring Electric Record Bid

VW’s Pikes Peak record holder gets Formula 1-style DRS upgrade for Nordschleife attempt…

Photo: Volkswagen

Volkswagen will use a Formula 1-style DRS on its all-electric I.D. R prototype for the car’s Nürburgring Nordschleife lap record attempt this year.

The Pikes Peak record-breaking car is heading to the 16-mile Eifel circuit in a bid to topple the existing Nordschleife electric record of 6:45.900 set by Peter Dumbreck in a NIO EP9 two years ago.

For its latest venture, Volkswagen has revealed modifications to the I.D. R’s rear wing assembly including a lowered profile and a DRS flap designed to improve performance on the higher-speed sections of the 12.9-mile, 73-turn circuit.

“Though almost identical in length at roughly 20 kilometers, the Nordschleife presents a completely different challenge for aerodynamics in comparison to the hill climb at Pikes Peak,” said Volkswagen Motorsport technical director François-Xavier Demaison.

“In the USA it was all about maximum downforce, but because the speeds are a lot higher on the Nordschleife, the most efficient possible battery use is of much greater importance with regard to the aerodynamic configuration.”

The project’s lead aero engineer Herve Dechipre explained that the updated rear wing will reduce downforce by “about 20 percent” when the DRS flap is activated.

“With an activated DRS, the car requires less energy to maintain its top speed over the entire [1.3-mile] Döttinger Höhe [straight]. The I.D. R reaches its top speed quicker and with a lower use of energy,” he said.

Volkswagen has been preparing for the Nordschleife run with a series of wind tunnel tests on both a 1:2 scale model of the ID.R and the actual machine to gauge its aero performance.

The results of these tests have led to the development of specially-developed parts such as 3D-printed air deflectors in the front wheel arch to optimize airflow at the rear.

Two-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Romain Dumas, who was at the wheel for the I.D. R’s outright record-breaking 7:57.148 ascent of Pikes Peak, will be at the wheel for the Nürburgring attempt.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365 and e-racing365, with a focus on the FIA World Endurance Championship and various electric racing series.

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