NASCAR finally announces Fuel Injection for Cup cars
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) announced today a historic technology partnership with Freescale Semiconductor and McLaren Electronic Systems to develop and integrate fuel injection systems into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, targeted for the 2012 season.
Freescale will provide the processors for McLaren’s engine control units (ECUs) that will be used to manage the fuel and ignition systems in the engines for all NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars, replacing carburetors which have been used in the series since its inception in 1949. NASCAR and its top series teams will test the technology during the 2011 season with the anticipation of the systems being rolled out for the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season.
The fuel injection system will bring increased technology and efficiency to the NASCAR Sprint Cup cars while at the same time complementing the car’s high performance. This announcement marks the most significant strategic change to NASCAR’s engine platform in decades. As part of this program, Freescale is designated as the “Official Automotive Semiconductor of NASCAR” and McLaren the “Official Engine Control Unit of NASCAR.”
“This move gives us an additional opportunity to incorporate the best technology in our race cars that will enhance the sport in a variety of ways,” said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition. “Selecting these two industry leaders reflects our commitment to this new technology which our manufacturers and teams have embraced. This is a positive step that will provide greater fuel efficiency and a greener footprint while maintaining the same great competition we have seen on the race track.”
For decades, most of the parts and equipment on NASCAR race cars have been highly customized for racing but at the same time relevant in standard automobiles. This move to fuel injection brings back an important synergy between these two vehicle types.
ECUs maximize each racing team’s ability to get the most performance and best fuel economy under all race conditions. With this announcement, plans call for every NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race team to use a control system with Freescale’s advanced 32-bit Power Architecture® based engine management processors at its core, beginning in 2012. These same processors power millions of today’s most energy efficient engines.
The ECUs are tamper-proof, ensuring that only approved software may ever be run during a race weekend. Additionally, NASCAR will have special electronic tools at its disposal during every event to ensure the legality of all ECUs.
“Freescale’s partnership with NASCAR and McLaren goes beyond a simple business relationship,” said Henri Richard, senior vice president and chief sales and marketing officer at Freescale Semiconductor. “It reflects our shared values in the automotive industry and our common dedication to technology improvement, high performance, energy efficiency and leadership in safety. It also continues to demonstrate the success of the Power Architecture as the leading microcontroller architecture in the automotive segment. NASCAR trusts us to provide cutting-edge automotive solutions for the next generation of engine management. Our products and technology will power every NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race car next year and we are honored to be the sole automotive semiconductor provider for America’s largest motorsport.”
Since 1966, McLaren has a legacy of racing success in the United States, totaling 43 victories during its tenure in the Can-Am Challenge, 10 wins at the U.S. Grand Prix and three wins at the illustrious Indianapolis 500. In addition, McLaren Electronics Systems has been a supplier to NASCAR teams since 2005 and also provides the ECUs that will be available late summer 2011 in the McLaren MP4-12C high-performance sports car. Freescale technology has been at the heart of McLaren’s engine control and data systems racing technology since 2000 and it provides the power behind all of McLaren’s major racing programs. Freescale is the largest U.S. based producer of automotive electronics and its technology enables virtually all automotive innovation in use today, from advanced engine systems to navigation and active safety.
“We are excited to build on our existing relationships with NASCAR and Freescale for this critical technology,” said Peter van Manen, managing director, McLaren Electronic Systems Limited. “McLaren has been providing reliable, high performance electronics to professional motorsports and other high performance automotive applications in North America, Europe and Asia for more than 20 years and we are both proud and delighted to be bringing our ECU technology into NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series.”