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  3. ASPIRE to Launch Inaugural ‘Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League’ Redefining Future of Extreme Sport on April 27

ASPIRE to Launch Inaugural ‘Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League’ Redefining Future of Extreme Sport on April 27

25 Apr 2024
  • How will teams maximize the performance of their autonomous Dallara Super Formula SF23 cars in the A2RL race?

On Saturday, April 27th, Abu Dhabi will host a groundbreaking event, welcoming 10,000 spectators to witness the inaugural ASPIRE Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League (A2RL) at the iconic Yas Marina Circuit. This brand-new autonomous racing competition marks a significant milestone in motorsport history, billed as the largest league of its kind globally.

Eight teams will compete: Code19 Racing (one of the first independent autonomous racing entity from the USA), Constructor University (based in Germany and Switzerland), Fly Eagle (representing Beijing Institute of Technology from China and Khalifa University from the UAE), HUMDA Lab (a member of the Széchenyi István University Group from Hungary), KINETIZ (a collaboration between Singapore Nanyang Technological University and Kintsugi based in the UAE), PoliMOVE (representing Politecnico di Milano from Italy), UNIMORE (also from Italy - University of Modena and Reggio Emilia), and Technical University of Munich - TUM (from Germany), vying for a substantial prize purse of US$ 2.25 million.

Autonomous Racing League Unveils Groundbreaking Event

Autonomous Racing League Unveils Groundbreaking Event

The participating teams of coders and engineers will each have exclusive access to identical Dallara Super Formula SF23 cars, made possible through a partnership with Japan Race Promotions. These cars will be autonomized with autonomous racing stacks developed and integrated by the Technology Innovation Institute (TII). The sole variable lies in how each team utilizes their coding skills, AI algorithms, and machine learning software development expertise to teach their cars how to drive. Currently recognized as the fastest open-wheel race car in the world after Formula One, these cars can reach speeds of up to 300 km/h.

For the first time, the race format is poised to feature four autonomous cars driving on the racetrack simultaneously – a feat never before attempted. In a series of pre-qualifying races, the finale will showcase the top performers from the Lap Test and Speed Test, advancing to a final Overtaking Challenge to determine the ultimate winner. Additionally, an AI vs Human car race will unfold, with the Technology Innovation Institute (TII) embracing the electrifying challenge of pitting their autonomous car against former F1 driver – Daniil Kvyat. TII will aim to get as close as possible to the human lap time and will also demonstrate the autonomous car’s ability to drive without GPS assistance.

H.E. Faisal Al Bannai, Secretary General of the Advanced Technology Research Council - ASPIRE’s parent entity, and Advisor to the UAE President on Strategic Research and Advanced Technology Affairs, said: "In pushing the boundaries of technology under extreme conditions, we uncover new frontiers in science. This reimagined racing paradigm harnesses the pinnacle of coding skills, AI algorithms, and software development prowess — the very skill sets of the future. By leveraging these capabilities, we pave a path at the forefront of research and development, propelling Abu Dhabi to become a pivotal global hub for innovation."

ADNOC has come on board as title sponsor, providing crucial support, underscoring the widespread enthusiasm for advancing autonomous racing technology. H.E. Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, and Group MD & CEO of ADNOC, added: "As we navigate the path to UAE's industrial future, our commitment to in-country value and technological advancement stands unwavering. A2RL epitomizes our dedication to integrating cutting-edge technology including AI, driving competitiveness and economic growth across sectors. For decades, ADNOC has invested in the latest technology and innovation – from the control room, to the board room - to deliver the modern energy that powers our lives."

Organizer of A2RL, ASPIRE CEO, Stephane Timpano, said: "A2RL is more than just a race — it's a platform for testing and optimizing autonomous vehicle technologies, enhancing safety and reliability on public roads. With the support of local and international partners, we're bringing the mobility future - closer." The inaugural race has attracted a diverse array of sponsors, each contributing their expertise and resources to ensure the success of the development of the cutting-edge autonomized cars. Leading partners, such as Du, DMT, AWS, and Mubadala, have played pivotal roles in shaping the event’s trajectory, with media partners such Motorsports, Inc. Arabia, FastCompany Middle East, and What’s On, amplifying A2RL’s visibility.

Technical partners, including Dallara, Danisi Engineering, Meccanica 42, Kistler, Seyond, Eventagrate, Live in Five, Focal Point VR and Vislink, have lent their specialized knowledge to elevate the event's innovation and performance standards.

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New Aston Martin Vantage GT3 to fight for glory on Nürburgring 24 Hours debut

30 May 2024
New Aston Martin Vantage GT3 to fight for glory on Nürburgring 24 Hours debut

Aston Martin will rekindle its long and glorious relationship with the fearsome Nürburgring Nordschleife this weekend as the new Aston Martin Vantage GT3 makes its debut in the ADAC Ravenol 24H Nürburgring.

The British ultra-luxury sportscar manufacturer has enjoyed a winning tradition at the Nürburgring for more than 60 years. Indeed, iconic Grand Prix legends Tony Brooks (GBR), Sir Stirling Moss (GBR) and Sir Jack Brabham (AUS) all contributed to a hat-trick of 1000km victories for Aston Martin in the late 1950s, including the 1959 edition that helped to secure the World Sports Car championship crown for the brand. That triumph took place in the same year Aston Martin’s DBR1 claimed its famous overall victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 92nd running of which will be held next month, on 15-16 June, in France.

Six Porsche 911 GT3 R battle for overall victory on the Nordschleife

29 May 2024
Six Porsche 911 GT3 R battle for overall victory on the Nordschleife

Porsche’s customer teams and the 911 GT3 R have already given a demonstration of their force in the so-called 'Qualifiers' in mid-April. Falken Motorsports celebrated two victories, while Manthey EMA finished both races on the podium. Moreover, Dinamic GT, Lionspeed GP and Herberth Motorsport will each field one ca. 415 kW (565 PS) GT3 racer from Weissach.

“We began preparing for 2024 straight after last year’s 24-hour race,” said Sebastian Golz, Project Manager Porsche 911 GT3 R.

“We worked hard alongside the manufacturers to understand last year’s tyre damage. After in-depth analyses, we applied the appropriate measures. The start of the 2024 season showed that we did a good job together. Our teams and drivers are happy with the vehicle balance. Now we need to sort out the race procedures and focus on getting through the race without making any mistakes. Lap time performance alone is not the main priority. Teamwork, managing overtaking in a big field of 130 cars, the right tyre choice for different conditions and ensuring that the driver feels good in the car will be the keys to success.”

The commitment of Porsche customer teams goes far beyond participation in the top SP9 class for GT3 vehicles. Thirty-nine other racing cars from the German manufacturer are registered in ten different classes. This means that Porsche has by far the largest contingent of entries in the race. The most popular model is the 911 GT3 Cup, 14 of which will compete in the dedicated Cup2 category.

“Porsche is again clearly the most well-represented brand at the Nürburgring 24-hour race this year. This shows that we continue to enjoy high trust among our partners and customers and that our products are well established on the market,” said Michael Dreiser, Director Sales Porsche Motorsport.

“I’m confident that the six Porsche 911 GT3 R will perform strongly against the tough competition in the top SP9 class. The customer teams are extremely professional with first-class drivers crewing all the cars. Our customers will undoubtedly deliver some gripping racing in other categories too, like in the fiercely competitive Cup2 class with the 911 GT3 Cup and the Cup3 class with the 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport.”

Jameel Motorsport and Saudi Automobile & Motorcycle Federation launch GR Saudi Driving School Future Co-Driver Program

05 May 2024
Jameel Motorsport and Saudi Automobile & Motorcycle Federation launch GR Saudi Driving School Future Co-Driver Program

As part of its commitment to nurturing sporting talent in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Jameel Motorsport in collaboration with the Saudi Automobile & Motorcycle Federation, launched the GR Saudi Driving School Future Co-Driver Program. This initiative is set to discover the next generation of professional co-drivers who will partake in cross-country rallies, bolstering Saudi Arabia's presence on the regional and international motorsports stages.