Forze Hydrogen Racing steps up development with Cruden simulator software

Forze Hydrogen Racing steps up development with Cruden simulator software

Driving simulation is helping the Forze Hydrogen Racing Team develop energy management strategies for its hydrogen race car competing in the 2024 Dutch Supercar Challenge.

Cruden is supporting the Forze Hydrogen Racing Team, originating from the Technical University of Delft, to develop its hydrogen racing car with the supply of its Panthera Simulator Software as used in the professional motorsport and automotive sectors. The project aims to demonstrate the sustainability and performance potential of hydrogen to the automotive industry.

The pioneering project is entering its fifteenth year, ninth race car and third season in the Dutch Supercar Challenge.

For the 2024 season, the Forze IX car, a monocoque based on a Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2) chassis, has two hydrogen fuel cells, four electric motors and an 8.4 kg capacity hydrogen tank compressed to 700 bars, providing over 800 hp peak power and a top speed of 300 km per hour. The addition of a second fuel cell and an additional supercapacitor energy storage system or ‘superbattery’ – which provides an additional 600 kW power boost over last year’s car – will see the machine drive faster and longer than ever before. The car’s only emission is water vapour, resulting in a clean exhaust. 

The Forze IX was tested with its new superbattery towards the end of last year at the Circuit of Zandvoort and the team is currently integrating the hydrogen system, which has been developed in parallel.

Dennis Marcus, commercial manager – automotive & motorsport for Cruden, said: “Forze was using a basic simulator package that was only beneficial for track learning. Since driver-in-the-loop simulation is key to developing and tuning race cars, Forze decided to implement Panthera Simulator Software via which they are now running the Forze vehicle dynamics and powertrain models on their simulator.

“Of the multiple elements of the Forze IX race car that have a computer model, some of them require testing with a driver in the loop. The Forze team is able to develop energy management strategies in the simulator and train their drivers accordingly. They can practice, simulate and learn how to manage the fuel cell, when to utilise the full power from the battery and when to regenerate, and how to make braking choices in the race – in much the same way as our customers in Formula E, although the Forze team has more freedom due to fewer regulations. We will support the Forze Hydrogen Racing Team with hardware-in-the-loop integration in the future where they’ll be able to realise even more value from the simulator.”

After starting with hydrogen-powered go-karts in 2008, Forze built its first full-size hydrogen racing car in 2013. Afterwards, the team evolved to building endurance racing cars and was the first to compete with a hydrogen-powered car in the Dutch Supercar Challenge, racing against conventional petrol racing cars. Forze will again compete in the Supercar Challenge in 2024, with the first race at the Zandvoort GP circuit on April 14th.

Championship organiser, Dick van Elk, said: “Hydrogen-powered cars are very likely to play a role in the future of mobility, and motorsport is a good environment to develop this technology. As organisers of the DSC, we are happy to have Forza competing with us and introduce the potential of the hydrogen-powered cars to a larger audience.”

Here is a link to a video of the first meters driven by Forze IX: 




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