From cup vehicle to simulator. Ammermüller in the Porsche high-tech laboratory.

From cup vehicle to simulator. Ammermüller in the Porsche high-tech laboratory.

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The process was routine for Michael Ammermüller: pull on the gloves, put on the helmet and fasten the seatbelt. But the German racing driver was not sitting in a vehicle. As the champion of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, he was given the opportunity to climb into one of the most state-of-the-art test devices for race cars – the driving simulator at the Porsche Development Centre in Weissach.

Ammermüller knows a lot about fast lap times in a 911. The former Formula 1 test driver has been competing in the Porsche One-Make-Series since 2012. In 2017 and 2018, he was crowned champion of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. Ammermüller became the fifth driver, after Patrick Huisman, Richard Westbrook, Jeroen Bleekemolen and René Rast, to defend the championship in the international One-Make-Series. In the races, which are traditionally held as part of the Formula 1 supporting programme, the experienced driver raced a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup with 485PS.

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As a master in the Supercup, Ammermüller was allowed to prove himself in the simulator in Weissach. The Bavarian climbed into the virtual cockpit of the fastest 911 of all time – the Porsche 911 RSR. Five projectors placed above the cockpit and a huge semicircular screen transform the simulator room into the Silverstone Circuit. Ammermüller completed various sessions on the traditional British course and was allowed to do five flying laps.

In the control room, separated by panes of glass, all data was transferred to computers in real time, while Ammermüller raced the 911 RSR with its 510PS through the Beckett and Maggot corners. The driver from Rotthalmünster felt every movement of the car in his cockpit. “I really enjoyed it but it was not easy. The simulator can hardly be distinguished from the driving experience of a real race car. Due to the vibrations, every braking process, every run over the curbs felt as if you were actually driving on a real track”, Ammermüller describes his impressions.

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In the past, the driving simulator has been essential for Porsche Motorsport. It provided decisive insights for the use of the 911 Spyder and the 919 Hybrid. The simulator thus represents an important component in the development of race cars at Porsche. Technical changes are tried and tested by works drivers. And the test device will continue to be important in years to come: in addition to the 911 RSR, the works drivers will in future be able to virtually enter the Formula E vehicle. As from December 2019, Porsche will be starting in Formula E with its own factory team.

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