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Aston Martin Racing ran Beru F1 Systems’ Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) on its Nurburgring 24-hour race entries for the second year in a row.

The system was used on Aston Martin’s V12 Vantage race car and the new Rapide model.

The TPMS provided Aston Martin’s race engineers and drivers with accurate tyre pressure and temperature data throughout the race.

James Shingleton, applications engineer at Beru F1 Systems, said: ‘The TPMS is being increasingly used by motorsport teams to improve both performance and safety.

‘The TPMS allows engineers to better understand tyre behaviour during usage.

‘By closely monitoring tyre pressure and temperature, race engineers can optimise vehicle performance and tyre wear, while the system’s puncture detection algorithms provide drivers with a warning of damaged or deflating tyres, giving them time to reduce speed or stop safely and preventing further damage to the tyre,’ he added.

The TPMS comprises one electronic sensor per wheel, with receiving antennas mounted on the vehicle.

The antennas are linked to an ECU, which sends data to the driver and pit garages.

With data output on a high-speed CAN bus, the Aston Martin race cars’ TPMS is linked to a bespoke display in order to inform the driver of any variance in temperature and pressure and to provide any necessary deflation warnings.

In other motorsport applications, it is possible to integrate the system with the car’s existing dashboard.

Aston Martin first approached Beru F1 Systems in 2009 to supply its Digityre system.

Beru identified its Lite system as the most appropriate option for the race cars.

This system uses an OE-grade ECU, antennas and low-frequency (LF) triggers.

The company used race specification sensors as a precaution, although logged data later revealed that OE-specification sensors would perform to the same level.

The system used on the 2010 cars utilised production-specification TPMS hardware, with only software modifications to make it suitable for race use.

The LF arrangement is designed to automatically detect which wheel sensor is fitted to each corner of the car.

This offers an advantage considering the high number of pit stops made per car during the Nurburgring 24-hour race.

The automatic learning facility is common to the system now fitted to the road cars.

It avoids any manual positioning of wheel sensors and allows wheels to be fitted to any corner of the car.

Using the Digityre system, both cars received early warnings of punctures and were able to pit without incurring major damage or losing unnecessary time.

Beru’s TPMS does not require any maintenance or intervention between events, while the sensor’s software puts the electronics into sleep mode when the wheel is not moving, meaning a sensor will last at least one race season.

Shingleton continued: ‘Using the radio, the driver can inform the pits as to which tyre needs to be changed.

‘This saves precious time as the team can prepare the right wheel prior to the driver’s pit stop,’ he said.

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