Freescale to power NASCAR fuel injection
2/11/2011 2:49 PM EST
Link with standard automobiles
Manen acknowledged that fuel efficiency is not a primary motivation for motor racing, but both he and Freescale executives said the switch is important to NASCAR because it will make NASCAR cars more like the cars that racing fans actually drive.
"By default, some of the things you do in racing have byproducts that are good for the environment," Manen said. "But I'm not sure that's the reason racers do it."
NASCAR said the move to fuel injection brings back an important synergy between racing cars and standard automobiles. 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, according to NASCAR.
Lou Lutostanski, Freescale vice president of sales and marketing for the Americas region, said the parts that Freescale supplies to McLaren are the same 32-bit processors that are found in thousands of other cars, providing a direct link between racers and fans. "Literally, the person is going to drive to the race with the same processor in their car as the cars they are going to see on the track."
Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president of competition, said the move would give NASCAR an opportunity to incorporate the best technology in race cars that will enhance the sport in a variety of ways. "This is a positive step that will provide greater fuel efficiency and a greener footprint while maintaining the same great competition we’ve seen on the race track," said Pemberton.
As part of the partnership, Freescale is designated as the official automotive semiconductor of NASCAR and McLaren as the official ECU of NASCAR.
Steve Nelson, Freescale's director of marketing for the Americas region, said the deal could pave the way for other joint marketing programs between Freescale and NASCAR.
Since its inception in 1948, NASCAR has been running vehicles with carbureted engines, except for a short period in 1957, NASCAR said.
ECUs offer precise control of the fuel going into the engine, maximizing each racing team’s ability to get the most performance and best fuel economy under all race conditions.
McLaren has been a supplier to NASCAR teams since 2005. Freescale's chips have been at the heart of McLaren's ECUs since 2000.