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Dec 8, 2011

ATL to supply every DTM and BTCC car in 2012

ATL is proud to announce that it has been selected as the sole supplier of fuel cells to the DTM and BTCC championships in 2012.

ATL has worked hard with the organisers of both championships to design a spec fuel cell for each series which fulfils all safety and reliability requirements whilst being simple to use and remaining within budget.

Both cells are sophisticated in their design, whilst being particularly uncomplicated for teams to install and maintain – all internal hardware (pumps, filters, hoses etc) can be removed/serviced/re-fitted one-handed - and without the use of a single spanner!

ATL’s cell for the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) Next Generation Touring Car (NGTC) is made from its lightweight FIA FT3-1999 composite material. This material is composed of a Nylon reinforced fabric with a hard-wearing synthetic elastomer coating. A focus on ease of use has been maintained throughout the design: the bladder features a sump with integral collector for uninterrupted fuel pick-up, whilst the fuel pump, pressure regulator and filter are all neatly mounted on the inside of the cell – all plumbed together with ‘spanner-less’ quick-release connections.

The NGTC fuel cells are supplied complete and ready to install, housed within an aluminium container (with a steel bottom section for welding into the car chassis) – no assembly required. Having already operated without fault in the NGTC cars which raced in 2011, the design is now a proven concept: with the BTCC’s move to a solely NGTC grid, ATL’s fuel cells will be the only fuel cells used on track.

In 2012, ATL will also become the official sole supplier of fuel cells to the DTM series. These cells are made from ATL’s super-lightweight FIA FT3.5-1999 composite material which uses Kevlar as its reinforcing fabric. For this application, ATL has designed a sophisticated internal plumbing system which uses four low pressure pumps to feed an enclosed internal collector – ensuring that the main high pressure pumps are never starved of fuel. Two high-pressure fuel pumps are plumbed in series and are mounted inside the fuel cell, with the fuel filter mounted on the outside of the coverplate – so that it can be replaced without accessing the inside of the cell.

Once again, ease of use has been central to the design of this fuel cell, so ‘spanner-less’ quick-release connections and Velcro-fastened pump mounts are used throughout. Another innovation is the use of a ‘removal pull-tab’ which is securely affixed to the inside rear of the fuel cell. The DTM chassis features only a very small aperture for access to the fuel bay cavity, so this pull tab makes it quicker and easier for a mechanic/technician to remove the bladder from the car.

“Winning these contracts shows recognition that ATL has successfully made the transition from world leader in fuel bladder design to world leader in complete fuel system technology. Supplying complete assemblies to such prestigious championships is a source of great pride for the company and its staff,” says ATL’s Head of Design, Giles Dawson. “ATL has also clearly demonstrated that the integration of a sophisticated fuel system within the fuel cell itself needn’t make life difficult for the end-user.”

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