#RCCO24: The future begins at the Autostadt
13.11.2019 On the weekend (16/17 November) the Autostadt in Wolfsburg, for the second time, will host a 24-hour race for slot cars of the ‘big small’ RCCO electric racing series, which also marks the beginning of a new era in slot car racing.
Since 2017 electric sports cars – currently from ABT, Audi, KTM, Lamborghini, Schaeffler and Volkswagen – have been competing in the RCCO. Now the second move follows: in this year’s 24-hour race at the new ‘Hafen 1’ event location, an all-new chassis generation will celebrate its world debut.
The VisionRCCO STEP1 provides the basis for an exciting future project: starting in the 2020 season, the RCCO will progressively permit electronic assistance systems with the final objective of having a fully autonomous robotic car (Level 5) pitted against the human-controlled slot cars in the 24-hour race. The project addresses universities, car manufacturers, the automotive industry and technology companies, as well as hobby programmers.
Man vs machine
“For 30 years, the RCCO has been imparting electric mobility pleasure,” says Dr Wolfgang Warnecke, Chief Scientist Mobility at Shell and one of the masterminds of the ‘big small racing series’. “Arguably, every one of us has had a Carrera race track as a child and knows just how much fun electric cars can be as well. With the #VisionRCCO project, on a small 1:24 scale, we’re capturing all the topics the automotive industry is dealing with today. A robotic car that might be able to win the 24-hour race against us humans would no doubt be great advertisement for the forward-thinking topic of ‘autonomous driving’.
From 2020 forward: car sharing also in the RCCO
Automated, Connected, Electric, and Shared Vehicles (in short: ACES) are the key topics of the mobility transformation – and the RCCO addresses all of them. ‘A’ stands for Autonomous Driving that will be rolled out in 2020, as well as ‘C’ for Connected and ‘S for Shared: wild card entries in the ‘big small’ racing series may be booked online in future. A small car sharing fleet will be available for the guests.
The RCCO has been Electric (‘E’) since day one, but the ‘big small’ racing series has also been moving forward in this respect. The objective is to generate the electric power for future races using solar energy collected by panels mounted on the roof of the trailer that hauls the RCCO E-Raceway to the events.
Slot racing meets sim racing
This year’s 24-hour race at the Autostadt also kicks off another project: the RCCO is planning a dedicated E-Sports series for electric racing cars culminating in a 24-hour race to be held in November alongside the 24-hour slot car race in the Autostadt.
Audi e-tron Vision Gran Turismo at the Autostadt
A foretaste of it will already be provided this year: at the RCCO E-Raceway in the ‘Hafen 1’ event location, a racing simulator will be set up which is normally found in the Blue Box at the KonzernForum of the Autostadt. In addition, the entrance area of the Autostadt will feature a display of the spectacular Audi e-tron Vision Gran Turismo that embodies slot racing and sim racing: the Vision Gran Turismo was specifically developed for the ‘Gran Turismo Sport’ game on the PlayStation 4. Concurrently, a hand-made one-of-a-kind real-world racing car was created, plus a slot car for the RCCO that will be on the grid of the 24-hour race at the Autostadt.
Biela, Jüttner & compay
One of the drivers of the Audi e-tron Vision RCCO is the five-time Le Mans winner and DTM Champion Frank Biela, who also forges links between slot racing and sim racing: Biela is a passionate slot racer, has his own sim racing team and is a member of the SimRacing Working Group of the German Motorsport Federation (DMSB).
Biela is just one of several personages from ‘real’ motor racing to be on the grid at the Autostadt in Wolfsburg. Other contenders include Ralf Jüttner, Managing Director of Joest Racing, the most successful Le Mans team in history. Jürgen Jungklaus is Technical Director of the Phoenix Racing team. In addition, two motorcycle racers from different generations – up-and-coming Moto3 rider Dirk Geiger and 13-time German Series Racing Motorcycle Champion Jürgen Müller – will be pitted against each other.
The 24-hour race – powered by Audi e-tron also marks the finale of the RCCO ‘big small’ racing series, whose title race is still completely open: Thomas Voigt (Audi), Eldert Hedden (Lamborghini), Björn Skottke (KTM) and Daniel Bäumler (Volkswagen) are drivers from four different brands still in contention for the championship title.
Live on YouTube
The 24-hour race will be streamed live from Saturday, 11.30 am to Sunday, 12.30 pm on the RCCO’s YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/rccoserie), with commentary provided by Martin Kummerow. The race will start on Saturday at 12 noon.
On Friday from 4 to 5 pm and on Sunday from 2 to 5 pm, Autostadt visitors will have the opportunity to prove their personal prowess on the controls of the original 24-hour track.
The new VisionRCCO chassis can now be obtained online at www.slotfabrik.com. Available in terms of the bodywork will be the futuristic ABT Vision RCCO that was victorious in last year’s 24-hour race at the Autostadt and will be on the grid marked as last year’s winning car number 1.
Hashtags: #RCCO24 #VisionRCCO #DrivingTheFuture