“Without our partners, we’d never be able to realize our projects,” says Thomas von Löwis of Menar, Four Motors’ team boss. Together with Smudo, the front man of German band Die Fantastischen Vier, he has been pushing sustain- able drive concepts in GT race cars since 2003. The Bio- concept Cars racing at the Nürburgring use alternative drives—from combustion engines optimized for eﬃciency to biofuels with extremely low pollutant levels. The goal for the future is to conquer the legendary Nordschleife while keeping emissions as close to zero as possible.
Four Motors and MAHLE - more than just a sponsor
“We’ve wanted to cooperate with MAHLE for a long time and are very pleased that this has now been the case since 2019,” says von Löwis of Menar. “The cooperation is primarily a technological partnership. For example, we’re currently looking at using 3D printed parts on our Porsche vehicles.”
Making brave decisions, breaking new ground—that’s what makes being an independent team so incredibly attractive. However, “ﬁghting for money is always diﬃcult, and you need strong arguments to succeed,” admits the Four Motors team boss. “Our strong arguments are now being recognized and even rewarded. But it’s always a challenge.”
Successful and Independent
In recent years DS Techeetah has taken pole position in the electric racing series, which is as ﬁercely competitive as it is forward-looking, chalking up three drivers’ titles and two team titles in a row.
“We started out as a completely independent team, and compared with manufacturer-led teams like Jaguar or Porsche, we’re still independent, but we now have the support of the manufacturer DS Automobiles,” explains Chief Commercial Oﬃcer Keith Smout. “You could say we’re a hybrid team these days.”
DS Techeetah and MAHLE - a partnership for the future
From the start of the 2020/2021 season, MAHLE has contributed its many years of expertise in e-mobility to support DS TECHEETAH as a technical partner. The goal is to build on the successful run of the past few years—and to do so in the face of the increasingly strong and ﬁnancially powerful competition from the wholly manufacturer-backed teams.
But Smout wouldn’t switch for anything. “Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but we have an incredible amount of freedom to structure our processes the way we want. In larger corporations, there’s always a risk of getting › stuck in long rounds of consultation. That’s not a problem for us. On the other hand, our marketing department has a much greater responsibility to bring partners on board to ensure the survival of the team.”