WRC stars at the Ice Series

Everything is under frenetic preparation in D4S Motorsport factories for the next winter Ice Series International Championship. The incredible prototype based on the WRC Citroen DS3 is actually collecting all the latest racing technologies as nanotechnology surface engineering , additive manufacturing made Dr. Eng. Sergio Durante titanium sequential gearbox , lithium batteries and Inconel exhausts , and a full composites body .

960 Kg, 450 HP, four wheel drive. Such an advanced technologies will be hardly tested by an exceptional famous driver, the WRC star Armin Schwarz that will share the driving wheel with the other top drivers in the most important races of the 2016 Championship.

New flexible technologies for high performance gears and shafts

A collaboration between Dr. Eng. Sergio Durante and AMRC with Boeing gave birth to a new generation of high performance gear shafts for racing application, manufactured by mean of advanced turn-milling technologies.

In fact, with the direct and committed support of both DMG MORI SEIKI Co. and SANDVIK , it was possible to realize, by full turn milling interpolation technology, a complex features shaft, ready to be installed in the gearbox.

The quality of the finishing of the surface is astoundingly beautiful and the geometrical precision is even better that the conventional technologies, but sporting an incomparable flexibility in the process.

The manufactured prototype will be extensively tested in the Dr. Eng. Sergio Durante WRC DS3 in the ICE SERIES Championship 2016 , the most challenging environment for testing the transmission component.

In the future it is planned to tests the parts also in the FIA World Rally Cross Championship before the final approval and the delivery to customers in the new 2016 high performance sequential titanium gearbox designed By Dr. Eng. Sergio Durante

Reference Tests of New Technology on the field

Dr. Eng. Sergio Durante is setting up new technologies to be applied to turbocompressor parts and gearboxes for racing and tourism cars.

In fact the 2016 will be definitely the year of the tests for advanced components for the cooling system and advanced surface engineering for these kind of components.

Dr. Eng. Sergio Durante is developing a revolutionary ultralight titanium water pump to keep the racing engine at super-stable temperature even in extreme and/or fast variable weather conditions.

At the same time new advanced low friction and passive damping coatings are under development. The turboicompressor shaft and the transmission parts are under testing in the extreme conditions of the race to measure the performance gain in comparison with several more traditional solutions.

It is the first time that Dr. Eng. Sergio Durante is applying F1 and Le Mans Series technologies into the Karting races.

As it happened last year, Dr. Eng. Sergio Durante will be the chief test driver for both the technologies and he will personally participate to the World Championship 2016 that will be held in Sweden on the next September to prove the technologies on the real field.

Here below some pictures of the car setup and a video of the tests carried out at the Circuit of Castelletto di Branduzzo (PV) in Italy

City University of Hong Kong

In the fascinating environment of the always dynamic Hong Kong, it was held the first important meeting between the worldwide famous City University of Hong Kong, represented by Prof. Jian Lu, Executive Vice President of Research and Technology, and Dr. Sergio Durante, Executive Vice President of the multinational company DIAD Group and D4S Group.

The topic of the meeting was focused on the future collaboration between the two institutions. The fields of interest discussed are mainly related to the application of advanced materials to the future mobility automotive sector, with a particular interest on a novel generation of energy absorbers, ultra high strength nano-structured metals and innovative surface engineering treatment.

The City University of Hong Kong, in the Department of Advanced Structural Materials sport a state of the art equipped laboratory and top level researchers.

The number and the quality of the publications permit the University to be ranked among the best-in-class worldwide.

More in details the Primary mission of the Centre for Advanced Structural Materials of Prof. Jian Lu is to develop a future generation of materials scientists, mechanics of materials researchers and design engineers to bring advance fundamentals and technologies in advanced structural materials. Innovative solutions are created for different key industrial sectors, such as the biomedical, the automotive, the aerospace, and the sustainable energy.

The Centre’s objectives are to build a common research platform to attracts various members in the field of mechanics of advanced structural and functional material. Technology transfer is created by working with national and international leading companies; training top level multi-disciplinary researchers for the region; developing high value-added products to support economic developments of Hong Kong and the Pearl Delta Region.

The current major research areas are:

Prof. Jian Lu, Executive Vice President of the Research & Technology at the City University of Hong Kong with Dr. Eng. Sergio Durante, Executive Vice President of the DIAD Group

•Prestressed engineering materials and devices

•Advanced Bulk Metallic Glasses (BMGs) and Multicomponent Metallic Alloys

•New Advanced Composites

•Radiation Damage in Reactor Materials

•Integration of advanced structural materials in product design

The new materials under development in the Prof. Jian Lu Centre for Advanced Structural Material, show high potential of application in the future electric and hybrid cars, that represent exactly the focus of the current business of Dr. Eng. Sergio Durante. The two organizations found a lot of complementarity points that will converge in the joint participations to both industrial and government high tech Asian and European projects, where the City University of Hong Kong will bring in the material technologies while Dr.Eng. Sergio Durante companies will develop the manufacturing and extensive automotive testing of parts.

New materials for high temperature parts

Dr. Eng. Sergio Durante is a core member of the Consortium MMTECH, a multinational coalition of enterprises focused on the development and application of a new generation of materials for high temperature applications (turbochargers, aerospace turbines, rockets).

The MMTech project is focusing on the development of technologies and methodologies which have the potential to save cost and time across the whole aircraft lifecycle, including design, production, maintenance, overhaul, repair and retrofit. It will investigate the steps needed to certify the new technologies for use on planes. The scientific target is based on the sustainable introduction of titanium aluminide alloys in the gamma phase , known as gamma titanium aluminides or γ-TiAl.

This is a promising material for aerospace (but also high-end automotive) applications because is performs well at the high temperatures found in engines and is lighter than the nickel alloys which are currently in use. However, it is extremely brittle at low temperatures and so is hard to work with.

There are several bottlenecks to the general introduction of γ-TiAl in aerospace and automotive components. The various alloys are currently expensive and are hard to obtain, so machining large block of material is unattractive. Making parts using near-net techniques such a rapid manufacture (RM) uses less material, but comes with its own problems. Powder properties can vary across suppliers and even between batches, meaning that process parameters need to be set for each new build. Near net parts also need machining, but because γ-TiAl is brittle at low temperatures, it is extremely hard to finish-machine the components without producing cracks. MMTECH will develop methods of creating stable, consistent powder batches and investigate adaptive manufacturing techniques which can automatically vary deposition and machining parameters based on information gained during previous parts of the process chain . It will also look into ways of softening the material during processing using lasers to reduce cracking.

Specific advanced tools will be used for the new approach, based on integration of experimental testing and multi-scale modeling. Multi-scale modelling techniques will be applied to the manufacturing route to predict the inherent material properties of the γ-TiAl parts produced with RM and to optimise the laser-assisted machining process for high performance and high-quality production.

These goals will be achieved by meeting a number of technology challenges:

•The production of powders with stable physical properties

•The reduction of rapid manufacturing costs

•The improvement of machining processes •The development of multi-scale models of the manufacturing process chain

Official project link:


Carmellino and Durante bringing DS3 at top level

On the last week end, the 10 and 11th January, the Sergio Durante Motorsport DS3 has been brought at the highest level at the Ice Challenge 2017 Championship.

Ivan Carmellino success, DS3 Proto, in the second round of the Europea Ice Challenge 2017 Championship, held Sunday, February 12 in Pragelato. Ivan, at the first seasonal, took the Saturday qualifying and warm-up on Sunday morning to get a feel for the car he used for the first time and outclass opponents with an irresistible and unapproachable step.

He said: “ The car developed by Dr. Eng. Sergio Durante is very different from the car I normally use on the ice racing, but it really impressed me for the driving feeling and the explosive performances”

Three victories in three heats clarify the supremacy of fast and spectacular Carmellino in every situation when he had a clear track, speeding impressively the stopwatch hands, and when he had to make overtaking backmarkers that occurred in front of the nose of his DS3 Proto.

Carmellino made clear his intentions from the first round in the morning, played with a temperature of five degrees below zero, when trailing by just under six seconds Luciano Cobbe, Ford Focus WRC, appeared particularly in good shape. Carmellino was further improved in the second round, when he established the battery and record lap monitoring the situation in the third round when the track was slower after the passage of twenty competitors. It closes in second place a specific and constant Luciano Cobbe, but had to bow to the crystalline class Carmellino. The rider of Meteco Racing was involved in a fast and perfect race, without the slightest smear, but with a Carmellino so fit there was little to do. Third place for Alessandro Pettenuzzo, author of a good performance in the first two heats and less determined in the third, which ended only seventh because of his Mitsubishi Lancer tire degradation of a less profitable guidance of the previous rounds .

In the King of Masters Race Sergio Durante gain a brilliant third position, keeping him at the head of the Championship.

D4S DS3 Prototype and Sergio Durante won the Championship 2017

Very tactical and complex race during the weekend!

On Saturday night the rough circuit conditions were excellent for Sergio Durante and the Dr. Eng. Sergio Durante Motorsport Citroen DS3 that delivered the first time in the official qualifying.

The day after in the flat cold ice the performances of the prototype were again extremely convincing, permitting Sergio to gain a second position on the King of Masters race that gave him enough points to succeed in the Championship after a breathtaking duel against the new Italian Champion Alessandro Pettenuzzo.

From Arctic Circle to Desert conditions tests

Most people probably don’t think too much about their cars on a daily basis. That is, until the car somehow breaks…

But the thing is, on the whole, that the today cars are more reliable than ever before.

That’s because car makers and suppliers have begun to master a key step in automobile manufacturing: quality control. In any industry, quality control is a process that’s used to insure that a product is free from bugs, operational issues and any number of other problems you can think of.

In automotive manufacturing, that means cars go through rigorous testing to make sure they’re well-engineered, safe and comfortable.

The quality control process starts long before the first production models of a vehicle roll off the assembly line. When a car company releases a new product, they build prototypes, which are then tested to find weaknesses, mechanical problems and other details that could be improved. Once the prototypes have been vetted and polished, the design goes into production, where quality control continues on the production line, too. After being built, each car is tested for any kind of problems like mechanical problems and proper assembly.

Dr. Eng. Sergio Durante is following exactly the same approach in the quality assessment of the new materials developed in R&D projects.

The components manufactured in new recycled carbon fibers were tested from the Arctic circle down to the African desert environment.

The new materials were quality assessed under severe conditions from the extremely low temperature of the Finland and French and Italian Alps, to the salty environment and hot temperature of African continent and Canary Island.

Thousand of kilometers have been covered to achieve the target.

Needless to underline that the result of the new D4S materials was astonishing, in term of performance and durability.

Karting World Championship

Karting is considered to be the first stepping stone for young drivers aspiring to reach the highest levels of motor sport, or simply hoping for a career as a racing driver.

While the vast majority of current (and past) F1 drivers came from Karting, it has grown racing talents that populate a wide variety of racing disciplines, such as the FIA World Endurance Championship, which is the basis of the 24 Hours of Le Mans classic each June.

Dr. Eng. Sergio Durante Motorsport decided to give a closer look at the discipline, and, as usual, exploit the opportunity to tests some technical advanced solutions, like a nanocomposite damping coating and some special components, in collaboration with the Spanish Team Jamkart.

The event was held at the extraordinary “Le Mans Karting International.”

Nearly 200 drivers descend on Le Mans, no doubt drawn by the prospect of competing at Le Mans.

They were representing a remarkable 42 countries and did battle in front of a big crowd that will include FIA President Jean Todt.

We participated with a test driver in the KZ, which is the advanced category for gearbox karts – it was previously called Super ICC and KZ1. Since its inception in 2010, KZ has attracted some of the most promising young drivers before they take the next step to single-seater racing.

Hill Climbing Strategy 2018-2019 European Championship

Dr. Eng. Sergio Durante decided the development of a totally innovative hybrid prototype for hill climbing races. The car is under construction and it will be ready for first tests in the end of the 2017. This crazy powerful car will sport almost 1000HP for a 800kg of weight.

In the meantime the Dr. Eng. Sergio Durante Porsche Proto in the picture won its category at the European Hill Climbing Championship in Otaly in the Cesana Sestriere Challenge