Mototron Powertrain Control
Hardman Racing is very excited to announce Mototron coming on board as a new sponsor to provide
programmable powertrain control. Mototron provides powertrain control solutions that are fully
programmable using low level interface blocks in Matlab Simulink that can generate autocode to directly flash
into a controller. This enables a level of flexibility in powertrain control software that is not available with off
the shelf aftermarket controllers that have a fixed software set, and will allow Hardman Racing to improve
vehicle performance through improved transmission and engine control.
The first task for Mototron Control in 2008 will be transmission control. Since the car was originally built
for a 500 cc engine, installation of the 2.0L Chrysler powertain has completely filled the engine compartment
and prevents the use of any sort of linkage system to shift the Viper T56R transmission. A photograph of the
engine compartment is shown below.
To shift the transmission, we have a transmission tailhousing and electro-hydraulic shifting actuator from
an Aston Martin that also uses a T56 transmission. We built an analog control system for the hydraulic
solenoids that requires pushing a series of 11 buttons on the steering wheel to shift through the gears during
a five mile pass. All the button pushing is distracting to the driver, and some shifts require three buttons,
requiring excessive time and slowing the car down. So, implementation of transmission control with a
Mototron controller will allow automatic shift sequencing with a single button for the driver to shift the
transmission. This enables faster shifting and avoids slowing down during shifts.
For 2009, a Mototron controller will be used for engine control as a stepping stone to the plan for 2010:
Mototron engine control using an Electronic Throttle and a wastegate solenoid to control wheelspin real time
for optimum acceleration. With the large turbocharger sized to produce high boost levels for high power
output, wheel spin is a huge problem for the driver when coming on boost in lower gears. Electronic wheel
spin control will improve acceleration by avoiding excessive wheel spin keeping wheel slip closer to the
optimum for acceleration. Improved acceleration will lead to higher trap speeds.