Tim Heinemann, the reigning DTM Trophy champion, was able to drive the 1200bhp DTM Electric vehicle from AVL Racing's simulator in Graz, some 80 kilometers east of the Austrian Formula 1 track. 

The championship fitted the under-development car with a drive-by-wire technology from Schaeffler, which eliminated the necessity for a direct connection between the steering column and the transmission. Instead, owing to a direct link created between the automobile and AVL's facilities in the Styrian capital, electric impulses were utilized to steer the wheels.

For enhanced driving dynamics, changes were made to the simulator utilized for the duration of the run, ensuring Heinemann could receive an accurate image of the course front of him. 

"The simulator features a 180-degree screen with three projectors that gave Tim a full 180-degree vision," said Ull Thaler, software engineer at AVL, to Motorsport-Total.com. 

"Similarly, a microphone sent the sound from the automobile to our speakers. We built a model based on vehicle data to mimic steering torque so Tim could get a feel for the tyres as well. 

"It was critical that the seat position, steering wheel, and pedals all feel the same."

"The feel of the brake pedal was an issue in the last tests before the race." Tim struggled at first to properly use the brakes since the simulator's pedal felt different from the car's. We took multiple measurements of braking characteristics and used software to adjust for variations in mechanical systems." 

The DTM used a combination of fibre cables and 5G to maintain a solid connection between the simulator and the car at all times, thanks to its partners Schaeffler and Riedel Communications. 

Each pedal also included two sensors, guaranteeing that there was a safety net in case one of them malfunctioned.

The Spielberg circuit is located in a hilly region of Austria, so connecting the automobile to the simulator wasn't straightforward. 

"We used two different fiber optic connections as well as a 5G connection between the AVL site in Graz and the line in Spielberg," Thaler stated. "In the event that a link became unreliable or even failed, this third connection was essential for security reasons." 

"What we need is a solid radio network," said Daniel Kohl, Schaeffler's Head of Technical Development, Motorsport. Of course, this creates certain difficulties, not least because of the geography [at Spielberg].

“Of course, we have a lot of other teams as well. We have all of the cars' onboard computers, all of the radios, and the military airport. Having a reliable radio network there isn't without its drawbacks." 

Reduce the latency rate, or the time between the driver pressing the pedals in Graz and the car performing the same instruction at the Red Bull Ring, was one of the most difficult elements of the demo run. 

However, the DTM was prepared for the worst-case situation, with an automatic shutdown mechanism in place in the event of a signal delay of more than 0.3 seconds between Graz and the Red Bull Ring. 

The automated brakes would have engaged with "highest feasible deceleration" in this situation.

"That's where I end up needing to consider, in every situation: if I lose control here, how much time do I have before the car hits somewhere," Kohl said of the shutdown mechanism. In the dirt and on the road, how much braking distance or deceleration do I have? Then I'm in a range of 0.3 to 0.4 seconds when I have to turn off the car."

The DTM Electric vehicle will make its second public debut next month at the Norisring. It was initially presented to the public – albeit without remote control – at Hockenheim last year, when the DTM announced plans for a new series based on the prototype for 2023.