David Moletta, UFI Filters’ High Tech Division Business Development Manager, provides an insight into how the company utilises motorsport as its testing ground for filters before they hit the road, and how this can boost the confidence of factors that are selling the components.
Despite thousands of its oil, air, fuel, cabin air and other filters fitted to cars, motorcycles, commercial and heavy duty vehicles every day, few people are aware that UFI Filter’s technologies are influenced by the experience gained on the toughest test bench of them all: motor racing.
As part of continually assessing and enhancing the performance, efficiency, size and weight of our products, UFI has been a supplier of bespoke and standard filters to top-level motorsports of all kinds for several decades.
Our longest-standing partnership, with Ferrari’s Formula 1 (F1) team, was just the beginning. UFI Filters has been the engine filter supplier to Ferrari for more than 40 years, developing specially customised solutions for its cars. Today, our brand is chosen by the major F1 manufacturers; with more than 110 of our filters supporting every F1 race! UFI is also a supplier to teams in other high performance environments, including endurance races such as the Le Mans 24h, and for Aprilia and Ducati in the MotoGP, GT2, GT3 and Superbike Championships.
Applying the results
The company’s development work for both track and road is led by its High Tech Division in Nogarole Rocca, Italy, which specialises in producing ‘extreme’ filtration solutions, often within a short timeframe.
Racing teams continually tweak their car or motorcycle’s performance throughout each race weekend – it’s an ongoing learning process. To help with this, we receive the filters used on the track, analyse their condition and report back. Then we can decide if and how to modify them.
The High Tech Division draws on this knowledge for OE and aftermarket use. UFI experts work closely with VM design engineers to co-develop tailor-made OE filtration technologies. These innovations are then also reflected in UFI Filters’ filter ranges for the aftermarket. Our experts harness the challenges of the competition world to achieve optimum levels of performance, quality and reliability in our road filters.
Reaping the rewards
Ultimately, motorsport is helping its filters to address some of the challenges facing the automotive industry today. The need to achieve downsized engines, reduced fuel consumption, and lower emissions without compromising power, have placed ever-higher demands on filtration.
Filters have to be smaller, lighter and often combined with a cooling system inside the filter modules. There are also higher expectations for dust-holding capacity, water separation and eliminating diesel impurities.
These are all requirements we can achieve, thanks partly to the contribution made by our motorsports links. We gain a unique perspective on filter innovation, and that sets the UFI Filters brand – and indeed our customers – apart.
How racing filters differ from road car filters
Racing filters are similar in concept to those used in road cars – but their materials, assembly processes and detail of manufacture are at an even higher level. These extraordinarily high design and production standards are necessary to guarantee consistently reliable results and ensure effective analysis after each race.
The extreme heat, vibration, dust and pressure of race engines really push filters to their limits. Analysing how products perform in this demanding and confined environment helps to develop advanced new products, features and materials that also excel on the road.