The sports physiotherapist and racing driver Annett Fischer uses the cosinuss° One to improve the safety of the drivers in cross-county rally sport. The racing drivers have to perform at their highest level and keep a cool head during the races. In the future, the sensor can help them to achieve this.

Endless distances, endless deserts, endless heat. Cross-country rallies, such as the Dakar Rally, are among the toughest and most strenuous motorsport races of our time. The physical strain to which the drivers are exposed is extreme. They drive up to twelve hours a day in a row on changing, unpredictable terrain, mostly in burning desert heat. Different heights, unpredictable weather and the high speed make racing a real challenge for both man and machine, not only physically but also mentally. A certain basic fitness, endurance and high concentration despite mental strain and exhaustion are required.

Annett Fischer has taken up this challenge. Fischer is an independent sports physiotherapist of ther german olympic federation and Head of Medical Department of the X-raid MINI team, which is one of the most successful rally teams in the world with 4 Dakar victories, several World Cup victories and rally legends such as Stéphane Peterhansel, Carlos Sainz and many other top drivers. But Fischer does not only know the rally scene from the supporters’ side. For 10 years now she has also been sitting behind the wheel in a side-by-side rally car. This year, together with her co-driver Andrea Peterhansel, she started as the first German women’s team ever in history at the Dakar Rally in Peru and was able to finish the race (her racing career) at the first rank in the ladies category and an outstanding 14th position in SxS Over all.

The idea for the study hit me in the middle of the endless dunes of Peru,‘ says Fischer. ‚Being able to be concentrate for such a long time is probably one of the most important skills that a rally driver must have, but it’s pretty hard to do that in a racing car when it’ s burning hot (and) with temperatures of up to 60°C‘.

Accidents caused by inattention are therefore almost inevitable.

‚For the study it is a huge advantage that I know which challenges and problems rally drivers are facing in the race ( and which they experience‘.)

For Fischer’s research work, cosinuss° One sensors are used to analyze the advantages of a helmet cooling system for cross-country rally sports. As part of her master thesis on the MSc. Sports Physiotherapy at the University of Salzburg, she is investigating measures to minimize accidents during cross-country rallies by maintaining the ability to concentrate (“Accident prevention in Cross-Country Rally Sport by helmet air cooling system”) and to make a contribution to safety in motor sports.

‚The thermoregulation of the body is still a little considered topic in sports, although there is so much performance potential here! In motor sports there are hundreds of sensors on the car, but what happens to the drivers and co-drivers during the race has so far only been evaluated very poorly! The cosinuss° One offers a great possibility to record the body temperature during the race!‘

In the run-up to her study, Fischer used the cosinuss° One in a first test with the pilots of the X-RAID MINI team, “Mr. Dakar” Stéphane Peterhansel (13-time Dakar Rally winner) and his co-driver and wife Andrea Peterhansel.

Then the cosinuss° One was used during the Kazakhstan Rally. Over the course of the race, Annett Fischer equipped the world leaders of the side-by-side category Reinaldo Varela and his co-driver Gustavo Gugelmin from Brazil with cosinuss° One sensors to continuously record their body temperature.

As the cosinuss° One is easy to use and offers a good possibility to continuously measure the body temperatures of the drivers during the race, Fischer is already convinced after the first case study that the sensor has great potential for cross-country rallying.

‚The sensor is small and handy and the helmet protects the sensor well from the influence of the ambient temperature and wind. Therefore, you get very informative data and the easy-to-use software makes the evaluation really simple‘.

It’s a hell of a feat that’s demanded of the racers. The mental and physical preparation of the drivers, as well as the sensory monitoring of the car play a decisive role to ensure a successful race. However, precise monitoring of vital parameters is just as important for the driver’s safety and the success of the entire team. In case of overexertion or overheating, the maximum performance cannot be called up. Overstepping the personal performance limit can have fatal consequences. The cosinuss° One offers the ideal possibility for continuous temperature monitoring of the racing drivers and we are pleased to be able to contribute to safety in motor sports through our cooperation with Annett Fischer!

Autor*in / Author

  • Gerrit Schweiger

    B.A. Kommunikationsdesigner und UX/UI Designer mit Schwerpunkt auf Digitalisierung im Gesundheitswesen. // B.A. Communication Designer and UX/UI Designer with a focus on digitalization in healthcare.