Xtrac, a UK-based engineering design and manufacturing company, which specializes in vehicle transmission and driveline technology, has received the “Most Innovative New Motorsport Product of the Year Award” for its pioneering work developing a state-of-the-art gearbox for race teams competing in the World Touring Car Championship and other touring car championships.

The unique capabilities of Xtrac were singled out by an international panel of high level motorsport engineers, who selected its innovative ‘516’ transmission system from a total of 23 worldwide entries nominated for the awards, which included new products from among the world’s leading high technology suppliers to the automotive and motorsport industries.

“The judging panel felt that Xtrac had clearly achieved its design objective of delivering a reliable, lightweight and cost-effective high performance gearbox for touring car racing,” commented William Kimberley editor of Bernoulli and Race Tech magazines, which organized the annual awards dinner held at Rhodes House in Oxford on Thursday evening.

Xtrac’s longstanding expertise with Formula One transmissions helped to minimize the winning gearbox’s mass, size and inertia. Particular attention was made to improve gear-change response and feel, and differential performance.

The company has also been working to design and manufacture a continuously variable transmission (CVT) for a mechanical flywheel-based kinetic energy recovery system (KERS), which is permitted under new Formula One regulations for 2009. The system is rapidly gaining a lot of attention from automotive engineers interested in applying the technology to road cars because of its potential to significantly reduce vehicle CO2 emissions.