Racecar Engineering April 2021

Racecar Engineering is the world’s leading technology publication for the motorsport industry. From aerodynamics to engines and from handling theory to manufacturing practice, Racecar Engineering is read by motorsport’s top professionals. Only Racecar Engineering brings this insight every month.

United Kingdom
Chelsea Magazine
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12 Issues

in this issue

5 min
background work

I’ve just finished writing up a race summary for this year’s Daytona 24-hour race and while I was disappointed we didn’t win, that has somewhat subsided since analysing how Multimatic got the Mazda to the race finish. Finishing any 24-hour race on the lead lap is an achievement, and sometimes the background work to get there is never heard about. So, here is an insight into our 24-hour race and preparation. In November 2020, we had just finished the Sebring 12 hours and it was a bittersweet result. The no.55 car won, but the race was the no.77’s until a puncture with 14 laps to go. We also knew that some in the team would not be returning for 2021 as Mazda had announced the team was reducing to run a…

4 min
don’t forget the hyper

As far as I am aware, the word ‘hyper’ was first used in the 1940s. The definition of the word relates mainly to human behaviour – mentally sensitive, over active, highly agitated etc. Quite how it became used to indicate speed probably dates from when aircraft and missiles began to explore the realms of Mach numbers way beyond supersonic, heading to Mach 5+. Thus hypersonic. Since then, hyper has come into popular terminology to describe something extreme. In the automotive world, it specifically infers ultra-high performance, hence Hypercar. Now adopted by the ACO to replace the longstanding LMP1 as the premier class of the WEC, and therefore for the 24hrs of Le Mans, Hypercar is an emotive promotional tag to use in attracting fans and manufacturers, as already seems to be…

13 min
2021 vision

You could be mistaken in thinking the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship will be very similar to 2020, with teams carrying over much of their cars’ design for another year – a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic pushing the new era of F1 to 2022. However, the final 2021 regulations, published by the FIA in late 2020, feature several detailed revisions. These changes were initially penned as calming measures in response to the ever-increasing downforce the cars deliver, which some feared would push the Pirelli tyres beyond safe limits. Additionally, the cars’ overall pace is thought to have outgrown some tracks, certainly those that have remained unchanged as pace has steadily increased over the years. The FIA and Formula 1 management hope the changes will force a 10 per cent reduction in overall…

13 min
on a knife edge

America’s Cup is a team sport. It’s a technical team sport. And so there’s a lot of overlapToto Wolff, team principal at Mercedes F1 There is a general misconception that America’s Cup yacht racing is Formula 1 on the water. Yes, the level of technology, speed of manufacture, speed of change and the totally committed ‘teamwork’ ethic are all very similar, but the America’s Cup is continually pushing the envelope and evolving into the best version of itself. F1, on the other hand, is constrained to have similar vehicles with four wheels in contact with the ground the whole time, hopefully. Now, imagine those same cars with three asymmetric wheels being driven by rockets and you come a little closer to the foiling AC75 America’s Cup concept. Four years ago, right-minded people…

12 min
longer ran ge missile

UK-based Radical Sportscars was one of the pioneers of the track day special market when it launched its 1100 Clubsport in 1997. Now, following some recent forays into road cars, and a management change in 2017, the company continues to go from strength to strength. Its best-selling car, the SR3, has shipped over 1300 units and the various one-make series running its cars are flourishing across the globe. Where we are seeing the market moving is a longer range car, with increased durability and ease of useJames Scott, technical development manager at Radical Sportscars According to James Scott, technical development manager at the company, even through the ongoing pandemic Radical has been seeing a boom in demand for its products, and the order books are currently full, including requests for its latest…

16 min
pressure tests

Testing began with the car and crew at the All American Racers (AAR) factory in Santa Ana, California. Things were coming together quite late, many problems hadn’t found their solution and many more complexities of working within the LMP-H class were only just starting to become apparent. Early on in budget negotiations in 2013, Nissan had insisted on three cars at Le Mans. This was to later stress our operation to the max. The car’s designer, Ben Bowlby, was in Europe and flew from the FIA in Paris to Cosworth in Northampton, UK in late September 2014. From there he drove to Flybrid in Silverstone and then flew back to AAR in California carrying a new transmission case, cast with rapid prototyped tooling in the USA. Then it was back to…