Cars & Motorcycles
Racecar Engineering

Racecar Engineering December 2016

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
Read More
SPECIAL: Get 40% OFF with code: DIGITAL40
12 Issues

in this issue

5 min.
beetle mania

Its appearance at the test caused a lot of mirth in opposing teams I have always been fascinated by extreme racing cars, probably a sign of that inner six-year-old. Not for me the humdrum, run-of-the-mill spec racer, and probably the spectators think likewise, if we look at what captures their imagination. Let us wind the time machine back to 1970. Emerson Fittipaldi had just captured the British Formula 3 championship and was back in Brazil. Meanwhile, at the Fitti team an Alfa Romeo 2-litre 4-cylinder engined sports-prototype was being built, with the intention of it being ready for the 1000km race in Rio at the end of the year. So far, so good, until the castings didn’t arrive in time and, worst of all, due to the opening of import restrictions, suddenly the…

5 min.
aims and aspiration

In sacrificing power unit performance for chassis improvement it seems to me that Sauber has just swapped one aspect of performance-limitation for another When assessing the next-year potential of the fourth oldest team in F1 versus the youngest entrants, I was very surprised to learn that Sauber F1 will be retaining 2016 Ferrari power units in 2017, despite having picked up ‘substantial backing’ via new owners Longbow Finance SA. On top of announcing that the team will rely on paying drivers for next season, one has to question the validity of the business model to which Sauber/Longbow is working. There is nothing here to suggest that the team can expect to be a regular points-scorer come next season, unless several other teams get their 2017 racecar design sums badly wrong. Clearly the…

15 min.
learning curves

In reality it is a story of learning from failure, of engineering challenges, and of a major fight back These were the words of one well known commentator over a drink during the 2015 Italian GP: ‘I don’t know why they just don’t give up on F1. The programme is a mess and there is no way that thing will ever be competitive.’ He was talking about Honda’s return to Formula 1 and the unreliability of its power unit. Yet while Honda’s latest spell in F1 has been presented by many as a tale of complete catastrophe, the reality is quite different. In reality it is a story of learning from failure, of engineering challenges being met, and of a major fight back. In less than a season and a half, Honda…

18 min.
gripping yarns

The problem is, Pirelli does not really know what the requirements for the 2017 tyre really are In the closing stages of the 2016 Formula 1 World Championship a number of stories dominated the group press conferences held at the end of each day of a grand prix weekend. Among them were Lewis Hamilton’s use of social media, and the future ownership of the sport. But one issue overshadowed all of them, every conference was dominated by a single question: ‘Where will the 2017 pre-season tests be held?’ The press pack, of course, are especially interested in this issue; as they want to book the best rooms, in the best hotels, for the best price. But the real story was the reason for this uncertainty – the development of new tyres…

15 min.
flexing muscle

The new model had been developed in secret by TRD, with news of its impending appearance only emerging part way through the 2016 season The 2014 Fuji 6 Hour race was something of a turning point for the Super GT championship. Earlier in the year it had become clear that the new breed of GT500 car was much faster than the old, but when the World Endurance Championship arrived for its Japanese round the speed increase was put into context. The fastest GT500 car in qualifying would have found itself seventh on the grid had it been taking part in qualifying in the WEC, within a second of the Audi R18s and more than two seconds ahead of the two Rebellions. GT500 was quite clearly a match for LMP1. While this is…

8 min.
major league

Japan has the fastest national single seater championship in the world. Super Formula features cars which can lap Suzuka at speeds fast enough to qualify for the 2016 Japanese Grand Prix (well, within the 107 per cent time). Known until 2012 as Formula Nippon the series is organised and promoted by Tokyo-based company JRP. Earlier this year former Honda F1 project leader Hiroshi Shirai stepped down as president of JRP and handed over the reins to Akira Kurashita, a former baseball player. ‘I don’t really know why I was appointed to become the president of JRP’ Kurashita says. ‘I worked for Fuji Television’s sports division for more than 20 years, so several times I had to go to London and negotiate the broadcasting rights for F1 with Bernie Ecclestone. Those were…