Cars & Motorcycles
Racecar Engineering

Racecar Engineering September 2017

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.

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12 Issues

in this issue

5 min.
who let the cogs out?

The industrial revolution saw an explosion in the use of metal gearing The engineer’s quiver of systems and structures borrows heavily from nature. After all it surrounds us, and any inquisitive mind will take lessons and ponder about it. The way a tree grows is driven by nature’s strict adherence to the laws of thermodynamics, with the added goad of utilising the minimum amount of inputs required to produce the results. This includes the raw materials, the chemical reason how chlorophyll cycle extracts the energy from sunlight to produce wood, which brings us to structures and the earliest known plants to have grown wood, approximately 395 to 400 million years ago. Natural selection produced therefore a final iteration, which seems to work pretty well. So we can say engineering can use the careful…

5 min.
the sting in the fail

It should not have been beyond the imagination of the Toyota design team to envisage a situation such as an engine restart after an incident on track Designing for failure, rather than designing purely for success, may seem an odd approach, but to my mind not doing this was the cause of Toyota’s challenge disappointingly falling apart before even half-distance at this year’s Le Mans, despite it having taken – at last – the strategic decision to enter three instead of two cars. The move to three cars was expensive, but still it fitted to the old adage at Le Mans; one to crash, one to break down, one to win. In such an extreme high-speed endurance event, the car and powertrain design team must imagine that not everything will go to…

15 min.

‘Everyone wants to be closer to Mercedes and Ferrari, but I would like to be a bit closer to Red Bull’ Scuderia Toro Rosso was founded in late 2005 after Red Bull acquired the tiny cash-strapped Minardi Formula 1 team from Paul Stoddart. The primary aim of the re-named outfit from that point on was to develop young drivers for the main Red Bull Racing team and, as such, from its foundation until the 2010 season the team relied on modified Red Bull Racing chassis. However, in 2010 the practice of using customer chassis was banned and the team had to develop its own designs from scratch. Yet despite the focus of the team remaining on driver development, it has since then gained a reputation for creating innovative designs over the last…

13 min.
new blood old heart

‘The best thing about the C36 is that any adjustment you make, it reacts’ This year represents Sauber’s 25th season in Formula 1. It’s quite a landmark; indeed, only three names on the grid have a longer continuous history: Williams, McLaren and Ferrari. It is a remarkable feat for a small team from a nation where motor racing is banned. But preparation for its 25th Formula 1 season was not straightforward for the Swiss outfit. Throughout 2015 and 2016 it struggled financially, and found it difficult to retain technical staff. But the arrival of new owners and, interestingly, the withdrawal of Audi from the World Endurance Championship, has given the team an opportunity for a resurgence. A few days after it was announced that Audi would not race its R18 LMP1 during 2017…

1 min.
swiss roll

The C36 features a distinctive roll over structure, featuring a singular perpendicular blade of the type used by Force India, Caterham and Mercedes some years back. Ducts feeding air to coolers in the centre of the car, and the V6 air for combustion, are located either side of the structure. ‘There was a significant weight saving by doing it that way,’ Zander says. ‘I’m not sure we will use it next year, however. It does have some impact on the airflow into the apertures up there when the car is in yaw. It’s not too big an impact on the engine but it does effect the cooling efficiency. That is just another compromise to deal with. ‘A more circular entry does make it easier to control the attacking flow rates, so we…

10 min.
brute force

The death of Australian automotive manufacturing and its home-grown Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore has presented major challenges for organisers of the Supercars Championship. It is evolving to welcome V6 turbo engines and, possibly, two-door body shapes as well. But while that marks a significant technical challenge for the category and an adjustment for a fan base brought up with its beloved V8 sedans, the evolution doesn’t stop there. One of Supercars’ key support acts is the V8 Utes Racing Series which, running since 2001, played on the Ford vs Holden rivalry by featuring production Falcon and Commodore-based utes. While iconic in Australia, the car-based utes (‘ute’ is short for utility and is the Australian term for a pickup) have been overrun across the last decade in the road car market…