Racecar Engineering

Racecar Engineering May 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.

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12 Números

en este número

14 min.
the critical speed

What makes the Indy 500 unique in the racing environment is speed. The best-qualified car in 2020 reached an average lap speed of more than 230mph. Clearly, the honour of being the fastest race in the world comes with the burden of many additional and bigger safety issues. The cars are always at the limit of every component’s design range, while the drivers see everything happening at twice the average speed of a normal track. Moreover, doubling the speed increases kinetic energy by four times, so any impact with the barriers, or with flying debris, may potentially be a much more dangerous one. From the aero side as well, such a condition brings further safety concerns. When travelling at 230mph, the car is subject to almost 3000lb of aerodynamic load, almost twice…

13 min.
claw back

The broad consensus… was that floor and associated aerodynamic changes amounted to a loss of a second per lap at the Bahrain circuit. Tyre loss was estimated at 0.3 seconds per lap, meaning teams faced a deficit of 1.3 seconds. Some put it at 1.5 seconds Formula 1’s pre-season testing conundrum – how best to recover approximately 1.5 seconds lost due to aerodynamic restrictions and tyre sidewall construction changes – has its roots in decisions taken by the sport’s collective executive exactly a year apart, in June 2019 and June 2020. The earlier decision, an agreement by simple majority to carry over that year’s tyres into what would have been Formula 1’s final season under the prevailing formula, in turn had a knock-on effect after the sport elected to roll over the…

13 min.
viva the revolution

Motorsport has a reputation for innovation across its ranks, from karting through to Formula 1, and everything in between. The competitive nature of the sport forces high-speed development, quite unlike any other industry, and the engineering solutions that arise see some of the most advanced and technically sound solutions to vehicle performance and safety that might otherwise never be explored. Revolution Racecars is the perfect example of just such an engineering-based revolution, as Phil Abbott and his partner companies aim to create a successor to one of the motorsport world’s most popular Sportscars, the Radical SR3. In the late 1970s, through to the mid-’80s, Abbott worked as a welder for Spyder Engineering, a company manufacturing replacement chassis for Lotus cars. In that time, the business made some 2500 spaceframe chassis, and so their…

7 min.
long in the tooth?

Q l wonder if you’d like to comment on leading and trailing arms on Citroëns, Volkswagens, old Fords and others? When a leading or trailing arm that slopes down toward the rear hits a bump, the rearward component of the force exerted on the arm tends to pull the chassis down, cancelling some or all of the upward force. So big Citroëns, with their long arms, have an awesome ride, and Beetles are great on rough roads. A friend had a ’48 Lincoln V12 coupe that had a great ride and cornered pretty flat without big anti-roll bars because of its high front and rear roll centres, and it just hit me, 70 years later, that that old, despised Ford suspension had long leading and trailing arms slanting down toward the…

6 min.
back in the saddle

‘We want to design and build a car down to the last component’Antonello Coletta, head of Ferrari Attivita Sportive GT Ferrari has confirmed it will return to Le Mans for the first time since 1973 with a full factory team, aiming to add to its total of nine overall wins at the French endurance classic. It was in 1965 that the marque last won at Le Mans, Masten Gregory and Jochen Rindt taking the chequered flag in their Ferrari 275LM, and it is half a century since the 312PB was entered by the factory. The scene is set for an unforgettable period in endurance racing historyFrederic Lequien, CEO of the FIA WEC Since then, Ferrari has remained in endurance racing competition, more recently with the Dallara-built Ferrari 333SP, which was also in contention for…

11 min.
glick bait

The 007C has already shown promising form, beating the Vallelunga outright track record Jim Glickenhaus has taken the next step in his commitment to endurance racing and signed up to take a Hypercar to this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours, and compete in rounds of the FIA World Endurance Championship. His 007C, a ground-up design that features a twin turbo V8 engine from Pipo Moteurs and a chassis from Podium Advanced Technologies, has completed its first track running and passed its crash tests in advance of the start of the FIA WEC. However, the car is not yet finally homologated as, with the Covid pandemic continuing to cause havoc in Europe and to European racing schedules, and with a five-year fixed homologation by regulation in the WEC, the American is in no hurry…