Racecar Engineering

Racecar Engineering June 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

13 min.

‘The unit scores each network’s performance… and ranks them allowing each packet of data to be sent via the best network available at that moment’ Nathan Sanders, technical director and founder at Control Ltd Racecar telemetry and data transmitting systems have come a long way since the days of huge data logging boxes mounted inside the cockpit collecting analogue sensor input data at low resolution. The information back then was crude and challenging for engineers to decipher after the car came back to the pit lane. Data logging technology’s evolution saw it move to digital sensors and smaller data storage boxes uploaded to static computers in the pit lane when the car came back to the garage. Then came radiotelemetry, which could transfer data from the car wirelessly to the pit lane. This…

10 min.
’cage fighters

Fifty years have passed since the FIA mandated the installation of the ‘Safety Cage’ in closed-cockpit racecars, as set out in Appendix J to the International Sporting Code of 1971. Since then, the regulations have evolved from a simple set of guidelines to a strict list of rules governing design, manufacture, installation and testing of the structures. In 2004, the FIA introduced Technical List no. 35 (TL35), a list of testing houses permitted to test ’cage structures that do not abide completely to the regulations, but could still be accepted thanks to the homologation process. In this anniversary year, we take a close look at the safety cage homologation procedure, and compare the performance of some typical design alternatives. Article 253 of Appendix J (J253) has, for decades, been the reference regulation for…

2 min.
the making of a carbon disc

Fabric manufacture The discs start life as standard PAN (Polyacrylonitrile) carbon fibres. Before use, the fibres are oxidised, which involves heating them under tension to align the molecular structure in such a way to maximise their strength. The fibres are then chopped and mixed up to create a felt-like layer, which is spun onto rolls for later use. Carbonisation To further refine the PAN felt, the material is placed in a furnace at over 1000degC. This carbonisation process liberates any contaminants. Anything non-organic (not carbon) evaporates. This process takes place in an oxygen-free gas, often nitrogen, to ensure the PAN is not combusted. Pre-forming The fabric is then cut into disc shapes resembling the final product and stacked in layers to reach the desired thickness. Weight is measured at every stage to ensure the correct density. Once…

1 min.
gck lead dakar development programme

French company, Green Corp Konnection (GCK), has joined forces with FEV, a leading global engineering supplier, to design, develop and integrate its own high-performance fuel cell. The hydrogen-based fuel system will be showcased in motorsport on the Dakar Rally in 2023, before being deployed across other industrial areas. Fuel cell system development is a key component to GCK Motorsport’s breakthrough project, that was itself launched during the Dakar Rally last January. Led by Guerlein Chicherit and now supported by FEV, GCK motorsport will become the first team to present a hydrogen-powered cross-country vehicle at Dakar 2022 before competing in the race in 2023. Other alternative fuel vehicles will also be presented as motorsport continues to seek sustainable mobility. ‘We are delighted to have a leading partner in FEV to join us on this…

3 min.
in brief

Porsche and its partner, ExxonMobil, will test advanced biofuels and renewable, lower-carbon eFuels as part of a new agreement to find pathways towards potential future customer adoption. The first iteration of the fuels have already indicated their potential to significantly reduce greenhouse emissions. The liquid fuel and products will be tested in the 2021 and 2022 Supercup series. The company says it remains committed to electrification of its fleet, but the development of eFuels will extend the life of the internal combustion engine. RallyX Nordic will debut a new, sustainably produced, high-performing biofuel produced by P1 Racing Fuels this season as the championship aims to lead the way in going 100 per cent fossil free by 2022. Tech-focused investment bank, ICON Corporate Finance, has advised UK-based Retrac Group to enable its employees to…

5 min.
fuel for thought

I write this sat on an aeroplane to Charlotte. In my cabin there are three other people, 10 in Economy, none in Business and maybe some in First Class. Mid-pandemic, there is now a daily flight from London to Charlotte and, instead of the usual nine hours, the reduced payload means it’s done in seven and a half hours. That’s not progress. The ’plane still burns one of earth’s most precious resources, albeit a bit less when it’s not full, and still owns an impressively large carbon footprint. Now before anyone thinks, and then says it, I care deeply about my impact, and that of the motorsport industry, on the environment for a variety of reasons. Yes, I am aware I work in an industry that also burns a precious and…