Racecar Engineering

Racecar Engineering July 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

1 min.
hyper confusion

A quick guide to the different categories referred to in this article, and how they stack up against one another. Hypercar The overall category designed by the FIA and ACO to replace the old LMP1 class. Le Mans Hypercar (LMH) Cars that can compete in the Hypercar category. Ground-up design, with manufacturer involvement in all aspects of the development. Maximum power output: 520kW (500kW at Le Mans) from combination of ICE and hybrid. Weight: 1040kg (Toyota); 1030kg (Glickenhaus). Tyres from Michelin. LMDh To be introduced in 2023. Can compete in the Hypercar category in WEC, but main focus is IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship. Base chassis is LMP2 (as described below), OEMs provide engine and aero kit. Spec, low-power hybrid for the rear axle only (from Bosch, Williams). Weight: 1030kg. Power output: 500kW. Tyres from Michelin. Alpine LMP1 car…

14 min.
storm in a teacup

The introduction of the Hypercar formula to the FIA World Endurance Championship was always predicted to be challenging and, at the opening round of the 2021 season at Spa Francorchamps early in May, so it proved. The new cars are considerably slower than the old LMP1s by design, with cost at the heart of the regulations designed to encourage competition, and this has led to a compromise for every one of the classes in its portfolio. The new cars are considerably slower than the old LMP1s by design, with cost at the heart of the regulations designed to encourage competition Slow burn By introducing a slower top class, LMP2 for amateur drivers has had to be performance balanced to slow it down. GTE has remained largely untouched, but is now so close to the…

14 min.
mad 4 it

BMW has launched the M4 GT3, a car the Bavarian manufacturer hopes will win major endurance races in customer hands. The all-new challenger is the first to be built under a new rules package created by the FIA to allow for greater freedom of design. However, as the new regulations require BMW to sell 20 of the cars in the first two years in order to retain its homologation, it has been circumspect with the design. The car replaces the outgoing M6 that was introduced in 2016 and which won the Spa 24 Hours in its first season, and again in 2018. That car had shortcomings, particularly in terms of tyre wear, and it is this feature BMW’s development team has worked particularly hard on in order to prepare the M4…

15 min.
layer cake

Carbon fibre composites have been a part of the racecar constructor’s armoury for four decades now, yet still the material retains an air of the exotic. This is likely because its time-consuming manufacturing processes means it hasn’t gained widespread adoption in production car applications. This has the potential to change with the arrival of more cost-effective construction methods, but for now, carbon fibre remains the material most associated with racing. Despite its ubiquity, it is inaccurate to think that carbon (strictly speaking, Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic, CFRP) is the only composite used in racing. A composite is simply a combination of two dissimilar materials combined to create something with physical properties different to those of the constituent parts. In the case of CFRP, carbon fibres are encased within a resin matrix,…

15 min.
two steps beyond

The FIA has continued its path to reduce competition in the face of cost control measures and in the FIA WEC awarded Michelin the Hypercar tyre deal, while Goodyear was granted the LMP2 sole supplier contract. Naturally, both manufacturers have been tasked with providing tyres that fit the FIA’s performance targets and while Michelin has a parameter for Hypercar that is all new, Goodyear has been given the job of coming out of open competition and running tyres significantly slower than in 2020. The criteria was laid out in the tender and both companies submitted bids, but the manufacturers on which the FIA increasingly relies insisted Michelin be awarded Hypercar, while Goodyear provides tyres for the customer racing LMP2 class. ‘You don’t get a one size fits all anywhere, but especially in…

14 min.
the art of noise (reduction)

As a nano-scale transducer, the graphene-based coating is more sensitive, accurate and robust than contemporary piezo units A Formula 1 car is an exceptionally harsh and ‘noisy’ place for a sensor, with many sources of vibration and electromagnetic interference (EMI) present, all of which have the potential to skew sensor readings and make life difficult for efficient performance. EMI is the interference caused by one electrical or electronic device to another by the electromagnetic fields generated during its operation. One of the biggest challenges faced in Formula 1 since introducing hybrid powertrains in 2014 has been protecting devices from the EMI produced by the high-voltage electrical circuits related to the energy recovery system (ERS) and, in particular, the motor-generator units (MGUs). Even just packaging what is essentially very complex machinery that relies on sensitive…