Racecar Engineering December 2018

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
12 Issues

in this issue

5 min
the inconvenient truth

Post truth society, which is the current paradigm, both in the United States and the UK, and is rapidly gaining ground around the world, is actually nothing new in motor racing, where both the racing teams and the drivers not so much indulge in it as wallow in it. Teams do it when they sell a seat to the driver or the livery to a sponsor. Promises of hitherto unheard of performance from the racecar and team is the stock in trade of these dream sellers. For, let’s face it, it is not easy to prise multiples of million dollars, euros or pounds from anybody by just giving them the facts. Drawing offices also extrapolate the simulations and wind tunnel analysis to Himalayan levels. All this is well understood in the business,…

5 min
a game of charade

There can be very few places as quiet and inactive as a village in central France on an early-autumn Sunday mid-afternoon. Taking my time quaffing a beer, sitting outside the only bar open in Saint-Remy-sur-Durolle, there wasn’t even any interest to be piqued in the occasional vehicle that ran gently through the centre. Not so many years ago, there would have been a distinctly national identity to them – the inevitable Citroen 2CV and elegant DS ‘Dix-Neuf’, rugged Peugeots and the ubiquitous Renault R5. If one was lucky, maybe a farmer had defiantly clung to a Traction-Avant Citroen, or there was the local boy-racer’s raucous old Renault-Gordini. Now, of course, it’s almost all Euro-boxes, barely distinguishable one from another. Had there been anyone around, my 911 ‘Whaletail’ might have created a…

16 min
clash of cultures

‘There is a basic and fundamental difference between the business and operational models of Super GT and DTM’ In retrospect, Super GT’s 2017 season finale at Twin Ring Motegi pointed to a bright year ahead in 2018 for the Japanese series. The Nismo run Motul Autech Nissan GT-R dominated the GT500 category, with a lap record in qualifying, fastest lap and the race win. This was the first time that year that Lexus had looked truly beaten. The LC500 had dominated thus far, but the Motegi race proved that the others had closed the gap. ‘When we built the LC500 our target was very clear, build the best car and we did that,’ says Yoji Nagai, general manager, TRD Motor Sports Development. ‘Some of the advantages we got with it we kept…

1 min
mother of invention

Super GT’s secondary category often gets overlooked despite the fact that it is far more popular in terms of the amount of racecars competing. Its regulations allow for three different types of car, FIA GT3, JAF GT300 and Mother Chassis. The latter uses a single make composite monocoque from Dome along with an off-the-shelf kit of parts allowing private teams to develop a front- or mid-engined car around them. At its heart is an unbranded 4.5-litre V8 engine. However, the supply of this engine has dried up and the series is now looking for a supplier of a new low cost, lightweight engine capable of producing around 450bhp. Meanwhile, in JAF GT300 a rule change has been introduced which forces all cars to run their engines in the same location as…

10 min
suspension bridge

When the regulations for the new LMP1 hybrid category were released for 2014 the rules around the suspension system were extremely open. Adjustments forbidden from inside the cockpit included springs, shocks and anti-roll bars, an anti-intrusion bar had to be fitted at the base of the front suspension wishbones if these were potentially dangerous to a driver’s legs, and there were some loose regulations surrounding materials and basic design parameters. Active suspension was banned elsewhere in the regulations, but otherwise the key word when it came to the suspension was ‘free’. That left the manufacturer teams with plenty of options; including FRIC, which was later banned in F1. Balance of power Porsche had separated the heave and roll function from each other in the 919’s suspension, allowing more adjustability into the system The…

3 min
porsche 919 hybrid evo

For the 2015 season Porsche introduced a new battery that was smaller and lighter than the previous incarnation, and was able to store enough energy that the team was able to move into the 8MJ hybrid system. Cooling was improved and the power was eventually limited by the FIA to 300kW per release in a bid to keep hybrid power boost under some kind of control. The seriously impressive part of the Evo is the power from the 2-litre V4 turbocharged engine, which is boosted from 517bhp to 720bhp The ‘Evo’ was a chance to show what could be produced by the last version of the power unit without redesign. While the aero was developed, the powertrain simply had the constraints of the regulations removed from it. That turned the car into…