Racecar Engineering May 2020

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

4 min
consolidation time?

Endurance racing has had its ups and downs in the last couple of decades, much as most of racing, but the highs and lows span a bigger range of dates. Consider the fact that Le Mans is more dependent on factory campaigns than F1, for example, and we have gone from 1999’s five manufacturers to today’s one. Endurance racing is close to my heart and the announcement that IMSA and the ACO will have a common platform was promising (it’s something I have been promoting for years), much like the convergence of Japanese Super GT and DTM. It makes sense to have similar rules and equipment in the name of reduced costs and wider global coverage. Niche championships are fine for regional sport and school series, but they do not make commercial…

4 min
going viral

Having been relieved in recent months to no longer hear Brexit mentioned every time the TV or radio is switched on, we now have Coronavirus instead. I suspect if it had been described as a flu epidemic instead of COVID-19, fewer headlines would have ensued, but clearly it has become highly concerning and, to certain vulnerable people at least, potentially fatal. I’m writing this to meet publication deadline just before the Australian GP was due to commence. Instead, it has been cancelled. Immediately, a great deal of criticism has been doing the journalistic rounds, backed up by some drivers and others, about the race not having been called off before the teams departed their various HQs. Easy to complain if you are not one of those in the hot seat being forced…

13 min
optimal burn

What we aspire to do is put those [fuel] droplets in exactly the right place within the combustion chamber Since Formula 1 entered its V6 turbo-hybrid era in 2014, the series’ internal combustion engines have been improving on thermal efficiencies of around 40 per cent at the start of the rules cycle, with the latest now exceeding 50 per cent. Add in the contribution of the hybrid system, and the overall efficiency of modern F1 power units is now at an extraordinary 55 per cent, whilst power output has also increased over the last eight years, now crossing the 1,000bhp barrier. Why has this engineering achievement not been better promoted by teams or F1, particularly in today’s environmentally-aware arena? ‘One of the tragedies of the current formula is that when we went…

12 min
target 800

Since I last saw Bloodhound in 2017, accelerating up to 200mph on the runway at Newquay airport, much has changed. The most obvious difference is that Bloodhound has transformed from a blue and orange, rocket and turbojet-powered Land Speed Record (LSR) contender into a white and red one. This new livery symbolises the change in ownership that came about after Bloodhound Programme Ltd entered administration in 2018, and a Yorkshire entrepreneur, Ian Warhurst, stepped in and purchased the project. Now named Bloodhound LSR, and managed by Grafton LSR, the project is based at SGS Berkeley Green University Technical College on the Gloucester Science and Technology Park. The site is right on the Severn Estuary and includes Cavendish Nuclear Laboratories Ltd, Magnavox Ltd, and Green Fuels Ltd – a company developing processes…

12 min
one size fits all

When the FIA and Liberty Media were concocting plans for the 2021 Formula 1 rules revamp, there was a drive towards standardisation of components that it was felt didn’t add to ‘the show’. One of the big-ticket items on the standard parts wish list was the transmission, the theory being that teams invest large amounts in their developmentfor marginal performance gains. Ultimately, after resistance from teams across the paddock, spec transmissions were dropped from the new rules package, but not before a request for tender was submitted and work undertaken by potential suppliers. One such company was UK-based Ricardo, which explained to Racecar Engineering what it would have taken to supply the grid with a cutting-edge transmission that met the varied demands of every team. The FIA tender did not include a…

11 min
shift change

Its influence on Formula 1, and motorsport in general, has been profound Despite the fact that Ferrari has failed to provide much in terms of groundbreaking technical innovation, it would not be correct to say that the team has not been hugely successful. With 16 Constructors’ and 15 Drivers’World Championships, along with 238 Grand Prix victories, Ferrari is the sport’s most successful team by quite a margin. Perhaps because gradual improvement of existing designs was the leading philosophy at Ferrari. One of the main reasons for this was that only very few of the company’s engineers were willing to risk failure, and with it the ire of Enzo Ferrari himself, let alone the entire population of Italy. In a country where church bells ring when Ferrari win a race, taking risks with…