Mulsanne's Corner

Petit Le Mans 2010

All news content copyright Michael J. Fuller, unless otherwise noted
Audi R15+, Petit Le Mans 201010.7.10

>>Moments before Thursday's LMP qualifying session the #7 Audi R15 plus was hastily run through tech inspection.  Why?  Well turns out the car had a nasty off in the morning session and that the car had to effectively be rebuilt, including having the tub replaced.  We're told it was the second tub replacing off of the week (first occurring over the week prior's open testing) and that the replacement tub that went into the car as it headed off to qualifying (and was subsequently raced) was the Le Mans winner.  Bob Jackson happened to be in the right place at the right time and was able to capture video of the last off.  It doesn't look like much, but when the splitter digs in we can imagine that's the tub cracking incident.

Check out the Facebook Petit Le Mans 2010 Technical Gallery and Race Week Gallery.

2011 Riley LMP2 concept>>Riley announce and unveil their latest LMP concept.

As Bill Riley puts it, "We could have not made an announcement and just sat at home."  This is one of those projects that takes momentum and why not create it yourself?  Bill Riley fully admits this car will be deposit driven; i.e., no deposits, no car.  With LMP2 going to a cost capped format (€325 000 or approximately $446,000) for 2011, all aero development will be done via CFD followed by full scale verification.  And the pressure is certainly on Riley, says Riley (Bob), "Customers expect our car to be fast out of the box."  Therefore the concept isn't nearly as far out of the box as they would have like to have gone, "we could have gone far out but that takes development."  And development takes time and money.  And with a cost capped formula you have to have to efficiently use your development funds in order to have something left in which to build the car with!

2011 Riley LMP2 conceptLooking at the car's design details, at the front the front end has been opened up in order to maximize the front splitter and allow for ample airflow to and from. The lower A-arm has been raised out of the airflow and the car has a narrow visual appearance as further testament to the efforts made to clean up and provide for air flowing into and out of the front end of the car.  The Riley will also utilize a "unique" front suspension arrangement.  While neither Riley would go into details, they did indicate it would use small "F1 style" Penske dampers.

The side pods are deeply waisted forward, further allowing a less obstructed path for air flow to exit the car.  This means the area ahead of the leading edge of the side pod and between the tub and the front fender is heavily louvered/shuttered, again, primarily for rules compliance.
2011 Riley LMP2 conceptThe rear wing is supported by a single post mount in the middle and two smaller aero tub sections outboard.  The aero sections are rules compliance items with the regulations stating that two mounts, no more than apart 1250 mm (625 mm from centerline) being the regulated minimum number of mounts and maximum spacing.  But on the Riley the wing endplates and the center posts will handle all the wing loading.  Interestingly, the center mount is located in the boundary layer of the regulated fin (big honking fin) which should minimize the drag associated with the wing mount.

Overall the car has a number of neat details.  It will be interesting to watch the project evolve and it's good to have the Rileys back involved in the American Le Mans Series.
>>Going through yesterday's notes:

>During Wednesday's afternoon test Peugeot was witnessed changing front diffuser strakes mid-session as a rapid means of presumably altering front balance.
>We understand that all the diesels, Peugeot included (!), are at or near the 930 kgs minimum.  In years past Peugeot has typically been many kilos over the minimum.
>Mazda's John Doonan tells us that Mazda Corp North America has recently purchase a 787 chassis from Mazda Corp Japan.  Says Doonan, "They were just going to get rid of it (sell it) so we purchased it."  This is a 787 chassis, not a 787B, and currently wears car number 56.  This would appear to make it 787 #002 from Le Mans 1991.  Doonan indicates that while it has been in warehouse storage for many years it is in extremely good shape.  Expect to see it at an event near you...better yet, let's start a FaceBook page imploring them to bring it to the Mitty 2011 (and the MXR-01)!
>Peugeot stuffed one of their 908s in practice last night.  Pretty significant front end damage says Martin Spetz.  Tub damage?  We don't know officially but that's whats being whispered.  Car 07 has clearly been repaired and went out this morning.
>State of the Series address is today.  This is the yearly snooze-fest where Atherton blabbers on about what he knows and can't say, etc.  But we'll be in attendance as we suspect this is where Riley will unveil their new LMP2 design concept.  We'll stress the concept part and not the design part, not being unkind to Riley in any way.  Ran into Bob and Bill Riley this morning and indeed they will be making their unveil.
>Lola's Julian Cope indicates the Drayson Lola LMP1's tub will be repaired at Elan Motorsports Technology and that they fully expect the car to be reassembled today/tonight and to start the race. is an online shop for performance parts & accessories, including headlights and tail lights

Peugeot 908, Petit Le Mans 20109.30.10

>>The 908's front splitter support has a thickened trailing edge per Article 3.5.4.  This has more than likely been on the car for some time though the first time I've seen it in person.
Pescarolo 01 LMP2, Petit Le Mans 2010>>Oak Racing's Pescarolo 01's front diffuser...
Pescarolo 01 LMP2, Petit Le Mans 2010>>...with the goofy strakes.


Lola B06/10, Petit Le Mans 2010>>Welcome to Mulsanne's Corner's (that always seems awkward to write) Petit Le Mans coverage.  Here are some shots from yesterday.  Rear fenders were on my mind.

Lola's slab sided rear fender in lieu of Art 3.4.1 c/ that says, rather inelegantly:

"Behind the rear wheels, all bodywork visible both from above and from the side must come down at least up to 200 mm above the reference surface."

Reworded, as viewed from above, the outboard fender line of the bodywork behind the rear wheels must extrude downward to a point 200 mm above the reference plane.

You can see the original bodywork surface set inboard.

Also notice the rear fender louvers.  Another 2010 rules compliance feature.
Lola B06/10, Petit Le Mans 2010Compare the Pescarolo to the Lola, quite a contrast.  One would think the Pescarolo was illegal give the undercut in the rear bodywork.
Audi R15+, Petit Le Mans 2010The Audi R15+'s outboard rear fender line is again a simple extrusion down to the legality "cheese wedge."  Where the line ends in the vertical axis is up to the manufacturer as long as it is continuous to a point at least 200 mm above the reference plane.  Another interpretation of the legality louvers.
Peugeot 908, Petit Le Mans 2010The Peugeot 908.  Again, note the horizontal outboard fender line.  Peugeot opted to simple close out the rear fender above the wheel centerline creating the semblance of a wing shape.
Audi R15+, Petit Le Mans 2010The Audi R15 and it's front wing vortex generators.  Now we have it on good authority that these have been placed on the underside of the front wing/diffuser in order to intentionally separate the trailing edge flow and redirect it away from the radiator ducts to reduce track debris pickup.  This is a controlled flow separation, though there's a fine line between creating the desired effect and totally rubbishing the diffuser's ability to generate efficient downforce.

Note the thick trailing edge per new-for-2010 Art 3.5.4.
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ęCopyright 2010, Michael J. Fuller