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day has finally arrived. Will this be a classic? I hate
that type of hyperbole, and frankly I think we'll know in the first 2-4
hours. But there's an interesting undercurrent. Consider,
Toyota's qualifying pace was slower than last year. Why?
The regulations changes from 2013 were minimal for Toyota. From recollection they
amounted to the addition of 15 kgs of weight. An
easily surmountable amount. Thus Toyota, in theory of
course, should arrive at LM 2013 with a more efficient and faster car
than last year given the usual year to year gains. But as for
qualifying they didn't. They qualified about 2 seconds slower
than last year. Their top speed is down too. Yes, top speed
isn't everything of course. So what to make of all this? It
will make an interesting book, say in 20 years time, one that describes
the amount of dickage that goes on in qualifying for this race,
assuming everyone is willing to come clean. Personally I feel
Toyota has held a bit back, knowing full well where they are relative
to Audi, and only concentrated on race pace.
quiet confidence over at Audi's camp too. Yes, it is pretty clear
Toyota will have an advantage in fuel economy. This was the trend
this season up until this race; Audi turning economy into power
(opposite of last year's strategy) and Toyota having slightly improved
their economy over last year. So the numbers people say to expect
possibly up to 12 lap stints for Toyota, 10 for Audi (though could they
turn it up to 11?). Thus Audi will have to run a quicker average
lap time in order to keep up with and stay ahead of the Toyota given
they have to make more stops. I've heard Audi will need to lap
between 1.5 & 2.0 seconds a lap quicker than Toyota. Seems
pretty easy given the apparent speed advantage that they have, using
qualifying as the bench mark. But then again, I don't think we
know where the leading edge of Toyota's ultimate pace actually is.
warm up showed a much closer field with the top guys all in the
3:26-3:27 range. Top speed was also a relatively symmetrical
320-322 km/h across Audi and Toyota, although the "ideal" lap timing
showed a slight edge to Audi, into the 3:25s for the top car. But
let's not make too much of warm up, its roughly 10 laps, after all, so
not enough data.
So like I said, 2-4 hours into this race and
the trend will emerge. Yes, leading up to this it looks like an
Audi white-wash given their dominance in qualifying. But I think
there's a subtext that needs acknowledgment, so keep that in mind in
those first 2 hours. After that and all bets are off of course!
Oh, and it looks like rain...
day of practice is down and a bit of idle time while waiting on RCE's
Sam Collins' report (computer problems I'm told). A lot of talk
surrounds the not exactly identical specification that the Toyotas are
running. Now, everything on the cars appears to be the same
between the #s 7 & 8 but
for the engine inlet. One inlet design is wider and shorter at
the inlet than the other (#7 is running the wide design, the #8 the
This was actually first noticed at the Test last
week, so it's further confusing why this carries through to the Race
weekend (you could make the supposition that they were using one last
track test to hammer that detail, even though there are plenty of
arguments against them doing even that). But it looks pretty clear that
they are deliberately running this small difference and that they
intend to race in that manner.
So, what's this small
difference related to? I initially considered single vs double
inlet restrictors, but the area difference is a mere 1.7 mm^2.
But without further information I'm unsure for the time being.
brief comparison of data from the first Qualifying session and last
year shows Toyota 2 seconds down on their qualifying time and roughly
10 km/h down in top speed (323 vs. 332 km/h). Toyota PR speaks to
working towards race setups. In the mean time the fastest Audi is
1.5 second quicker than their ultimate speed last year but about 6 km/h
down in top speed (325 vs 331 km/h). It should be telling that
the #12 Rebellion Lola split the two TS030s in Qualifying. It's
pretty evident that we haven't seen Toyota's ultimate speed yet.|
so I'll bite: BMW, why are you all hitting my site so hard? And
I've gone back as far as February (so far)...same behavior February,
March, April, May, June...540 MBs bandwidth so far for 2013. 1.05
Gigs in 2012.
TMG, let's talk about the1.1 Gigs of bandwidth you all have used so far this year. So when are you going to give something back in return? You're welcome, ;0).
>>I'll continue working my way through these images.
Rebellion's low-drag kit contains two pretty large vertical turning
vanes at the very leading edge of the outboard splitter (1).
These work to condition the airflow, presumably by mitigating the
size of the front fender wake.
The Rebellion Lola also
utilizes the nearly vertical leading edge fender shape which helps
reducing drag by reducing the stagnation pressure created ahead of the
fender by routing air around, rather that up against, the fender.
little strake in the splitter footplate, with a curved trailing edge.
Airflow management around the front tires is critical and devices
like the splitter feet help in that process. |
low drag kit. Again, a vertical endplate (1) for the splitter
footplate. The open top LMPs are inherently "draggier" than the
closed top cars, so naturally drag mitigation is even more important
for these cars. The ARX series has also featured a
secondary vertical element tucking in close to the very outboard face
of the front fender (2). It too helps manage that outboard wake.
See the LMP2 HPD execution below.|
fender shape on the LMP2 ARX-03b HPD is different (primarily because of
the homologation limitations within LMP2; only one extra aero kit
allowed and it's price capped), but the aero elements (1, 2) mirror
what's used on the ARX-03c. |
>>Teams have been setting up the past couple of days for tomorrows Test Day running and Race Car Engineering's Sam Collins
just hit me with a nearly 2GB photo bomb of photos taken across the
last 24 hours or so. Lots of good details, Sam's outdone himself
this time and I'll be adding images throughout the next couple of days.
nice shot of the front end of the Toyota TS030 reveals, well, not much,
but I want to point out the male "chocolate fingers" (1) that locate
into female receptacles on the splitter/diffuser assembly. Not
ground braking by far, but the devil is in the details. Also note
the somewhat swoopy bottom shape of the front diffuser (2). The
bodywork assembly below the front of the monocoque is non-structural
and is purely for aerodynamic functions (continuation of the forward
diffuser shape); in this area the bottom of the tub is not air-licked. Note the apparent distance between the bottom of the tub (3a) and the bottom of the diffuser proper (3b).
Obviously we can also see the array of brake cooling intakes for disc and caliper (4), torsion bar pickups (5), etc.
exhausting of the front diffuser is so important that a lot of work
goes into making the air's path through the car as painless as
possible. The various turning vanes and covering panels, while
having a regulatory secondary function, primarily work to help and
enhance pressure recovery. |
feature first appeared on the TS030 ahead of Spa. It draws air
flowing down the side of the car into the base area, reducing drag.|
| The small "undefined" space (1) above the main exit duct is rather odd.|
|Sam spotted this strange little, seemingly very deliberate, tab.|
"Caterham" LMP2; a rebadging of the Zytek. For LM 2013 the
Zytek/Caterham features redesigned front fenders (fender du-jour: tall
leading edge), presumably as a drag-reduction program.|
|The Zytek LMP2. Same front fenders as the Caterham. I loves me some ham.|