|All news content copyright Michael J. Fuller, unless
finally have some follow up on the Highcroft ARX-01e/ACO front end aero
bit "issue." It was initially our understanding that
the ACO had hand-waived certain elements on the ARX-01e right into the
dust bin of illegality and that Highcroft had competed at Sebring under
a waiver of sorts. Well turns out that wasn't the case.
Yes, there was some hand waiving, we had that much correct.
And yes, it had to do with the -01e's front end bits. It
turns out the discussion centered around Art. 3.6.2 and specifically
the number of aerodynamic
elements perched on the front end of the -01e.
Art 3.6.2 states
that you're only allowed 2 elements maximum (2 pairs)
and it turns out the ACO had been doing some counting and had come up
with the number 3, arguably 4, when they looked at the -01e. They
counted the diveplane (1), the vertical endplate that is attached to
the outboard edge of the splitter (2), the vertical turning vane that
attaches to the outboard face of the front fender (3), and, if the ACO
wanted to really be picky, the strut that steadies the gap between the
vertical endplate and the front fender (4).
Initially the really questionable element in the ACO's mind was
the vertical turning vane, and questionable from a numbers standpoint,
not design execution. After some discussion, all parties
agreed that the vertical turning vane was actually part of the fender
and shouldn't be counted towards the total. And with the ACO not
in a nit-picking mood, the horizontal strut was ignored from the total.
>>Peugeot's Bruno Famin seems convinced
Audi has developed the R15++ for Sebring, in spite this being forbidden
from a regulatory standpoint. Famin (this a clean up of the
Google translation), "That said, Audi is regularly ahead of us, and
obviously they are very sharp. This
is not surprising given the work they have done on a car that should
have theoretically remained the same as last year. And then they
drove a lot this winter, so they are really ready."
inspected the cars ourselves in scrutineering, it would appear the car
remains identical (taking setup differences into account) to how it
raced at Petit Le Mans last year. And once again, we've been told
that the only changes that have been made to the car are a reduction in
the size of the engine inlet restrictor, a fuel tank capacity
reduction, and a boost reduction, all as laid out by the equivalency
regulations by the ACO. Audi did seem somewhat sensitive about
their car (consideirng it's out to pasture after the race), but that
was strictly on principle (see comments below). Perhaps Famin is
believing the gamesmenship?
Highcroft team was seen fitting the "low downforce" louver package back
onto their HPD ARX-01e this morning. These louvers are fewer in
number and flush to the fender. The team also removed the
diveplane as well as the lower filler panel that blanks off the lower
portion of the outboard turning vane.
hearing that the ACO is taking a dim view of the vertical endfences on
the Highcroft HPD ARX-01e. We're told, though this hasn't been
confirmed, the ACO has granted a waiver for Sebring but the elements,
in their current form, will not be allowed at Le Mans. We don't
quite know the exacting issue for the moment though can guess they
might be falling afoul of Art 3.6.1. "Non-wing" wing elements are
governed under 3.6.1, but since the elements, "are vertical" they
appear to be free in cross section (with the possible exception of the
30 mm trailing edge ruling) thus we admittedly need to go to the
source to determine what the issue actually is. More later.
yesterday's 5 mm width discrepancy, the team sanded off the difference
and IMSA signed off on the nose yesterday afternoon.
Milk Lola-Aston Martin LMP in trouble? We're hearing the first
practice session fire might have caused more damage than thought.
We've been told it took some time to get the fire out and that
the fire appeared to be concentrated between the engine and tub (that's
apparently where the smoke was coming from). The talk here is
that the team is looking for an insurance adjuster (the car is leased
after all). If that rumor is true, it's not a positive development. The car is currently out of sight. Here's to hoping that isn't the case.
>>Muscle Milk update: The Lola-Aston Martin LMP1 is repairable and the team has indicated it could be out this evening. We
think tomorrow more likely given only an hour to go and the car was
still down to the tub the last we looked, but nonetheless this is good
news! Still trying to figure out how at 5:45 pm, with the
car still down to the tub, they were able to get the car out onto the
track. Well done!
now arriving at the track after an overnight stay in Orlando (thanks
Mom & Dad). I'll be heading out shortly to see what's going
|>>Internet connection has been spotty, so only a few notes for the moment (though keep reloading as necessary).|
heard at scrutineering as the #7 Peugeot 908 was entering the tent,
this from one of the car's English engineer, "Yes, the big honking
fin is here." We've dropped him in it now...
understand that the Highcroft HPD ARX-01e failed its first time through the
Tech Shed. The issue? Apparently the nose was 5 mm too
wide. The team has been sanding away on the outboard fenders and
we suspect it won't be an issue the second time around. In the
mean time there seemed to be quite a lot of gesturing and hand waving
going on by the ACO's Daniel Perdrix
regarding the -01e's front aero widgets. We don't know the
results of all of this, if any. They could have been discussing
pasta crepes (more appropriate I think, pasta was simply off the cuff), for all we know.
Ralf Juttner made it clear that he didn't necessarily care for the open
atmosphere of scrutineering in the ALMS. He was respectful and
wasn't having a go at me in particular, or even saying the ALMS policy
needed changing, just venting his (mild) frustration a bit.
Though he lightened up in saying, as I was excusing my self to go
have a look at the Peugeot, "But if you have pictures of their car to
sell to me we never had this conversation about our car..."
Bruno Famin An as of yet unidentified Peugeot team member Peugeot's Chrisitan Deltombe commented about the "gamesmenship" and the, in his opinion,
justifiable use of the blue blankets, "There's a lot of investment
behind this game."
>>Audi R15+ is on 33/68 R-18s on the front, same as last year. No wide tires...
HPD ARX-01e has louvers on the inboard vertical face of the front fenders
though they are blanked off with an aluminum plate on the inside of the
wheel well for now.