1989 Aston-Martin AMR1

Images copyright Alan Lis and Dirk de Jager
Text copyright Michael J. Fuller
Aston Martin AMR-1The AMR's cooling architecture is very unique considering the position of the radiators at the rear of the car, right on rear wheel centerline.  

The NACA ducts on top of the rear wheel fenders are for brake cooling.
Aston Martin AMR-1, Mitty 2010The heavy water coolers are located high up, certainly not in an ideal position regarding CG given height and position rearwards.  The radiators are fed from large intakes formed in the engine cover.   

I would be curious about the car's weight distribution given the engine, gearbox, and radiators were all located behind the firewall, with the gearbox and radiators on rear wheel centerline.  One would think the car was very much rear biased.  However, all the accounts I've read refer positively to the car's handling.
Aston Martin AMR-1, Mitty 2007One wonders if airflow to the rear wing was effected by this cooling layout.
Aston Martin AMR-1The 6.0 liter, 650+ hp, Reeves Callaway prepared, normally aspirated V8. 

Costas Los, driver of the AMR1, adds his thoughts, "The Aston had an amazingly torquey engine. It was very well screwed together; it finished its first 24 hour race without a shakedown so to speak, and according to Richard Williams, the gearbox was good enough to stay in the car after Mike Roe, Brian Redman, and myself had finished with it.  I can't comment too much on handling characteristics because we were sent out to finish the 24 hours and not to race (contrary to car 19), so I took it quite easy in that race.  When I shook down the first AMR1 at an airfield in April, I was asked to drive down a long straight, break, turn round and drive back. I had to do this repeatedly for a while, and at one point half way down the straight in top gear, the car took off as if someone had just switched on some sort of after-burner.  When I got to the end of the runway, almost failing to stop in time, I turned round and found the entire rear body had come off. When I got to the pits, I suggested we run without the back cover, the car was so much quicker in a straight line.  The rear wing was attached directly to the gearbox so the characteristic out of control manoeuvre which often comes with a sudden aerodynamic imbalance didn't occur."

ęCopyright 2010, Michael J. Fuller