2001-2005 Dallara LMP

Images copyright and courtesy Bob Chapman @ Autosport Image, Olivier Trocherie, and Juha Kivekas
Text copyright Michael J. Fuller

Le Mans 2002At Le Mans 2002 Dallara showed up with deep, Audi-esque (or Courage-esque, aren't they the ones who started this with the C60 Evo.?) endplates.  The endplates rise up from the engine cover and are offset from the wing endplates by a very minimal gap in order to comply with the restrictive wing endplate rules. 

Simplified, increasing endplate depth acts as a wing span increase aerodynamically.  The practical benefit is that, for the same level of downforce, comparing a standard wing with a small endplate to a wing with a deep endplate,  you can run less drag for equal downforce as the increased endplate depth improves the overall efficiency of the wing.

Oreca decided not to race with the endplates citing lack of testing and familiarity.  There were concerns the added weight to the rear engine cover would preclude the driver from removing the engine cover on course should something happen to the race car.  Note the gurney lip across the trailing edge of the rear bodywork.  The full-width body gurney is a very effective generator of downforce.
Sebring 2004Sebring 2004, the Rollcentre entered Dallara-Judd.  Close up of the deep rear wing endplates.
Sebring 2004The Dallara's rear wing architecture was revised for the 2004 season to comply with the regulation changes mandated by the ACO for Le Mans and the Le Mans Endurance Series (the changes did not effect Dallaras entered in the American Le Mans Series).  The changes stipulated that chassis built prior to 2004 had to reduce the span of their rear wing to 180 cm (from around 200 cm).   The purpose was to bring older cars in line with the performance of new for '04 prototypes.  Audi unveiled their R8 with an identical wing interpretation in the week prior to the Paul Ricard LMES test.  Dallara simply copied the R8 interpretation as it is essentially identical.  Compare to the Audi R8.

©Copyright 2004, Michael J. Fuller