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Aerodynamicist and automotive enthusiast Paul T. Glessner presents "The Secrets & Basics of Vehicle Aerodynamics" Seminars.  See why more cars are going faster and doing it more safely and in style.  Paul has been asked to speak at venues like Bob Bondurant SoHPD, SAE, SEMA and PRI.  Paul's seminars both educate and entertain.  The day long seminar can be held at your club, organization and/or company location with the organizer paying only $100.  Click on the above banner (click event date in site) to read about Paul's extensive background and testimonials from enthusiasts like Jay Leno. 
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"While I am not an engineer or a major technical type, I enjoy the discipline of aerodynamics and was pleased at how Paul was able to explain its intricacies to individuals like me." - Jay Leno, Tonight Show Host

 

April 2007
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4.20.07

>>Racecar Engineering Magazine sends us these exclusive first images of the Audi R8 FSI engine installation in Team Swiss Spirit's Lola B07/61.

Images were taken at the car's Silverstone shakedown.  RCE's Sam Collins indicated that recent conversations with Wolfgang Ullrich noted that the Lola-Audi project is certainly considered an active one, and in the same vein as the R10 and DTM programs.  One can imagine that development of the engine has been on going (and beyond installation issues).
4.8.07

>>A belated and brief Sebring update.  With the book deadline approaching the site will effectively be idled for the next two months.  Not to worry, I'm still collecting information and I do note that I haven't made a meaningful update since Sebring 2006.

>>Acura ARX-01a--Nick Wirth was available to journalists at the Acura press launch of the Acura ARX-01a LMP2.  Wirth is best known for forming the Simtek Formula One team though he has also worked for Benetton and March (notably designing the March 92S).  The ARX-01a is a redevelopment of the Courage LC75 chassis.  At its core it still is very much a Courage, but Nick Wirth has directed many changes and improvements such that in the end it has been renamed an Acura (though we understand it still maintains a Courage chassis number on the homologation papers).  Most significantly, the entire exterior bodywork has been redesigned.  Aerodynamic development was done at the Indianapolis, IN Auto Research Center.  Honda are long time partners with the wind tunnel (and in fact own a percentage of the facility), it being the home of Honda's previous CART and IRL team aero development programs as well as BAR-Honda F1 development from 1999-2000.  Wirth indicates that the ARX is wider than the Courage and has a dimensionally "maximized front overhang" but shorter (than maximum?) rear overhang.  CFD development has been carried out and the scale model program has been complemented by full scale tunnel testing, which is carried out in Stuttgart, Germany.  For now the car's aero package is bespoke to the ALMS; Le Mans is still such a unique package and the concentration has been exclusively on the ALMS season.  Wirth admits there is still tons of performance, aero and mechanical (the package is far from being optimized), to be found.  One additional item of interest, it is our understanding that both Courage/Acura chassis had gearbox issues during their 12 Hour test (apparently a holed gearbox caused that rather impressive barbecue).  While Acura certainly would not own up to this publicly, one of the items that Wirth indicated had been addressed since the test was that the gearbox had been "reinforced".  When asked if that was in response to gearbox issues at the test he simply smiled...Wirth was rather refreshing to talk to being very animated and excited about the project; hell he should be, race car designer is a rather cool job at the end of the day.  But refreshing nonetheless when considering some of the rather dull tight lips you find elsewhere...not naming names.

>>Porsche RS Spyder--I met up with the car's aerodynamicist, one Michael Pfadenhauer.  Pfadenhauer joined Porsche via Audi back in 2005.  He's the guy who was responsible for the aero on the Audi R8 and initial development work on the R10.  I brought up the subject of the RS Spyder's valance panels having had a particularly good look at them over the weekend.  Pfadenhauer was adamant that try as he would, in the end there was no aero performance gain and indeed their application is pure rules compliance despite his best efforts.  He explained that in year's past there were always unregulated "non-wing" wings in various areas of any given race car citing examples such as the roll over hoop section as well as the typical car's entire longitudinal cross section.  From this conversation I got the impression that Pfadenhauer's discussions with the ACO during the Spyder's development prompted the ACO to go back and clarify the rules governing "non-wing wings" hence many of the changes to Art. 3.6.1 in the 2007 ACO regulations.
>>Mazda--Here's a sample conversation, "Hey John, I'd love to snap some photos of the new engine," with the reply, "As much as we love you Mike, no."  Considering the project only was 15 weeks in the making they have their right for privacy.  The team struggled with a mechanical throttle mechanism at Sebring and it is our understanding that from St. Petersburg through Salt Lake City they will be allowed to utilize a new and unique throttle arrangement device, with the ALMS' blessing of course.
>>Autocon has announced the sale of their Lola EX257 to make way for the purchase of a new Creation CA06/H LMP1.  Contact details below.
 

A Piece of History with a Bright Future
Autocon Lola EX257/AER

Current LMP1 competitor with rich history in ALMS and Le Mans. This car has gained championships in ALMS as well as overall pole positions and numerous podium finishes including two as recent as 2006. The car was formerly in the Dyson stable (#20) and is currently being raced by Autocon Motorsports.

The car is available for delivery mid season, 2007.

This is an extraordinary and most complete package including two fully updated AER 2.0L turbo powerplants, complete spare body kit and a full array of spares including suspension pieces and wheels. Body work molds are included.

The package offers a complete turn-key operation and the current team will offer support for team orientation at testing and/or first race event.

The Lola EX 257 was first introduced to the American Le Mans Series in 2002, and the following year, at Sears Point Raceway, became the first and only LMP675 to beat an LMP 900 in series history. In 2004 the car was moved to the P1 class (formerly the LMP 900 class), where it scored four class and overall race wins via Dyson Racing's two entries during the two-year span. 
 

Please call Paul Grosjean for additional information:

Paul Grosjean
15714 SE Henderson Way
Portland OR 97236
503-819-4180

History of Autocon Lola EX257

2002:  Debut of this innovative prototype in the LMP675 Class in ALMS. This car was entered by KnightHawk Racing and went on to win its class for the season by just one point over Intersport in an identical car. During the season the car qualified 1st in class (3rd overall ahead of 11 LMP900 entries) in its debut at Sebring and competed at the 24 Hours of Le Mans only to suffer a fire resulting in a complete factory rebuild.

2003: This chassis was transferred to Dyson Racing and became the #20 entry primarily piloted by Chris Dyson and Andy Wallace. It won class at the season opening Sebring event. Still competing in the LMP675 class, its sister car won overall at Infineon with the #20 coming in second in class and 7th overall. This chassis won in class at Mosport, Road America, Miami and goes on to win the LMP675 Championship making it two championships in two years.

2004:  Car was now competing in P1 division against Audi, et. al. The #20 Dyson/Wallace entry accumulated many podiums and secured overall pole position at Portland event. Finished season in 3rd place behind one Audi and Dyson team sister car (#16).

2005:  Car returns as the #20 Dyson entry and secures pole position at both Infineon and Mosport along with numerous podium finishes. At Mid- Ohio Dyson racing takes a 1-2 finish with this chassis finishing behind the #16 team car for first Dyson sweep.  Car again finished 3rd in Championship behind two Audis.

2006:  Autocon secures car for season. Leads event overall at Lime Rock and secures first two podium finishes for Autocon. The team finishes 3rd in team championship behind Audi and Dyson.

2007:  Autocon enters season in new livery and completely freshened. 

Autocon is proud to campaign this fabulous sports car in 2006 and into 2007. It is a very advanced, modern racecar, and is capable of a top speed of over 200 mph. It has a one-piece carbon fiber composite monocoque with fabricated steel double wishbones front and rear. The front suspension pivots on flexures.

Technical overview and specifications can be viewed here.

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©Copyright 2007, Michael J. Fuller