Mulsanne's Corner NEWS

Mulsanne's Corner NEWS isn't meant to be THE source for up to date news items.  Instead what we are doing is providing an archive for information collected through out the Net related to new car developments.  Occasionally we do post first hand gathered items, but most of the time it is news from secondary sources such as Daily or Autosport (they are much better at it than we are!).  We will provide all sources for any news item shown here.

December 2001

>>Dick Barbour going LMP a Panoz LMP07!  Dick Barbour and Multimatic Racing announced today that they will field two Panoz-Mugen LMP07s in the 2002 ALMS championship as well as at Le Mans.  The much maligned LMP07 was yanked mid-season by the Panoz group in favor of their tried and true LMP1.  Many reasons were cited (engine vibration, chassis stiffness, etc.) as to the reasons for the LMP07's lack of performance.  Barbour's choice of Mugen power for '02 is an indicator of one of the issues behind the laxidasical 07 (though note that the Mugen is also of flat plane crank design, same as the Zytek/Panoz V8 it replaces).  Whether or not they can conquer the unruly chassis will be a story to watch for 2002.

>>Bentley's 2002 Le Mans plans are a go with a somewhat more ambitious '03 attempt hinted at.  According to Autosport, Bentley has indicated for 2003 they will run a revised Audi power plant to take advantage of the larger restrictor and capacity afforded to LMGTPs.  Apparently a pure Bentley power plant is now out of the picture but at least Bentley has confirmed their plans beyond '02.

>>Dyson chassis search narrowing.  According to Autosport, Rob Dyson has narrowed his search for a new chassis to two makes; the updated Crawford SSC2K or a revised R&S MkIII.  Apparently talks to run a Dallara fell through when the Dallara LMP could not be modified to fit the Ford engine in a timely enough fashion. 

>>Courtesy of Chris Gorne, Senior Race & Development Engineer at Panoz regarding the 2002 Panoz LMP1--"At the moment we are in the middle of wind tunnel development.  If we can successfully replicate full size the changes made in the wind tunnel, we will find downforce gains.  The look of car will change, but not significantly.  Mechanically there are no changes planned for the front of the car. We have a re-designed rear end, new gearbox (transverse, cluster fwd of wheel center line), suspension, rear wing mounting etc.  Time permitting this will make its debut at Sebring."

>>According to All Race Magazine, Jim Downing is working on a Le Mans deal for 2002.  "I'll be at Daytona for the Rolex 24, past that, well, I'm working on a deal to run at Le Mans".  Jim indicates he's working on a deal with a French chassis builder (Norma or Courage--ed.) that has a pre-homologated and crash tested chassis.  The intent is to run the Mazda 4-rotor. 

>>Lola tests MG LMP675 at Sebring.  Archangel Motorsports, in conjunction with MG and Lola, conducted a 2-days test with Irish driver Johnny Kane.  Kane's fastest time was a 1:48.5 set on the second day.  Frank Biela's 2001 pole time, set in the Audi R8, was a 1:48.825.  It must be noted that Sebring has recently been repaved so that may have contributed to the time, but, according to Kane, "The EX257 went very quickly, and our best lap - which was quicker than the time one of the Audis set for pole there earlier this year - was done on well-worn tyres and with at least two-thirds of a tank of fuel on board".

>>Courage begins early Le Mans bid.  The 2002 prototype, to be called the Courage C60 Evo, recently tested with Boris Derichebourg at the wheel.  Courage is gearing up for its first serious attempt at winning Le Mans by embarking on a 3-year program.  Courage recognizes that one of the factors to winning Le Mans is race experience and in that light expect to see the C60 Evo at other major sports car endurance events throughout the year.  Image courtesy Daily

>>The ACO has released the 2002 LMP/LMGTP chassis rules (you need Adobe Acrobat to view).  Also note the link to Appendix J, Art. 258A, of the FIA sporting code referenced in the 2002 ACO rules.

ęCopyright 2001, Michael J. Fuller