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 or Autosport.  We will provide all sources for any news item shown here.

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December 2005
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Are you building a CSR, DSR, or LMP3?  Are you a manufacturer or even a backyard builder?  Would you like your link included in our Links section?  Pop us a line and we'll hook you up.
>>Courage has released this artist's rendering of the Courage LC75 LMP2 (LC70 is the LMP1).  I spoke with Courage's Technical Director Gérard Gilles at Petit Le Mans about this project.  Initially it was intended to only update the existing C65, but as development progressed large gains were readily being found.  It was decided to design a completely new car though some mechanical components will apparently carry over, Gérard suggesting the transmission, brakes, uprights, and possibly the wishbones.  Paolo Cantone is the Chief Designer.  Wind tunnel testing is being carried out at the former-Prost wind tunnel located at Magny Cours.  The model is 40%.  Intriguingly it had been intended to release images of the wind tunnel model but that has been set aside simply to avoid giving away too much before hand.  Courage's Claude Surmont indicated that the LC75, "Will hit the track between Christmas and New year."  The car's official launch is next month.
Courage LC75 LMP2
>>See Juha Kivekas' Audi R10 Launch Report.  Juha sent these additional images along.  The first image shows the BAR-Honda F1 car as photographed at a recent test at Jerez.  The detail is of the brake duct.  "Drum" brake ducts have been on F1 cars for a few years now, and this image shows the drum, but also and outboard shield that is probably very similar to the R10's ducting as described in the Audi press release. 
Juha cleaned up one of his images and zoomed in.  Here we can see what simply looks like the face of the brake disc.  Upon further investigating you can see a return limp around the perimeter.  Clearly what we are looking at is a outboard disc shield similar to the architecture shown in the BAR image above.
>>The Audi R10, V12 (and where did you hear that first, 10.19.05?) turbo diesel.  The R10 has a very strong visual resemblance to the  R8.  Not so much from the front view, but more so from the side (see images below).  The shrouded front suspension allows for improve airflow management.  The old Bentley boys have been in discussion and are planning a trip to Ingolstadt to pick up their drawings...;0)  Referencing the suspension shroud, note the apparent low pickup on the wheel upright and relatively high angle to the tub.

The twin blades for the roll over hoops is a departure from the usual interpretation and should help clean up airflow to the rear wing.  The front splitter is shadowed by a somewhat larger vertical front to the splitter/bodywork transition.  The R8 had a similar, if smaller/less obtrusive, feature.

The accompanying press release contains an interesting description of the front brake ducting, describing it as fully enveloping the brake disc allowing for the directed cooling of the entire carbon disc.  Though in looking up close at the high resolution images, it seems to these eyes that the brake disc is still very visible.  Though we can't be sure if the car photographed in the studio images had said cowling in place. 

The R10's front tires are wider to account for the difference in weight distribution as compared to the R8.

The R10's belt line seems scaled directly from the R8.  Architecturally it is similar too with the radiators located in the sidepods fed via an intake at the leading edge.  Audi mentions that the R10's side pods are taller (than the R8's) to accommodate the various cooling entities within (radiators, intercoolers, etc.)
The side pods have additional vertical louvers as well as louvers in the top surface near the turbo inlets (see rear image).
Gearbox is by X-trac.  Audi claims the X-trac box, while designed to handle the tremendous torque of the V12, is actually lighter than the Ricardo box as was in the R8!
Louvers at the trailing edge of the rear fender.
The all aluminum 5.5 liter Audi TDI V12.  650 horsepower,  811 lb-ft. of torque.  The new engine required the upgrade of the company dynos so that they could handle the massive increase in torque. 
Interesting details:
>>Let us engage is some amusing speculation on the eve of the Audi R10 reveal.  The 2006 ACO Technical Regulations left me scratching my head.  Air conditioners?  What's the need in the sanctioning body mandating them?  Then I received an interesting email regarding the Audi R10.  Said email claimed that not only was the R10 diesel powered, but open top.  And then the email went into a little more detail confirming that not only was the car open top, diesel powered, but that Audi was struggling to get the car to the minimum 900 kgs weight limit.  And on top of that, the diesel wasn't producing the power that the gasoline powered R8 developed.  Audi had that quote in their PR release yesterday saying that the R10 was, "one of the most ambitious projects ever to have been implemented at Audi Sport".  Certainly this could mean anything and is hardly proof of "struggles" (not that they would admit such at this time anyway, the Germans?  Nope...everything is fine, nothing to see here).  But then that odd rule about air conditioners crept back into the picture.  If you were Audi, would it be above you to suggest to the ACO that perhaps the poor boys in the closed top cars were suffering too much from the heat (never mind your car might be closed top)?  But then your suggestion might go on to say that to make everything fair, there should be an across the board weight increase so as not to penalize the guys having to run AC, so that now LMP1 was 925 kgs and LMP2 775 kgs, a 25 kgs increase for all whether open or closed top, AC or not (out of fairness of course).  Certainly if that were the case, an additional 25 kgs added to your weight budget at a time when you were going to be lucky to make the 900 kgs minimum would be bonus, eh?  But to believe this you have to be convinced that Audi is going the diesel route and that they have the ear of the ACO.  Iím no swami, but I think at least one of the statements in the previous sentence is true but canít be certain (yet) about the other.  Iíll get back to you on Tuesday. 
>>The Audi R10 will be unveilied this Tuesday.  Audi is billing the R10 as, "one of the most ambitious projects ever to have been implemented at Audi Sport", which is intriguing indeed.  A "live" link will be available and we will be patching in to Paris so that you can follow the coverage here.  Occasional Mulsanne's Corner contributor Juha Kivekas will be there for us in person and will provide the post-unveiling debrief (and images, depending on Audi's control of that aspect).
>>Despite what is being reported elsewhere, news that Spencer Motorsports will be fielding a Mazda powered Lola LMP2 next season is "very premature" according to Mazda's Marketing Manager John Doonan.  Doonan intimates that Mazda is, "making no commitments as of yet as the marketing packages are the key elements", and are as of yet not in place.
>>The ACO released the 2006 technical regulations for LMP1/2 (right click and save as).  No major changes there (nor were expected).  Of interest is a new regulation concerning, of all things, air conditioning in closed top cars, here it is in its entirety:

14.1.9 Ė Temperature inside the cockpit (closed car) :
The ambient temperature around the driver must not be higher than 30°C (86°F) whatever the temperature on the outside when the car is in motion. After a stop, the temperature must go back down to this value in 5 minutes maximum.  An efficient air conditioning system comprising a compressor, a condenser, a pressure reducer and an evaporator is compulsory for the closed cars. It must be described on the homologation form and approved by the ACO.

Subsequently the ACO has increased the all-up weight for LMP1/2 by 25 kgs making them 925 and 775 respectively.  Presumably this is to take into account the weight increases caused by the fitment of an air conditioning (AC) system.  This weight increase is across the board for closed and open-top cars (even though it is a regulation, understandably, for closed top only) in order to maintain parity.  To further that, the ACO is allowing a engine restrictor diameter increase for closed top cars (taking into account power loss suffered from running said mandated AC system):

Normally aspirated and turbo charged gasoline engines:
For closed cars equipped with an air conditioning system, the following restrictors diameter must be increased by :
- 0.5 mm for 1 restrictor ; ;
- 0.3 mm for 2 restrictors ;

Turbo charged diesel powered engines:
For closed cars equipped with an air conditioning system, the following restrictors diameter must be increased by :
- 0.6 mm for 1 restrictor ; ;
- 0.4 mm for 2 restrictors ;

Note the .1 mm difference between the restrictor increase allotment gasoline to diesel?  Further case to run a diesel?  Figuring the AC's horsepower impact will be no different (or shouldn't be I would think) whether the engine is gas or diesel powered, I find that rule just slightly odd if ultimately inconsequential.  Though more power is more power...

The question arises why the mandating of air conditioning?  Well in previous years the drivers of closed top cars have suffered from excessive heat.  Though typically this effected the front-engined GT1s more so than the mid-engined LMGTPs.  Though you have to ask yourself why this has to be mandated by the sanctioning body?  There seems to be evidence enough to encourage the teams to implement such a device themselves if simply to keep their driver's fresh (and fast!).  Regardless, it is a new rule and one to be dealt with.

Finally the regulations are more specific regarding wear rates of the 20 mm underbody skid:

3.5.6 - Skid block :
a/ It must :
a.3 - have a minimum uniform thickness of 20 mm. A maximum wear of 5 mm will be permitted at the end of the practices and at the beginning of the race. The skid block will not be checked at the end of the race.

Previously the regulations stated nothing in regards to how much (if any) wear was allowable.  It is good to see that the ACO won't go the route of the FIA in regards to skid wear and removal of race results (recall the Spa-Schumacher debacle circa 1994) in that they won't be checking them post race.

And finally, much less significant though worth a mention:

5.5 - Exhaust system :
5.5.1 - Noise level : see sporting regulations.
Dynamic sound readings will be taken during the 2006 events.  The method of measurement and the results will be given to the competitors for information.  As from as 01/01/2007 the sound emitted from each car will must not exceed 113 dbA during the qualifying practices and the race.  The measurement will be made at 15 meters from the edge of the  track.

>>John Evans is offering up for sale his Evans Series 3.  This is the original prototype (and only example). 

The Series 3 is noteworthy for one reason in that long time Kudzu designer Dave Lynn was responsible for the car's design.  Dave adds, "This was one of the first bodies that I designed that was actually produced so it is also close to my heart.  I think John and I did a pretty good job.  There is no telling how many chances you might have to own a car with a body designed by Dave Lynn!  There are only so many to go around and Jim Downing and Dennis Spencer seem determined to hog the Kudzus.  Beyond that both John and I might currently be considered starving artists: be a patron of the arts!"

The Evans Series 3 car is street legal, featuring a carbon composite frame as well as carbon bodywork.  It has a Supercharged 3.8L Buick engine.  Also included is a subframe for mounting a Corvette V8.  The interior of the car is nicely finished with carbon fibre adjustable seats, carbon panels, leather wraped roll cage and Stack digital/analog tachometer and data readout.  The steering wheel is fitted with a quick release hub and a halon fire extinguisher is fitted under the front of the passenger seat.  The car is fitted with 4 point harness for driver and passenger.

Evans Prototype built as FIA & EPA certification mule.  Supercharged 3.8 L V6, 5 speed w/LSD.  Pushrod suspension and ride height control for road use.  DOT glass, cats, great car for track days, carbon fibre body, frame and seats, full roll cage.  Will also sell molds, tooling and drawings to produce the 3 and 4 Series cars. 

Partial list of tooling that youíll get to allow the manufacture of both the Series3 and 4 cars:

Buck (plug for modification, mold making, if changes are desired)

>center body 14 piece mold
>left door mold 
>right door mold
>tail 6 piece mold
>Series 3 nose 6 piece mold
>Series 4 nose 6 piece mold
>Series 3 headlight cover mold (right)
>Series 3 headlight cover mold (left)
>Series 4 headlight cover & turn signal mold (male/female)  (right)
>Series 4 headlight cover & turn signal mold (male/female)  (left)
>Side window mold (left)
>Side window mold (right)
>S3 dash mold

>Windshield Tooling ( DOT legal glass )
>Frame table

>S3 rear suspension jig
>S4 rear suspension jig
>S4 front suspension jig
>S3 front suspension jig
>S3 A-arm jig rear upper
>S4 A-arm jig rear lower
>S4 A-arm jig rear upper
>S4 A-arm jig front lower
>S4 A-arm related tooling

>Rear upright tooling

All CAD drawings, specifications and documentation for frame, steering, suspension, drive train, along with build book of assembly notes and supplier list.

All this for the total package price of $95,000.

>>For more information contact Dave Lynn:

©Copyright 2005, Michael J. Fuller