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December 2007
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12.22.07

>>As hinted in our December 16th news item, the Dome S101.5 was out testing around Sugo in preparation for the Judd engine installation in the Dome S102.  This essentially was just a systems test as this is the first time the Judd engine, X-Trac gearbox, and Zytek paddle shift system in combination with the X-Trac gearbox have been assembled together in a Dome chassis.  According to Hidenori Suzuki,  Tatsuya Kataoka was at the wheel for this two day test and initially things weren't quite sorted.  But by day two they achieved smooth gear changes, this despite the lack of optimization of the Judd side electronics as the Judd technicians weren't in attendance.  And further despite the lack of overall refinement, Suzuki says the car set an unofficial track record around Sugo.

12.20.07*

>>First image of the Epsilon Euskadi EE-LMP1-07 wind tunnel model.  It's been some since our last Epsilon update, but the project has fully launched and the car is currently under construction.  John Travis tells us that no fewer than 12 weeks have been spent in the Aerolab wind tunnel in Italy.  That's quite a bit of development and works out to about 600 hours of tunnel time.  The model has been naturally designed by Epsilon and subsequently built by Aerolab and is maintained and updated by them between tests eliminating the need to transport it back and forth to Spain. 

Aero development will be on going with a least one week in the wind tunnel per month budgeted for 2008.

*Corretion 12.21.07, we're informed that the Aerolab wind tunnel was actually used.  That is, the new (2004 commision) wind tunnel facility located in Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy.  Aerolab is a joint venture between Fond Tech and Dallara and lists amongsts its customers both Porsche (RS Spyder) and Peugeot (908).

Here we see the mold for the monocoque of the EE-LMP1-07.  The intent had always been for the closed top LMP1 version to be complemented by an open top LMP2 version.  This can be achieved through clever mold making by placing parting lines that double as the transition points for the two different versions. 
A comparison of the CAD rendering of the early generation car to that of the current version shows rather substantial development over the past 12 months.
Few surfaces have been left unchanged.  The most notable difference is the complete reworking of the nose/spliter.  The length of the overhang has been reduced as well.  The top exit exhausts have been eliminated in favor of more conventional side exit ahead of rear wheels.  The engine intake is completely different.  It has now been pushed back to the trailing edge of the cockpit bubble reducing, if not eliminating, its projection into the frontal elevation.  The side pods also are lower, more than likely to the 400 mm height minimum.  Heavy sculpting can just be seen on the leading edge of the side pod in the valley between the side pod and the front fender trailing edge.  The Dome S102 (below) exhibits that characteristic as well.  Subsequently the side profile of the trailing edge of the front pontoon fender is stepped to provide regulations compliance (bodywork seen from the side can be no more than 150 mm inset into the car).  While difficult to see in the low resolution version here, the brake intakes are inset into the inner face of the front fenders, flush to the surface.  On the wind tunnel model they can be seen just sticking proud of the surface.  It's also interesting to note that the mandatory trailing edge structure at the rear of the car is different on the wind tunnel model compared to the CAD model.  The wind tunnel model drives the full size car so this suggests the CAD version was tried in the wind tunnel and supplanted for what we can now see on the wind tunnel model.
12.16.07

>>Images released today from Dome show the S102 closed top LMP wind tunnel model.  This is the first clean sheet design that Dome has undertaken in 7 years with the previous S101.5 tracing its origins back to the S101 LMP900.  Given that the bar has been raised in LMP1, it is logical that any new LMP project would require a fundamental rethink.  The S102 has been designed to current regulations and is not a new (2010) rules car.  Wind tunnel testing was initiated with first a 25% model (left) from which the general concept was established.  Then in November a 40% model was brought on line in order to flesh the concept out further (below).  Production has already begun with the completed chassis due out in February some time.  Track testing of various systems for the S102 will begin next week on the back of a Dome S101.5.

Dome S102 Specifications
Layout: Mid-engine, rear-wheel drive
Monocoque: Closed top, carbon fiber and aluminum honeycomb monocoque
Engine: Judd 72° V10, normally aspirated, 5500 cc
Gearbox: X-Trac 529 longitudinal 6 speed
Clutch: AP, 5.5” carbon, 4-plate pull type
Steering: Kayaba electronic assisted power steering
Suspension: f:  Upper and lower A-arms with pushrod operated coli spring dampers
r:  Upper and lower A-arms with pushrod operated coli spring dampers
Brakes: Alcon calipers, Carbon Industrie discs
Wheels: Rays
Length: 4650 mm
Width: 1995 mm
Height: 920 mm
Wheelbase: Over 2900 mm
Front track: 1640 mm
Rear track: 1600 mm
Weight: 925 kgs.
Information courtesy of Hidenori Suzuki's www.sports-carracing.net
12.14.07

 >>With the impending release of the Nissan GT-R production car it comes to our attention that none other than Yoshi Suzuka was responsible for the car's aerodynamics.  Mr. Suzuka is best known on these pages as the father of the Nissan GTP cars. 

12.8.07

>>While we don't have the complete picture for the moment, word is coming out of a new LMP program from Japan.  Based out of Tokai University in Tokyo, Japan, the program is being run by Professor Yoshimasa Hayasi, none other than the man behind the Nissan VRH35Z 3.5 liter twin turbo V8 Group C engine (as well as the Nissan P35 V12).  The LMP is designed around a Courage LC70 monocoque due to the costs associated with the design and construction of a bespoke tub.

The powerplant is unique as well, being a 4.0 liter, twin turbo, 90°V8 engine called the YR40 and developed by YGK (yes, that YGK) under the supervision of Professor Hayasi.  YGK claims the YR40 engine is 50 mm shorter and 20 kg lighter than the famed VRH35Z Group C engine and boasts good fuel economy and reliability having been developed over the course of the past 7 years.  The YR40 has an aluminum alloy block and cylinders, steel crank shaft, and titanium connecting rods.

It is our understanding that this is a concerted effort to bring the Japanese academic world and industry together and that the project has much student input.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Information courtesy of Hidenori Suzuki's www.sports-carracing.net

12.7.07

>>In preparation for their 50th anniversary, Lola's Sam Smith has been digging deep into the company's archives and stumbled across these gems.  Sam writes, "In the off-season of 1991-1992, German sportscar aces Kremer Racing planned a full-scale assault on the FIA Sportscar World Championship with a pair of the dramatic new Lola T92/10 Group C chassis."

But it wasn't to be.  In the end Euro Racing would run the Wiet Huidekoper designed T-92/10 in the World Sportscar Championship in '92, finishing 5th in the Teams Championship (driver Heinz Harold Frentzen finished 13th in the Drivers).  But the Kremer project never got beyond what is seen here.  Says Sam, "A shame the combination shown here would see only the lights of the photographer's studio and not La Sarthe."
It's with some irony and interest that the model of the Kremer K9 bears a passing resemblance to the T-92/10...
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©Copyright 2007, Michael J. Fuller