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was reported on Wednesday of this week that Peugeot's 908 testing
program suffered yet another massive shunt that has sent a car airborne
and damaged a chassis. This is the second accident the 908
program has endured. Recall back to late last year, it was
widely reported that Marc Gene had what was described as a massive off
in testing at the Aragon circuit in Spain. Gene has this to say,
via Autosport, in February of this year, "I'm not sure how much I am allowed to say, but I can tell you I am lucky
to be here. It was the biggest accident I have ever had in my career.
There was a failure, the car went sideways and the car went up in the
the unbridled speculation that has sprung up regarding these shunts,
specifically the nature of the accidents, we're going to attempt to
inject facts where we know them. For the moment Peugeot has not
released any details, so admittedly we're being very
presumptuous. But it is our understanding that the Gene accident
that occurred last year was the result of a failure in the rear
of the car, specifically a rear suspension failure of some kind.
Details aren't forth coming. And we've been told
unequivocally that the mechanical failure had nothing to do whatsoever
with the spate of front suspension pickup point failures that the old
908 program suffered on occasion (the most recent, and public, was a
pickup point failure in the Le Mans 24 last year). Ditto the
nature of Wednesday's accident; another sources indicates it had
nothing to do with the front end issues of the past.
most disconcerting issue isn't the nature of the events that caused
each accident, it's what happened after the car was suddenly pitched
into an uncontrolled yaw. Recall that the 2004 spec underfloor
regulations were designed to increase the car's critical take
off speeds throughout the yaw range. This meant that, for
instance, at 90 degrees this was around 192 km/h from 148 km/h.
So in most cases throughout the yaw range the 2004 floor
increased the critical take off speed by double-digit percentage
points. And these numbers were substantial gains
over the old flat floor LMP900 rules in some yaw cases. In 2009
the flat 20 mm skid was replaced with a domed skid (20 mm at its apex) in reaction to a flurry of blowovers
the previous season. The skid's dome shape
(in transverse cross section) helped the car's yaw behavior. And
the introduction of the shark fin was intended to further increase
the critical take off speed. And it's our understanding that it
works as advertised though to varying degrees, depending on the car
it's applied to (open top, closed top, etc.), but that the net result
is always a positive gain we're told. But ultimately none of the
devices (spec 2004 floor, 20 mm domed skid, shark fin) claim to
eliminate the possibility of sudden yaw induced flips. That needs to be firmly kept in mind.
other news, we understand that Highcroft is due to take delivery of
their ARX-01e chassis in days if they haven't already. And "take
delivery"...well, we understand the bits are coming over, the car will
have to be assembled. That means no time for pre-Sebring testing
unfortunately. When asked about the lack of testing, Nick Wirth said, rather tongue-in-cheek, "Nothing can possibly go wrong!" Here's to hoping!
>>Check out John Brooks' latest effort, DoubleDeClutch.com.
>>Looking at some of the additional images Audi has released, we
note these two covered up ducts on the Audi R18, shown here testing at
Sebring last month. Looking at the high resolution images and at
various angles, indeed it does appear
to be a inlet of some kind that's been closed off. What does it
feed? We can only speculate that perhaps it was intended as an
alternate feed for the brakes. The R18's bodywork above the
splitter is even lower than on the R15+, it's not hard to imagine
issues with pressure recovery from the front splitter. Therefore,
moving the brake inlets outboard and onto the leading edge of the front
fenders would pull the "formula style" brake ducts out of the critical
flow near the splitter's trailing edge. And with the wider front
tires, the channel between the inner fender and crash box is getting
rather narrow impeding on airflow to the splitter even more. But
again, we're only speculating. And as the holes are covered over,
it would appear the experiment didn't pan out. But then again,
maybe that's just an access point for the Audi crew to store their
>>Thanks to Endurance-Info, we have a few more detailed shots of the Peugeot 908 bis. Certainly check out the gallery. We noticed this shot in particular of the 908 bis' rear wing mount. It bears a striking resemblance to a competitors...
|As one unnamed source said, "I think I can see our part number on it!"|
>>Peugeot officially unveiled their, ready for this, 908
today...no name change this time around, no 90X, no 9 oh-whatever.
The new car will again be called the 908. Might I suggest
908 bis just to clarify between the two? Let's try it out, ok? So, the 908 bis is powered by a 3.7 liter V8 twin turbo diesel with a 90 degree cylinder angle. Gearbox is cast aluminum, 6-speed.
all the car doesn't look any different from the images Peugeot released
in September. So no, that wasn't a mule. Additionally, the
official dimensions, 4640 x 2000 x 1030 mm, 2950 WB, 940 F-OH, 750
R-OH, don't bear any resemblance to what I scaled.
So it would seem a pretty clear case of Peugeot releasing a
doctored image. It happens in F1 all the time, just surprised I
didn't see it, though the Photoshop job does appear pretty flawless.|
Bruno Famin, "Given the big reduction in engine power resulting from
the 2011 regulations (a fall of approximately 150hp), we had to take a
fresh look at the trade-off between aerodynamics, drag and downforce.
The latter has been significantly reduced in order to maintain a reasonably high top speed." |
According to Peugeot, the 908 bis' first track test was back on July 27 of last year. The new V8 diesel was first dyno'd on January 25, 2010.
The 908 bis runs on same-sized Michelins on all four corners.
completed a 4-day test this past Saturday in which they tested their
two new R18s in conjunction with the one of the 2011-compliant Audi R15
"++". Endurance runs were completed for the R18 and, "...basic
setup for therace in March was worked out...," for the R15.
has filed an entry for this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans. For 2011
the WR will be powered by the NISMO prepared, Zytek assemled, Nissan
VK45DE 4.5 liter V8. WR has also developed a new rear wing for
this year, optimizing it with three days in the wind tunnel.|
caught up with Wirth Research's Nick Wirth and got the low-down on
their 2011 plans. Interestingly, at the moment, anticipate seeing
(possibly) two Wirth Research developed Honda Performance Development LMPs coming from their stables this
Work is underway on both an LMP2 and LMP1 chassis.
LMP2 will be designated the HPD ARX-01d. This car will utilize
the new Honda turbo V6 LMP2 engine announced back in June at Le Mans.
Says Wirth, "There will be two teams running that car in Europe
and at Le Mans in 2011. The car is a derivative of the 2010 LMP2
HPD ARX-01c with minimal changes to the bodywork from 2010."
second car is a LMP1 car based upon the LMP2 chassis. "Its
designation is the HPD ARX-01e. It has a lot of revisions from
the existing LMP2 car, including a new gearbox case, new suspension, as
well as a very heavily revised bodywork kit and it looks quite
different from the current cars." This car will race a variant of
the Honda 3.4 liter V8.
Asked why the ARX-02a wasn't
utilized as a basis for the -01e LMP1, "The 02a was designed for a
specific engine that is not suitable for the new LMP1 regulations.
The R&D work can be done with the ARX-01 chassis, which is
substantially cheaper to run than the bespoke 02a."
hints at the most interesting part, "Aerodynamically, it actually has
some of our Coupe 'DNA' in it and we're very excited by the car's
potential, given the performance of the 2010 LMP2 car." Recall
that back in 2009
Wirth Research embarked on the development of a 2011 rules car?
Well that concept is still alive. "...This car (ARX-01e) is
primarily designed for a range of R&D purposes." And indeed
the "R&D" aspects of the ARX-01e must mean that it is being used as
a mule for the future Wirth Research LMP1 coupe. Though when
pressed about specific details (...say tires), Wirth will only say, "I
guess you'll have to see what tires we use, or if tire width will be
part of the -01e R&D testing..."
The when and where of this
car's debut is less certain, but Wirth does indicate, "I believe HPD
are talking to come teams who are interested in running it, either in
the US or in Europe."
Regarding the 2012 WR LMP1 coupe, "We're
targeting a 2012 debut for this car, and it will most likely end up
being a project done with HPD."
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
to individuals like me." - Jay Leno, Tonight Show Host
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