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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

 

July 2006
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7.25.06

>>Dennis Spencer informs us that he has purchased all of the assets of Miracle Motorsports.  This includes chassis (C65), engines (AER), car haulers, pit carts, etc., an entire "turnkey race team operation" according to Dennis.  When asked what his plans are Dennis admits to nothing but that the sky's the limit, "the press release at the track this weekend by Honda made mention that the Courage chassis wasn't going to look like a Courage when they get through with it.  Same here."  At very least they currently have two AER engines for sale but are now pondering what to put in their place...should it have 3 or 4 rotors?

7.23.06

>>I've currently undertaken the co-authoring of a book on the IMSA GTP series with Jim Martin.  Jim Martin previously wrote the book "Prototypes" with the late Ken Wells.  Prototypes covered similar ground (IMSA GTP), but our new book will concentrate solely on the cars.  Figure it somewhat as an extension of Mulsanne's Corner for an idea on technical detail and insight.  In that vein I'm very interested in publishing as much aerodynamic data on these cars as possible.  Never before and never since (and never again?) have racecars generated the level of downforce that the GTP cars did. 

Some data has already been published on Mulsanne's Corner, but alas there are many gaps, and that's where this new request centers from.  I know much of this data exists somewhere on the planet, its just a matter of prying it out of willing hands (or figuring out where it went).  Jim and I are making a request to the racing professional community for aerodynamic data concerning the following IMSA GTP race cars:


Lola T600 and variants 
March GTP 
Mustang GTP 
Corvette GTP 
Fabcar GTP 
Probe/Maxum 
Group 44 Jaguars 
TWR Jaguars 
Porsche 962 
AAR Toyota 
Spice 
Chevy Intrepid 
Nissan Electramotive/NPTi 
Mazda RX-792P 

We are interested in objective (not anecdotal) aerodynamics data (either track data from strain gauges or wind tunnel data) showing downforce and drag at a particular speed.  And let it be understood that this data will be published.  Frankly the information is at very least 14 years old; there is little point in keeping it under wraps any longer. 

In addition to the aerodynamic data we are also after images, photos, drawings, sponsorship renderings, etc. concerning the mentioned IMSA GTP cars.  If you have items you'd like to share with this effort we're certainly willing and interested in receiving them.  The more "technical" (wind tunnel testing, track testing, car build, unusual variants/developments) the better.  And if there is a story to go along with them let us know. 

And finally, if you were involved in the design and development of any of these cars we'd love to talk with you. 
 
 

I can be contacted via email:

email:

7.21.06

>>Following up on their April announcement, Acura has revealed that three teams will commit to running the Acura LMP2 engine in the American Le Mans Series in 2007.  The teams are  Indy Racing League entrants Andretti-Green Racing and Fernandez Racing, as well as American Le Mans Series regular Highcroft Racing.  Andretti-Green and Highcroft will field the Courage LC75 chassis with Fernandez committing to a Lola B05/40.  Highcroft will be working closely with Honda Performance Development on chassis developments with Fernandez concentrating on engine improvements.    Given Honda's open wheel aero development history, it is reasonable to expect a concurrent wind tunnel development program based out of the Auto Research Center wind tunnel in Indianapolis to be undertaken.  All three teams will be on Michelin tires.

>>Lola today issued a press release announcing continuing development for the Lola B05/40 LMP2 chassis.  On-going aerodynamic development (both scale tunnel and CFD) will be undertaken concentrating on additional downforce gains.  A weight reduction program has already been introduced for 2006 and continuing 7-post rig testing is aimed at finding further mechanical improvements.  The B05/40's HT gearbox is also being looked at as well for further developments. 
7.20.06

>>Over this past weekend at the Nurburgring Le Mans Series race Giovanni Lavaggi unviled his new Lavaggi LS1 LMP1David Legangneux kindly sent us a number of images documenting the new car.

7.14.06

>>The ACO has announced that they are considering adding restrictions to the diesel-engined LMP1 competitors.  Looking at the timing data from the 2006 24 Hours of Le Mans, the ACO determined there was approximately a 3.2 second per lap time difference between the Audi R10s and the top gasoline-engined competitors.  At this time the only performance parameter they have mentioned that they are considering changing is a possible reduction in fuel tank size.  The reason for this is that one liter of diesel has 8500 kcal of energy while one liter of gasoline has 7800 kcal of energy giving the diesel a bigger advantage in energy contained in a 90 liter tank.  To more fairly equate the two one would need to reduce to diesel's fuel tank to around 82.5 liters in capacity for equivalent energy content.  The ACo is working in conjunction with IMSA to continue to monitor the performance of the R10 and will uphold any judgment of restrictions until September of this year.

7.13.06

>>Judd has announced a further development of the GV5 S2 V10 engine set to debut in 2007.  The newly developed 5.5 liter V10 (up from 5.0 liters) is said to be good for around 490 lb-ft of torque, a 10% improvement over this season's GV5 S2, and will be called the GV5.5 S2.  According to John Judd improvements in driveability and fuel consumption are also to be expected and since this evolution is based upon the GV5 S2, no changes in chassis installation are anticipated.

7.1.06

>>Le Mans post script.  A final thought about the R10, lap times, and its potential.  It was pointed out to me that the R10's qualifying lap was made on race rubber and that the Pescarolo C60s indeed used qualifying tires helping to explain each of their relative offsets in time, qualifying to race.  So in essence, the R10's qualifying pace was its race pace, hence the small(er) difference in time.  It is also generally accepted that the Michelin qualifying rubber is good for a reduction in time of about 3.5 seconds around Le Mans.  Factor in that "ideal" Audi R10 lap time of  3:29.248, take 3.5 seconds off of that, and you have a potential qualifying lap of 3:25.748.  Also consider the level of pressure Audi was under this year, it was their race to loose.  Audi certainly concentrated on keeping it together and on the road. Next year might not be so "easy" with the Peugeot  908 coming on-line. 

Audi R10, WDWT January 2006>>And speaking of R10, this image arrived this week.  It was taken at the Wheels Down Winter Test at Sebring back in January.  Notice the blanking panel covering up the lower air flow, redirecting it up and over the front wishbone shroud.  Audi's Technical Director Ralf Jüttner indicates that this panel was briefly tried to test the effects on cooling, but that it, "Has not been taken any further thereafter." 
Creation CA07 LMP1>>On Wednesday KW Motorsport released this image of their proposed 2007 closed top LMP1.  Creation's CA06/H LMP-hybrid is in need of a new tub for '07 and what better time to introduce a closed top car?  The initial application will be with Creation but Salter isn't counting out customers, "..there is always interest in building further cars for customer teams."  Salter also addresses the proposed 2010 regulation changes, "The development of a coupe for next year or even 2008 would give us a strong technical basis for the recently announced  2010 LMP prototype regulations and make the transition into 2010 easier with confidence in the existing package, however, we're not waiting for 2010 and we are looking forward for next year."
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©Copyright 2006, Michael J. Fuller