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July/August 2013
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>>2013 Le Mans Test & 24 Coverage<<

Williams Racing Developments
Race Transmission Specialists

From vintage rebuilds to technical design services...

8.27.13

>>
With 2014 on the horizon and no official release of the 2014 regulations by the ACO, here's the latest draft version.  Note they say "final."
Toyota TS030 LMP1>>Toyota released this image, with accompanying press release, yesterday.  It shows some of the updates to expect on the TS030 as the WEC heads to Brazil this weekend.  Of interest to me, of course, are the new dive planes, with their interesting serrated trailing edge, and the modified front fenders (less broad leading edge, "laid back...with my mind on my money and my money on my mind...").  The press release also mentions changes to the engine cover and rear wing.  
2014 Porsche LMP1>>Busy day with press releases and the like.  Porsche released additional images (click "Current Highlights" for the images) of their 2014 LMP1, as well as a new video.

From these images and video we now get our first glimpes of the rear of the car.  Not much to see, that Dazzleship paint scheme still counfounds to an extent.  But I did note what appears to be a single exhaust exit.  I also note that it isn't on car centerline.  That could to speak towards an inline engine arrangement, with the exhaust being justified to one side of the car CL (if it were a V or flat config you'd have some expectations of a 2 to 1 and everything meeting in the middle).  Yes, you can "force" the exhaust to go wherever you like I suppose.  But given a turbo wants to be as close to the exhaust as possible and then you want that to plumb the turbo exhaust out of the car as well, it starts to make some sense we're looking at a I-4 turbo for the Porsche LMP1 motor.

Also note Porsche has gone with inside mandatory openings on the rear fenders (1).  Recall a constructuor has a choice in 2014 for these mandatory openings; top of the fender or inside face.
>>I've been informed by David Legangneux that Le Mans Racing magazine is now in English and that the Le Mans edition is available for free online.

Jaguar XJR-14, chassis #591, leads the field at the 1991 season opener at Suzuka7.27.13

>>
Jaguar XJR-14 chassis #591 takes to the track in anger at this weekend's Silverstone Classic, for the first time in a long while.  Nic Minassian subsequently put the Jag on pole yesterday with a lap time 5 seconds ahead of the next competitor (Garth Evans and Bob Berridge in the Sauber C11) with a 1:46.425 lap.  For the time being I'm unsure if the Classic racers are on the same circuit as the WEC ran back in April, but the times are close enough to suggest they are (WEC "average" pole time, remember the WEC went to a average formate this season, was a 1:48.021 for the Toyota TS030 with a best time of 1:43.281).  According to my man on the scene, Bob Berridge, "Nic reckons Copse flat in top (gear) on new rubber..."

Chassis #591 first debuted at Round 1 of the World Sportscar Championship at Suzuka on April 14, 1991 and sat on Pole.  She would go on to win at Monza, and posted a second at Autopolis, as well as a third at Silverstone, during the 1991 WSC season.

591 was then shipped to the U.S. for the 1992 IMSA GTP series and placed 6th at Miami on her U.S. debut, followed by a phenomenal Pole and win at Road Atlanta.  Next came Lime Rock.  But while leading the race 591, with Davy Jones at the wheel, speared off the track at the Downhill following a wheel failure.  The damage to 591 was extensive, the front left corner of the monocoque, in the area of primary loading where the front suspension and torsion bar is located, took the brunt of the impact.  

Given the frantic nature of the IMSA GTP season, the team sat 591 aside and TWR-Kidlington shipped chassis 691 to the U.S.  691 was race prepped in less than week and the team was off to Mid-Ohio, with the rewards being a race win (even after missing Friday practice).  691, and eventually 791, would see out TWR's IMSA GTP season (with 691 crashing at Road America, again a victim of wheel failure).  
 591 was eventually sent back to England and repaired but sat out the rest of the 1992 season as a show car and was even over looked for the TWR-Porsche WSC program a few years later (a brief XJR-14 history here).  591 never raced competitively again.

And over the years questions remained over the structural integrity of 591, and there was ample evidence to back these concerns up.  But for the past 6 months chassis #591 has undergone an extensive structural analysis and repair to its monocoque, and this weekend marks her re-emergence.  

Full story here soon.

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ęCopyright 2013, Michael J. Fuller