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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March 2003
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>>Andy Thorby has left Lister, "His two-year contract finished at the beginning of March following his completion of the design of the LMP".
>>Note the strake snaking inboard on the #8 Bentley.  The strake appears to be something added in the field.  Best guesses seem to indicate a question about rear brake longevity and that the strake is to help encourage air into the NACA cooling duct.  Note the extra scoop on the NACA duct. 
>>Qualifying News from Sebring's Thursday sessions:

>>Bentley's times were disallowed as it was found in post-qualifying scrutineering that the rear diffusers heights were out 1-4 mm.  The Bentleys will start from the back of the grid.

>>The Lister Storm LMP ran into problems Thursday and spent the remainder of the day waiting for a new ECU to be shipped from Miami.  Hopefully the car will take to the track this morning.

>>Practice times from Sebring's Wednesday sessions:

>>1st Session
>>2nd Session

>>Well here's the answer to the question, where is the engine exhaust routed.  Look into the left hand exit box located next to the diffuser and note the exhaust pipe.  Deep endplates too.
>>Here courtesy of Tim Crete and Fastdetails, first details of the 2003 Lister Storm LMP.
The question is this, where is the engine exhaust routed?  Here's a possible theory, the engine exhaust is directed into the diffuser to enhance its function as is common on F1 cars.  It would appear that the air gathered by the intake in front of the rear wheel (see below) is routed past the inside face of the rear wheel and out the back of the car via the box exits residing either side of the diffuser.
Note the unobstructed flow the front diffuser exhaust air has as it is routed out the side of the car.
>>Here courtesy of Tim Crete and Fastdetails (see more race week build up shots there), first details of the 2003 Bentley EXP Speed 8.
The Bentley's front diffuser.  Note the very high concentration of no less than 4 strakes either side of the diffuser.
This is the rear carbon structure in which the rear wing mounts.  Note the beautiful carbon rear wing mounts.
The Bentley's front fender is shaped to allow air from the front diffuser to pass between the fender and the tub, exiting out the side of the car just aft of the exit for the front wheel well.
>>First shots of the 2003 Pillbeam MP-91, courtesy of Cathy Bucknum of Bucknum Racing and Rick Wilson:
>>The ACO announced it had received 72 entries for the 2003 Le Mans 24, 31 of which are prototypes.  They break down as follows, 2 LM-GTP, 12 LMP675, and 17 LMP900. David Legangneux has come up with a list of how he thinks the entries might play out.
>>The ACO has finally released their definitive 2004 chassis regulations.  The rules only differ slightly to the FIA regulations in regards to engine eligibility in the new LMP2 category.

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2004 ACO regulations

>>The ACO have released a preview of their 2004 rules and they fall exactly in line with the FIA regulations as pointed out here last month.  Note the provisions for diesel engines.

From the Le Mans website:


The “ACO Specifications” philosophy (ACO Technical and Sporting Regulations), which is aimed at manufacturer competitors and private competitors for prototype and GT categories, remains the same.

This new 2004 Regulation is the result of a common work between the “Automobile Club de l’Ouest”, the FIA and the manufacturers. It was ratified by the World Council.

It concerns the closed and open prototype cars which will have the same rules.

The “Le Mans” prototype category is made of : 

Le Mans prototype 1 (“LM” P1) : open or closed car weighing a minimum of 900 kilos which replaces the “LM” P 900 and “LM” GTP. This category is the only one which can lay claim to victory in the general classification of the “24 Heures du Mans”. 

Le Mans prototype 2 (“LM” P2) : open or closed car weighing a minimum of 750 kilos. The cars from this category which replace the “LM” P 675 are less sophisticated and less high performance and are mainly aimed at private competitors.

The main modifications concern the active and passive safety of the car in its structure and its flat bottom with as main objective the drivers safety.

New definitions (static load test, crash testing of the frontal absorbing structure) have been given concerning the safety’s structures which may have the approval of the FIA. Are concerned : 

Survival cell 
Frontal absorbing structure, 
Rear and front rollover structures.

Crash testing will also be practiced on the steering column.

The cockpit will ensure a better protection of the driver through the improvement of its inside volume. Three areas of padding ensure the driver’s head protection.

In order to improve the horizontal stability of the prototype cars, large studies have been realised about car aerodynamics.  Numerous wind-tunnel tests have permitted to determine new definitions concerning the underside of the cars : it can be said today that the flat bottom no longer exists.

In addition to the rear diffuser which remains two little side diffusers will equipped the car built according to the 2004 Regulations. One rectangular block (skid block) must be affixed underneath the reference surface.

The section and the length of the rear wing will be reduced.

All in all, the cars will have to have “more bodywork”.

The specifications of the engines for the cars of the new 2004 regulations, are unchanged but the restrictors used will be those of 2002. The appendixes will give the dimension of the restrictors linked to diesel engines.

The cars built according to the actual specifications will allowed to race without modification in 2004 and 2005, but keeping the reduction of the restrictors’ diameter established in 2003.

In any case, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest keeps the command of the eligibility of the cars admitted in the competitions administrated by the “A.C.O. specifications”.

This 2004 regulation will be available on the  A.C.O. internet address :

>>Jerome Mugnier shot these image of the Courage C65 at the shake down.  Clearly based upon the C60 series tub, the C65, in its present form, resembles a LMP675 engined C60 -900 underneath the skin.
The installation of the AER 2.0 liter, turbo, 4-cylinder engine.
Note how the trailing edge of the front fender of the C65 comes to a point and doesn't simply blend into the side pod.  Image David Legangneux.
©Copyright 2003, Michael J. Fuller