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.



March 2005
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>>The Dome S101 Hb is beginning its testing cycle.  Looking particularly aggressive in the above image, the S101 Hb is a hybrid regulations car and should prove to be very quick.  The Le Mans Endurance Series official test is this weekend at Paul Ricard and will be the S101 Hb's first official outing.
Note the shadow plate extending out of the front wheel well.  It demarcates airflow from the wheel well and that from the front diffuser while also masking the inboard bodywork and legalizing the car (any body work as viewed from the side can not be more than 150 mm offset inboard).
>>Sebring News round-up.

>Martin Short wasn't bashful about his impressions of the new Lola B05/40:

"I have watched the Lola development for the last 18 months...we approached them that long ago for a new car but they couldn't commit.  I have spent many years developing cars, we wanted to take a back seat and let some others have a go.  Though it's still frustrating to see 'my' Lola going so well here!"

>The B05/40's debut was impressive.  Consider the car's lap time, only 1.5 seconds off the highly developed Audi R8.  To put that time into perspective understand the car that set that time was on Goodyears running what was reported to be a low downforce setup, without a proper driver's seat, in a new car without a proper setup.

>Discussions in the paddock indicate that the B05/40 is generating more downforce than the B01/60.  Considering that the B01/60 develops around 4500+ lbs. of downforce at 200 mph in high downforce trim that is impressive indeed.  So much for the LMP1/2 regulation's aim at a 20% reduction in downforce.

>I sat down with Bill Riley on Thursday to interview him regarding the Intrepid GTP for a future article.  Naturally I took the time to inquire about the Riley LMP that was announced earlier in the week:

"When the new rules came out Bob started working on a concept.  We had a couple of, I don't want to say serious, but good inquiries on us doing it, building a car, running a team.  Very early stages.  Bob's got quite a few different concepts going right now on open vs. closed.  I know all the fans want a closed.  I think if we were to do a closed car it would look really good visually.  But a closed top cars has advantages; if you were interested in winning Le Mans you’d go closed.  The differences in airflow to the rear wing is almost a wash because the open top car’s roll hoop disturbs the airflow more so and you can ultimately do things to the greenhouse on a closed car to improve your situation in that regards.  Though obviously an open top car is so much easier to build, closed top cars are a total pain in the ass with the windshields and wipers.  Right now I’d have to say for simplicity in cost it would add about 50-100 grand to the car to go closed.

We have four different concepts going for LMP1…open vs. closed..."

…and the rest is off the record.  Bill was pretty candid about specific design direction and the issues involved.  It is my impression that while there is intent and motivation at Riley to build a LMP, costs associated preclude that from (naturally) happening for the moment.  Regardless, a design is forging ahead and they are ready should the opportunity present itself.

>>On Friday at Sebring a press conference was held to announce the entry of a Mazda powered LMP2 car for the American Le Mans Series.  The team that will be running the car is Wisconsin based B-K Motorsports.  A Courage C65 LMP2 chassis has been chosen.  One of the primary factors in choosing the Courage was input from the Mazda Advisory Board, headed by such notables as Jim Downing.

The most interesting piece of this puzzle, of which has been speculated on for months, is the use of a new Mazda Renesis-based, normally aspirated, 3-rotor engine.  The racing Renesis will use peripheral-port induction, a change from the production Renesis engine's side-port induction.  This is a key point as all successful rotary racing power plants of the past have used peripheral port induction.  Few specifications were mentioned other than the engine will rev to a maximum of 9000 rpm and is mandated to breath through a 49.1 mm restrictor by the ACO.

It will be interesting to see if the Courage C65 will be able to cope with the rotary's unique cooling requirements or if the engine team is approaching the issue from their side.  In the past this has always been a contentious issue with those running rotary engines and it can be said is one of the prime issues that pushed Jim Downing to produce his own chassis instead of continuing to rely on off the shelf cars from other manufacturers.

The car and team are set to debut at next month's (!) ALMS round at Road Atlanta.

>>Big day for new prototype developments. 

>>Mick Hyde of Radical Sportscars has announced a LMP2 project to be headed by Bentley designer Peter Elleray.  The Radical SR9 will be priced as a rolling chassis between $228,00 and $247,000 with engine and ancillaries costing an additional $57,000.  The stock engine will be the Radical developed Powertec RPD Macroblock V8, a 3.0 liter engine good for about 525 bhp @ 11,350 rpm.  The base chassis comes delivered with steel brakes, Radical Powertec RQ2 six-speed transmission, and Powertec RPD V8.  Customers will have the option to upgrade to carbon brakes, a Hewland NLT with a paddle shift system, in addition to options for either a Engine Developments or Nicholson-McLaren engine.  The monocoque is described as a aluminum-carbon hybrid aimed at low cost.  In keeping with the low cost theme, the bodywork will be gelcoated fiber glass (colored to the customer's specification).  The car's  expected roll out date is Spring 2006.

Mick Hyde concludes, "Daniel Perdrix at the ACO has seen our plans, and recognises the value of this LMP2 project. The design of the SR9 is not going to be revolutionarily, but the commercial thinking behind the project is. We've achieved all our targets with our current models; now we're going to do it with this one."

>>Riley Technologies has announced a development program for a LMP1/LMP2 chassis.  The Riley Mk XII will feature a carbon tub, power steering, and a steering wheel mounted paddle shift gearbox.  Both closed top and open top cars are being explored with Bob Riley intimating, "The closed design features less drag, while the open car has a lower CG (center of gravity) and more ballast to shift, as required."  Little is known about time scales for the program at this time.
>>Sam Smith sends us the official B05/40 technical specification:


The Lola B05/40 Sports Car is eligible for the ACO/ LMP2 class at Le Mans, and can also be used in the Le Mans Endurance Series and the American Le Mans Series

The minimum regulation weight is 750 kg. This will be the target weight for the complete car.

The chassis is constructed from carbon fibre in one piece, with symmetrical twin rollover hoops.
Seatbelts  Sparco

Fire extinguisher SPA

The bodywork is all new for the revised aero regulations introduced for 2004. 
Construction is pre-preg carbon fibre with honeycomb core in order to stiffen the panels. 
The rear wing and underbody  are also of lightweight carbon composite construction.

The front and rear uprights are fabricated from aircraft spec steel and TIG welded. 

Both front and rear suspension use double fabricated steel wishbones with pushrods and rockers transmitting the loads to Ohlins T44 dampers (3 way adjustment).

Wheel bearings: Timken 

Lola 6 speed manual sequential units based on proven Champcar and LMP675 technology.
Bespoke bellhousing adaptor depending on the engine installation.
Lightweight magnesium castings
Air/oil cooler.
A semi- auto shift system available as an extra cost option.

Hitco Carbon brakes, discs and pads 
AP Racing callipers and master cylinders
Dimensions: Front & rear vented brake discs – 355mm diameter 

The car will be designed to accept any LMP2 engine according to the customer’s choice, currently including AER, Judd, Nicholson McLaren, Zytek.

AP Racing (team choice)

Front 18” diameter x 11” wide
Rear 18” diameter x 13” wide

Tyre Dimensions:
Front 285/650 x 18” diameter
Rear 325/650 x 18” diameter

The car is supplied with the Motec ADL integrated dash/ logger. The system has the capability to be fully upgraded to suit customer’s data aquisition requirements, including a steering wheel mounted display.

Military specification chassis wiring loom is supplied with the car. All electrics are mounted directly to the inside of the monocoque for protection, access and reliability.

DMS RT40 12 volt high energy battery 
Starter: Tilton.

Two headlights housed in the nose section plus indicators, two rear red brake lights.

Dry sump with 10 litre oil tank

Water radiator(s)
Charge air intercooler for turbo engine
Air/oil cooler

ATL fuel cell capacity can be up to 90 litres. Regulation fuel capacity is achieved by fitting fuel displacement balls if necessary.
Fuel pump: Bosch

Rack and pinion.
Kyaba power steering option will be available

Facts and figures

Windtunnel hours: 260
CAD hours: 8000
Number of staff: 14
Additional work for LMP1: Engine mountings and air intake; bigger radiators; bigger wheels & tyres; bigger brakes (15" instead of 14"); stronger suspension; stronger nosebox (for front impact); ballast.


>>Rene Verstappen of Belgium contacted me this week about the GRAC MT20 he is restoring. 

Rene purchased the car in June of 2003.  The chassis didn't have its original GRAC bodywork (bodied in Lola as delivered) any longer and was also sans engine and transmission.  Luck would have Rene living within a 1/2 hour of another GRAC MT20 owner and the owner of that car was gracious enough to lend him the bodywork for him to copy for his own car:

"So, I spend one year and a half copying the body.  Keep in mind that the body is very complicated.  Great part of the body is hollow, filled with foam.  They called the process clégécel.  The foam was intended as a crash protection and it also made the body stiffer.  So you have an inner and outer surface and you have to make copies of both the inner and outer body side.  The mould of the scuttle alone has about 25 pieces!  I didn't use foam, instead I used honeycomb polyester.  They've warned me that this foam continued to expand weeks after you put it in the body."

"Now I'm finishing the body, make sure that the doors and so, fit well.  A couple of weeks and that job is finished.  I have a Hewland FT200 as original.  The engine should be a 2l, straight 4 Chrysler (Simca in France) tuned by JRD or ROC.  They offered me an engine for 25.000 Euros!!  So I think you understand that I didn't take that offer, instead I'm preparing a BMW engine (straight 4 2,3l)"

The MT20 was designed by Michel Faure and Rene has also been in contact with him as well, "The opening between the front wheels and the rear wheels was intended to create downforce.  In these 'tunnels' the water radiators are located.  They experimented with oil/water radiator, but this was abandoned as it cooled not enough.  I fell in love with the car because of the 'feminine' lines.  This shark tale is fantastic.  All the details are designed with love.  Look at the rearview mirror: why buy one as you can make it yourself?"
Rene has been in contact with GRAC's founder Jean-Serge Aziosmanoff and additionally through his research he has acquired masses of documentation and drawings for the MT20.  Rene explains, "Only 9 were built and competed in the 'Shell-Simca-Cup' and hill climb.  The 'Shell-Simca-Cup'  was a series for French prototypes.  They also participated in the European Championship for 2l prototypes.  The Gotti brothers (GRAC partners to Jean-Serge Aziosmanoff)  decided to go to Le Mans, but they had to retire in the 5th hour with the clutch completely destroyed."
Comparing his car with his fellow MT20 owner's, it became clear that Rene's car was very different from the rear bulkhead back in that it was much more substantially built.  "There is a huge difference between the other car in Belgium and mine.  So I think it (Rene's MT20) had a powerful engine.  But we're sure that both cars are original, albeit in different versions", says Rene.  With the help of a MT20 owner from France, Rene has been able to ascertain the whereabouts of 8 of the 9 MT20s built,  "But we can't figure out where the Le Mans car is for the moment." 

With the knowledge that the Le Mans MT20s were more robust in order to handle 24 hours, the question begs, could Rene's be the Le Mans car?  Can you help?  Contact me ( ) and I'll put you in touch with Rene.


>>Creation Motorsports busy.  Creation has been busy further developing the aero package of their DBA 03S for the '05 season.  Development has been headed up by Kieron Salter of KW Motorsport Ltd (KWM).  Full scale wind tunnel testing has taken place at MIRA's 15.24 x 7.94 meter wind tunnel and evaluation body work resulting from the wind tunnel test should be on the car for the Magny Cours test later this month.  Creations plans a 24 hour test in preparation for Le Mans at Paul Ricard April 1-2.

©Copyright 2005, Michael J. Fuller