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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

 

March 2006
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Are you building a CSR, DSR, or LMP3?  Are you a manufacturer or even a backyard builder?  Would you like your link included in our Links section?  Pop us a line and we'll hook you up.
3.25.06
>>Joest's Technical Director Ralf Jüttner follows up with us regarding a few items...Regarding the Audi R10 and the talk of it running at 935 kgs Jüttner responded by saying, "Your sources in Sebring were not so wrong.  There is a lot more to come to get the cars down to the weight limit and some of it might be in for Le Mans."  Ultimately Audi intends to get the weight of the R10 down to less than 900 kgs in order to utilize ballast to tune the car's weight distribution.  But it just wasn't achievable at this point in the development timeline, "...all classes have been added 25 kg and I do not disagree that this has been a little help for us at Sebring."  Though only temporary help for sure.

As reported first on dailysportscar.com, the Sebring 12 hour winning Audi R10 had a shunt in follow up testing Tuesday after the race.  Again Ralf Jüttner: "Just before the end of our endurance test, Alan lost the car in turn one, spun and crashed backwards into the tire wall that's fortunately standing there.  He suffered no scratch, which cannot be said of the car."  Jüttner indicates that the rear suspension was destroyed though ultimately they could have exacted repairs in a matter of hours, "In fact, it was rolling again after one hour because we had to make it transportable for the flight home."  The test itself was nearly at an end when Alan had his accident so the session was only just cut short,  "The worst thing about it is, that we can't analyze the rear suspension parts after the 24 hour endurance test, but that's a small problem only.  Main thing is that Alan didn't suffer any damage and we know now that the R10 TDI safety features are working (although we have to admit, that this test has not been explicitly on our job list)."  So well put by Ralf of an incident that can only be described as a very small blip in the R10's testing schedule.

>>Martin Short has just taken delivery of his new Radical SR9 Judd LMP2.  It's off to Paul Ricard for the Le Mans Endurance Series test.
Note the roll over hoops do not yet have their fairings attached.
The Radical has probably the best integration of the rear side structures on any of the current cars.  One guys opinion certainly... 
Now, how will she go?
3.20.06
>>Sebring news roundup.

>It came out over the weekend that sure enough the Audi R10s were running at 935 kgs, a full 10 kgs over minimum.  Sources within Audi indicated as much stressing that with the R8 they had the freedom to utilize ballast for chassis set up and at this point in the development cycle they do not have that freedom with the R10...yet.  Certainly 10 kgs is nothing in the scheme of things and will be gone by Le Mans, but it makes one wonder.  Consider if we were still at 900 kgs for LMP1?  And also note that the Lola B06/10 is using ample ballast to make the 925 kgs minimum.

>I sat down with John Doonan briefly to get the scoop on Mazda's plans for '06...for now there are none other than what is evident.  John intimated that their fiscal year doesn't even begin until April 1, so talk of a new chassis is well premature inasmuch as they haven't any idea of what their budget will be.  But it doesn't take much intuition to figure that they are doing alot of talking to various chassis builders and that one in particular is looking like, "a good fit".  The Mazda guys are putting the pieces together, B-K Motorsports being the first piece, driver's Guy Cosmo and Jamie Bach the second, and  the acquisition of engineer Marcus Haselgrove being the third.  The fourth and fifth pieces could very well be a new chassis and new motor (4-rotor).  But we'll have to wait a couple more weeks before we find out.

Porsche RS Spyder LMP2, Sebring 2006>The Porsche RS Spyder appeared to have some sort of cooling issue over the weekend as the radiator inlet ducts on both cars had outboard blanking panels and rather large vortex generators mounted inboard just inside the leading edge of the duct.  It is more than likely a boundary layer issue within the duct is causing an uneven pressure drop across the radiator.  The blanking panel helps redirect the airflow across the VGs which in turn energize the airflow as well as moving it from outboard to inboard within the duct attempting to revitalize the dead area of the radiator.  Ultimately this is a drastic field-fix given the drag penalty from the VGs and loss of total pressure.  It is somewhat curious that this hasn't occurred previously and been solved but it could have something to do with the higher ambient temperatures encountered at Sebring relative to the temperatures seen in testing over the past (wintry) four months. 
ProTran RS06/H3.15.06
>>News comes of a new LMP1 based upon the Reynard 2KQ chassis.  Designed by Kieron Salter's KW Motorsport group and bearing much more than merely a passing resemblance to the Nasamax DM139 (also a LMP1 Reynard 2KQ conversion and also designed by KW Motorsport), the car is called a ProTran RS06/H and will be run by the UK-based ProTran team.  Kieron Salter, "The car is very similar to Nasamax in that it was the same type of chassis with a 2004 aero rework.  Some details in that combination will always give the same answers."  The RS06/H derives from  Reynard 2KQ chassis 009 which started life in 2000 as a 2KQ LMP675 and was raced by ROC quite successfully at Le Mans 2001 and 2002 (winning LMP675 in 2001 with its sister car, chassis 008, winning 2002 and 2003 in the hands of Noel Del Bello).  Paul Cope of ProTran Racing, "Other than the carbon tub (and even that has had safety and styling features bonded on) virtually ever other component has been redesigned or changed.  The RS06/H is a very different car and is wholly entitled to a new name", and hence the Reynard chassis is homologated as a ProTran RS06/H and in fact uses molds exclusive to their effort (not utilizing anything from the Nasamax project).
ProTran RS06/HThe RS06/H uses the new AER 3.6 liter twin-turbo V8 engine and incorporates internal intercooling ducting that the Nasamax DM139 did not have.  ProTran was intrinsically involved with the engineering of the installation for the AER powerplant, Paul Cope again, "The physical installation of the engine was no problem as we have plenty of room. The water, oil, and air (intake) installations have been difficult as AER keep changing them!  Also the starter motor installation with the bell housing has been difficult.  Kieron Salter and my own engineer Lester Ray have designed all the parts and we have either made them ourselves or contracted to local machine shops."
ProTran RS06/HKieron Salter indicates that the rear deck height on the ProTran is lower than the Nasamax's in lieu or the RS06/H being based upon the LMP675 variant (the Nasamax was based upon the LMP900 variant) of the Reynard chassis.
ProTran RS06/HOther detail differences between the ProTran and Nasamax chassis' are a slightly different fender treatment, rad inlet (shape), and rear wing endplate detailing.
ProTran RS06/HThe RS06/H uses a similar Ricardo gearbox to the Nasamax.  ProTran will be campaigning their car in the Le Mans Endurance Series this year.  And while it may be presumptuous to ask a new team what their plans are beyond 2006, Paul Cope did add this morsel, "We are looking to do something with Kieron Salter with a new carbon chassis but using much of this year's rear end, for 2007."

Many thanks to Racecar Engineering's Sam Collins for the use of these images.

>>Riley Technologies announces plans to move to Mooresville, North Carolina.  As of September 2006, Riley Technologies will move their entire facility from their current location on Main Street in Speedway, Indiana to Mooresville, North Carolina.  "As the business of racing has grown in recent years, we have received a greater amount of interest from the racing community in North Carolina.  Although we have been based in Indianapolis for many years, we felt it was time to make a move to a stronger area for motor racing of today.  We feel we have found that in the Town of Mooresville, the County of Iredell and the State of North Carolina" said Bill Riley,  President of Riley Motorsport.  The new Riley Technologies Technical Center will be housed in a purpose built 40,000 square foot facility.   Composites supplier DeBotech will be building a facility adjacent to the new Riley factory and establishing a partnership with Riley Technologies.

Compiled from press release

>>SPORTSCAR CONSTRUCTORS ANNOUNCE FORMATION OF INTERNATIONAL SPORTS CAR MANUFACTURES ASSOCIATION

INDIANAPOLIS -- Six sports car manufacturers who are based in North America and the United Kingdom have announced the formation of the International Sports Car Manufacturers Association, LLP, (ISCMA) to address common issues facing the industry on a global scale, foster new technologies in motorsports competition, and establish stability via unified international standards for safety and construction. 

The founding members who have formed ISCMA are:

Radical Extreme Sportscars – Tim Greaves, Chairman
Panhard Motorsports Development - Andy Campbell, President
Saker Motorsports, North America - Jim Schofield, President
Chiron USA /RPMS Motorsports - David Jansen, President
Hartham - James Painter, Director
Diasio Sports Car Co. - Christopher Diasio, President

The constructors all have approved a detailed Charter that defines the mission of the Association via provisions which will establish:

- Uniform FIA international standards for sportscar construction and safety to create a unified and consistent standard for construction and competition on a global scale to open markets domestically and internationally for the members.

- Reduce industry overhead and operating costs by negotiating contracts with suppliers and service vendors through economies of scale for ISCMA members.

- Encourage and develop new technologies in motorsports by partnering with research and governmental entities, and will apply such technologies to motorsports competition. 

- An unprecedented Code of Ethics among constructors and distributors to ensure quality customer service and ethical business practices within the cooperative, yet competitive business climate in the industry.

The Association, which will be incorporated in Indianapolis, Indiana, will serve constructors from North America, Europe, South America and Asia who sign the Charter and Code of Ethics and pay membership fees for admittance. 

To obtain a copy of the Charter to consider membership, contact Tim Northcutt at Rennsport-Beraten, the consulting group that served as facilitators with the constructors to form ISCMA, via e-mail at:  timATrennsport-beraten.com

Press release

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©Copyright 2006, Michael J. Fuller