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Aerodynamacist and automotive enthusiast Paul T. Glessner presents "The Secrets & Basics of Vehicle Aerodynamics" Seminars.  See why more cars are going faster and doing it more safely and in style.  Paul has been asked to speak at venues like Bob Bondurant SoHPD, SAE, SEMA and PRI.  Paul's seminars both educate and entertain.  The day long seminar can be held at your club, organization and/or company location with the organizer paying only $100.  Click on the above banner (click event date in site) to read about Paul's extensive background and testimonials from enthusiasts like Jay Leno. 
Schedule your seminar at www.aeroseminars.com!
"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

 

May 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.
5.17.06
>>Team Creation Sport is using an eBay auction to sell advertising space on the side of their Le Mans bound CA06/H LMP1.  The winning bidder gets advertising space on either side of the car as well as access to hospitality at the 2006 24 Hours of Le Mans.
5.9.06
>>Radical's Mick Hyde sends us a very brief note...

"The SR9 driven around Silverstone Int. by Martin Short, lapped 2 seconds quicker than Rollcentre`s Dallara has ever done, during a Dunlop tyre test last week."

Quite amazing...

5.2.06
>>We took some time to catch up with the goings on at B-K Motorsports as well as the team’s new Technical Director, Marcus Haselgrove.

In December of 2005 Marcus Haselgrove joined B-K Motorsports as the team’s Technical Director.  Haselgrove came to B-K Motorsports via Champion Racing where he spent nearly four years managing data and instrumentation for the American Le Mans Series LMP900 Audi R8 as well as the Speed World Challenge Audi touring cars.   In 2003 and 2004 he was second engineer for the #38 Audi R8 moving to the #2 R8 in 2005.

According to Haselgrove the primary advantage of the Mazda R20B engine is its reliability and low center of gravity, but, “Our biggest challenge is actually noise and exhaust heat management.”  With exhaust temperatures exceeding 1600 degrees Fahrenheit, more than 400 F higher than an equivalent horsepower piston engine, managing that heat out of the car is a primary concern and throughout the ’05 season the Courage chassis began to sport various louvers and NACA ducts for those purposes.  The slight aerodynamic drawback that these items create is deemed well worth it according to Marcus, “To me it’s a balance, what’s the point of running with less drag if the car overheats and has to be parked on the side of the track?”

At Sebring the team set out to emphasis their strengths.  Marcus admits, “We weren’t going to beat them on speed.”  Much time was spent during practice optimizing the car’s setup and aerodynamic downforce to the Goodyear tires, specifically setting the car up for when the tires started to go away.  The initial benefit was that they only went through one set of tires of the five allotted for practice and qualifying.  The reward was that the Mazda was able to double stint the tires in the race allowing them to take advantage of the yellows,  “The team worked flawlessly on pit stops especially during fuel only yellow flag stops and enabled us to rise up to 3rd in class and 7th overall until the gearshift cable broke.”

Since Sebring IMSA has increased the 3-rotor Mazda engine’s restrictor diameter from 53.44 mm to 55.62 mm.  But it is no secret that they have been routinely giving up upwards of 50 horsepower to the Porsche and AER competitor.  Interestingly this power deficit doesn’t notch them into the low-downforce regime of the Courage chassis.  In fact they ran quite a bit of downforce at Sebring concentrating on driver comfort given the long distance nature of the race, “If we were very close on power then running less drag may have been an option but most drivers tend to visit the scenery during a corner so a little extra downforce does not hurt them” says Marcus.

Following Sebring B-K Motorsports has installed an improved cooling system that will address the cooling related engine failures the team quietly encountered at Sebring.  At the time of this writing there has been no confirmation as to the exact reason for the double engine failures but it appears to be a combination of issues revolving around an unexpectedly lean running engine and tire debris pickup choking the radiator ducts.  The revised Carlos Lopez Racing cooling system should help eliminate localized hot pockets and attempts to counter the tire debris pickup issue.  The team’s Courage C65 has had a thorough going over with parts replaced and serviced as needed in preparation for the season’s first sprint race at Houston.  But perhaps the most substantial near term change for the team will be the switch from Goodyear tires to Kumho starting at Round 2. 

Looking at the long(er) term, speculation is rampant on when or even if B-K will be making a chassis change.  Though sources have all but confirmed that indeed a Lola chassis is currently being manufactured for B-K Motorsports.  When it will be delivered and debut is a matter of speculation and John Doonan will only confirm that B-K will have a new car “sometime this year.”  And invariably talk of running a 4-rotor comes up, but again, it is a case of if/when.  Regardless, it would be a safe bet that we’ll see one or the other (if not both) at some point in the future.  Watch this space.

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©Copyright 2006, Michael J. Fuller