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May/June 2012
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All news content copyright Michael J. Fuller, unless otherwise noted
6.17.12

>>So another 24 Hours of Le Mans is done.  Not quite an "epic" with the results rather predetermined (Audi, but which one?).  Some interesting stories emerged.  We'll follow them up at some point and see where they take us.  

On a side note, the fastest car of the weekend in a straight line?  Toyota?  Audi?

Try Sauber, C9 = 340.4 km/h.

Dome Judd S102.5, Le Mans 20126.10.12

>>A nice shot of Team Pescarolo post scrutineering.
Dome Judd S102.5, Le Mans 2012Dome Judd S102.5, Le Mans 2012The S102.5 has a new splitter foot...

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Pescarolo Judd 03
6.4.12

>>Pescarolo 03 bonanza.  We're big fans of retasked or, work with and improve what you have, engineering.  That's why we were always huge fans of the Porsche 962.  So the instant Henri Pescarolo announced he was going to utilize the good bits of the whopping failure that was the Aston Martin AMR-One, we were intrigued to see what would come out the other end.  Now no matter how the car runs in the scheme of things, certainly they're up against it facing the massive budgets of Audi and Toyota, ultimately we find what organizations like Pescarolo are doing to be equally, if not more so at times, interesting.  Sure, you're better off designing bespoke.  But when life gives you lemons, make lemonade!

There's been a suggestion that the Pescarolo 03's splitter was also borrowed from the AMR-One.  But there are enough indicators that suggest that's not the case at all.  The outboard edge of the 50 mm stepped splitter transitions beyond tangency before rotating perpendicular (1).  The 03's entire splitter corner is a machined jabroc piece (for wear considerations) that slopes outboard (2).  And the middle section (3) has a completely different section than the outboard sections that feeds directly to the radiator inlets (note the trailing edge heights too).  For comparison, the AMR-One's splitter/diffuser seemed relatively flat and undeveloped.

The splitter mounts (4) have a different shape than the AMR-One, they're less splayed, more upright, and there's a secondary support as well (5).    
Pescarolo Judd 03The Jabroc outer.
Pescarolo Judd 03Better shot of the different sections of the splitter.
Pescarolo Judd 03The front Big Honking Hole.
Pescarolo Judd 03The 03's pontoon fender has the now-ubiquitous trailing edge treatment.  The 03's pontoon fenders are some of the longest we've ever seen.  Note the rear brake cooling intake (black oval) and note the similarity of position on the Pescarolo 01.
Pescarolo Judd 03Note the small legality panel.
Pescarolo Judd 03The engine inlet is integrated with the Big Honking Fin.  The writing on the inlet lip is 43.285, as in millimeters.
Pescarolo Judd 03One additional item that most certainly has carried over from the AMR-One is the rear wing swan neck mount.  It certainly looks like the AMR-One part.  And as additional evidence, for 2012 the ACO mandated that the heights of the Big Honking Fins to increase from the 920-1030 mm range in 2011 to 1020-1030 mm.  Naturally if you were to draw the rear wing mounts from scratch you'd more than likely draw it to the same height as your BHF, if for nothing less than simple integration.  
Pescarolo Judd 03The rear end is fairly simple.  The diffuser strakes are either not in place or the trailing edges of the strakes are short of the trailing edge of the diffuser.

Endurance-info has an interesting interview with the car's designer,  Nicolas Perrin.






















See Race Car Engineering's special Le Mans edition, free!

See Race Car Engineering's special Le Mans edition, free!

Toyota TS030 details
6.3.12*updated

>>For whatever reason Toyota PR has held onto updated images of the TS030 as though they were gold.  With the LM Test weekend action kicking off they've decided to release a few new images.  Naturally we've now noticed a couple of new (minor) details.  

Notice the rear wing flap, the center section, has a different trailing edge detail.  Also notice the rear wing endplate leading edge extensions are splayed outboard relative to centerline.
Toyota TS030 detailsWith Sam Collins' image we now see that the center section of the flap varies it's height.  The section appears to be the same though the angle is variously decreased (outer center bit) and increased (very center bit).   This opens and closes the slot gap across the middle section of the flap.
Toyota TS030 detailsRear wing flap trailing edge gurney detail.  Interestingly enough, the rest of the rear wing flap does not appear to be running a gurney.
Toyota TS030 detailsWe noticed a small inlet duct located on the right hand side of the forward monocoque.  Observing other images from the weekend and the duct comes and goes.  What it feeds?  Who knows, but there are a lot of electronics located in the footwell of the cars these days so it most likely is related to cooling needs for something along those lines.  

Also note what appears to be a slight separation at speed between the endplate and the leading edge extension.
Toyota TS030 detailsSans duct.

















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Pescarolo Judd 035.30.12*updated

>>The first images of the Pescarolo Judd 03 are out.  The Pescarolo 03 was always going have an obvious visual likeness to the donor Aston Martin AMR-One (monocoque, crash box, front and rear suspension, gearbox).  And while the only exterior surfaces that carry over are the crash box and the monocoque, the Pescarolo 03 already looks much more purposeful.

The Judd's engine inlet is integrated into the Big Honking Fin, this being one small limitation of the AMR-One monocoque; the inlet for the turbo Aston Martin engine was located on the right hand side pod ahead of the rear wheel and no provisions were made to "hole" the monocoque in the passenger side roll over hoop for a normally aspirated engine.  

T
he entire out board section of the 03's splitter is made from Jabroc.  Front brakes are cooled by the ducts attached to the inboard surface of the front fenders.
Pescarolo Judd 03This second angle provides proof that the center section of the splitter is different than the sections immediately outboard that form ramps either side aimed directly at the radiator inlets.  This, plus suggestions of a vertical splitter just underneath the middle of the monocoque in the above image, indicate that air doesn't simply flow around the bottom of the monocoque and then into the radiator inlets, but that provisions have been made for it to flow underneath the monocoque. We can also just see daylight through the car if you look between the main splitter supports.

We understand the test at Magny Cours went well with the Pescarolo 03 setting times about a half second slower than the Dome S102.5.  There were no issues with the car.
HPD ARX-03a>>Strakka Racing was showing off their HPD ARX-03a prior to heading out the door for this weekend's Le Mans Test.  We note some revisions.  Naturally the front is devoid of diveplanes given the lower downforce and drag requirements for Le Mans, though the splitter is complemented with a vertical turning vane.  The JRM HPD ARX-03a ran in this front end aero configuration at Spa a few weeks ago.  The front Big Honking Holes are sans fore and aft (but for one just ahead of the side view mirror) louvers.  All subtle balance-oriented changes.
HPD ARX-03aHowever, the rear fender has been pretty heavily modified, all having to do with the rear BHH.  The bodywork ahead of the hole has been lowered.  A strake that is mounted on top of the fender and inboard of the BHH manages air exiting the BHH away from the underside of the rear wing.  The strake butts up to the rear wing endplate though is attached to the engine cover.  

Dome-Judd S102.5 Châteauroux crash May 20125.19.12*updated

>>We woke up this morning to this image in our Twitter feed from Dome founder Minoru Hayashi.  Not a pretty sight, clearly a major issue in testing for the S102.5.  We understand that the accident was caused by a tire failure at  the end of the straight of the Châteauroux airport at 310 km/h with Minassian at the wheel.  The team was checking through the pre-Le Mans Test list on Châteauroux's straights.  The car was launch about 3 feet off the ground by the lump of tire carcass but the Big Honking Fin and Big Honking Holes did their job and the car didn't take flight, instead going sideways and landing, "quite softly" (per Minassian), spinning down the runway and into the grass.  The flailing tire caused all of the damage, tearing the wing off as well as the engine cover, as well as damaging numerous other items (toe links and pushrods, exhaust muffler, etc.).  But mechanically the car is completely sound (tub, gearbox).  

A quick reply to our email and we have some answers from Dome's Hiroshi Yucchi:

"We were just doing a systems check at the airport where we went in March for the shake down (Châteauroux)
. The burst was caused by the debris.  Apart from that, everything was fine at the test.  Also, we have spare parts to repair the car in time for Le Mans test.  Actually, the damage of the car is less than you can imagine from the photo."

So good news about a bad situation.  

Toyota TS030, May 20125.13.12

>>Woes for Toyota?  While Toyota's official post Argon PR offered up the usual vanilla corporate-speak ("...made good progress..." type language, no pictures--boo!), and only hinted at issues (Pascal Vasselon, "The endurance test has not been as smooth as we expected"), we're told that Toyota actually experienced some sort of engine failure early into their endurance test last week.  Naturally the nature of the failure is unknown though the engine was changed and the test continued hours later.  

We also understand the car's lap times at Argon put it in line with times set by other outfits recently at Argon
.  We're told that the TS030 regularly lapped in the mid-to-high 1:25s early in their runs with 1:26s towards the tail end of the longer stints.  For comparison, l'Equipe indicated the Dome S102.5 set a 1:25 (high/low, unknown) at Argon last month.  We were told the TS030 set a fast time of a 1:23.8 on Wednesday, but we understand it was shortly afterwards that the car suffered its engine issue.  The TS030 was timed at 196 mph through the speed traps.  
Conditions were apparently ideal for Toyota with the track having been recently rubbered-in and temperatures only in the upper 70s F.
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Toyota TS030, May 20125.4.12

>>Toyota stopped in at Spa for a brief photo shoot on their way to Magny Cours for testing.  This is the revised  "Audi R18-esque" aero package we mentioned back in January.  There are a number of changes at the front and for some reason the visual influence reminds us of the XP-67 Moonbat  (well, a little bit).  Toyota has redesigned the front end aero and now air is blowing across the top of the splitter and underneath the bodywork covering the front suspension.  The front fender leading edge is very upright (1), as is the trend these days. The splitter itself has been revised, the outer edges of the raised 50 mm section are squarer and closer to vertical (2).  The outer splitter/diffuser strake is missing.  It's interesting the brakes are cooled via the oval ducts (3) either side of the nose.  Can we assume the wheels are entirely segregated from the air flowing underneath the front bodywork?  Ahead of the brake duct and outboard is a winglet acting either as a flow conditioner or as a legality valance panel, just depends on what is downstream (is there even anything visible; suspension, brake cooling related, etc.) and it would require a closer look to ascertain more definitively.  
Toyota TS030, May 2012In side view we can see a new front wheel well exit duct (1).  Rear brake cooling comes from an inlet located in the leading edge (2) of the rear fender.   The rear fender (3) is of the Audi school of thought with its forward lengthened leading edge.  Here we have another look at the enlarged rear wing endplate extension (4).  And from this angle it's clear the upper radius on the rear cheese wedge has been softened.
Toyota TS030, May 2012Toyota TS030, May 2012This is also our first look at Toyota's Big Honking Hole solution.  They would appear to simply be extrusions of the regulated minimum area through the top of the fender with the rear BHH having some additional shape inboard.

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Toyota TS030, May 20125.1.12

>>Toyota's Twitter feed has released this shot of the further-developed TS030.  Toyota is finally catching their breath following their testing accident last month.  We're noting a number of changes:  (1) revised rear fender leading edge shape, (2) increased endplate leading edge extension, (3) squarer rear fender exit and fuly open to top, (4) softer top edge to cheese wedge, (5) and legality fender holes, front and rear.

4.30.12

>>Differences in fenders, nose covering panel, pontoon fender trailing edge, wing, and endplates, Audi R18 e-tron quattro (left) vs. Audi R18 ultra (right)...

Audi R18 e-tron quattroAudi R18 ultra
Audi R18 e-tron quattroAudi R18 ultra
Audi R18 e-tron quattroAudi R18 ultra
Audi R18 e-tron quattroAudi R18 ultra
Audi R18 e-tron quattroAudi R18 ultra
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