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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November 2002

>>The new Lister LMP has been revealed.  The car is most notable in that the primary air intakes for engine cooling are integral with the front fenders, coming forward to the front splitter. The intent is to reduce some of the lift over the top surfaces of the car.  The inside of the cooling duct is open to the wheel well and the primary brake cooling is siphoned off of the cooling flow that continues to the radiators in the side pods.
Other than NACA ducts at the rear of the car for rear brake cooling there are no other top side ducts or intakes.  The car is very clean and the front fender shape gives the car a very aggressive and unique looking stance.
>>A bit of clarification regarding the 20 mm plank comes our way.  Apparently, according to the Sporting Regulations (different than the Technical Regulations), the plank will not be inspected post-race to insure that it has maintained its dimensional specification.  The only requirement will be that a legal plank be fitted prior to the start of each official practice, qualifying, and race meeting. 
>>More insight into 2004 ACO/FIA chassis regulations.  Word comes that the definitive underbody aerodynamics regulations will include a mandatory 20 mm plank bolted to the bottom of the car.  It appears that the Technical Working Group has been back and forth on this issue, the main bone of contention being the difficulty of maintaining the planks specification over endurance length events.   Imagine the horror of the public when it is announced that the 2004 Le Mans 24 Hours winner has been disqualified over an out-of-spec plank!  Starting to look like shades of Formula One.  Perhaps the FIA's involvement hasn't been a good thing? 
>>Norma introduces new prototype.  The carbon tubbed M20 is designed for competition in hill climb, circuit, or endurance challenge events and at this time it does not meet ACO/ALMS rules.  Two versions can be built, the CN which weighs in at a mere 360 kilos and can accept engines up to 1.5 liters, or the CM which weighs 520 kilos and can accept any variety of engine rated up to 360 hp. 

For 2003 Norma plans to compete in the entire ALMS schedule with the M2000-02.

>>2003 rules have been released.  No significant chassis changes for '03 (understandably) but a 10% power reduction across the board (expected).
>>2004 rules brief preview.  Sources give Mulsanne's a bit of added insight into the changes for '04.  Flat bottoms are out as has been previously reported.  In their place will be a spec. tunnel/diffuser which begins ahead of the rear axle centerline.  An additional change will be a move away from the "formula" style front fenders.  Open top cars will be mandated to provide dual protection for driver and the theoretical occupant, and that will more than likely push many manufacturers to field closed top cars instead.  The ACO will also have increased crash standards for the roll over hoop as well as mandating testing on the steering column.  The full rules will be released later this month.
ęCopyright 2002, Michael J. Fuller