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October 2007
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Petit news 

>>Lola's Julian Sole mentioned that the aero program for the B08/60 is finishing up and the molds are being laid up for the monocoque.  The car is set to be completed some time in November.  The B08/60 is a current regulation's closed top car. 

>>Spoke with Ian Bickerton about progress at Creation.  The AIM V10's first run on the dyno occurred two weeks ago and is set to be installed in the chassis in three weeks.  The CA07's new carbon tub has been designed to accept the AIM engine from the start, the differing V angle of the Judd and the AIM (72 degrees vs 90 degrees) slightly complicating that.  To date RTN has built two CA07 tubs.  At this point in its life the CA07 is "100 % Creation" with no Reynard carry overs.  In the future Creation is looking at doing their own gearbox. 

Ian admitted the CA07 has a small window of performance but a lot of that has to do with their inability to find the time to do any development work on the car this year.  So the performance window is small only by their current inability to open it.  A trip to the shaker rig 10 days prior to Petit certainly helped.  A new feature is the addition of a third spring at the rear and the change to Ohlins dampers on all four corners. 

The Creation's qualifying pace at Petit was hobbled by an incorrect tire choice.  For the race the team opted to switch back to the medium compound Dunlops, having been on the soft compounds, taking the grid position hit and thereby dropping them all the way back to last for the start.  According to Kieron Salter, "With traffic realistic times were 1:11's and 1:12's but with good traffic you can see what happens!"  Indeed, the CA07 had the 3rd fastest race lap, only behind the two Audi R10s, posting a 1:09.729 compared to their 1:11.976 (and besting their 2006 pole time of 1.10.829). 

Bickerton indicates that this year has been about challenges.  The design and build of the carbon tub for the CA07 certainly was that, "Combined, the four Creation principles have something like over 150 years of racing experience.  Yet on this project we took twice as long as we thought we would and we're 50% over budget!"  And in the midst of all this Bicks admits that it was a "big thing to do" taking on two customers (Autocon and Intersport). 

Bickerton and the team are clearly over the moon at what they have accomplished this year.  And while results don't speak volumes, they are on their way I think. 

>>Audi's Ralf Jüttner indicates that the reduction in the overall weight for LMP1 to 900 kgs will ultimately only mean that the R10 will carry "less" ballast.  Expect the R10 to be down to the 900 kgs minimum starting at Sebring next season. 

>>Advanced Engines Research quietly introduced a 4.0 liter spec of the P32 LMP1 turbo V8 engine at Petit Le Mans this past weekend, "We have been periodically testing the 4L in Europe though," says Mike Lancaster.  The updated 4.0 liter P32 features improved power and torque.  Both Cytosport and Intersport Racing used the engine this weekend. 

Development work is still ongoing for the P32's direct injection system, "Early days but I would be surprised if it wasn't on at least 1 car early next year," says Lancaster.  Naturally the goal is to produce a DI system that exceeds the performance of the conventional system while proving equally as reliable. 

>>Peugeot personnel were spotted in the paddock during the weekend.

©Copyright 2007, Michael J. Fuller