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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September 2002

>>Dailysportscar gives us these images of the Reynard (aka IRM) 02S LMP 675. 
On the 02S,  the floor to the sides of the diffuser curves outward.  Typically the area to the sides of the diffuser is flat and planar, angling back, mimicking the diffuser angle or nearly so.
>>Q&A with Yves Courage:

Why choose an LMP 675 ?
This is the first step in both the diversification of our industrial program, and the development of our commercial activities. The Courage has a reputation for reliability, and therefore we hope to be able to offer a competitive ready to race car, in a category which is extremely open and expanding rapidly. 

What do you mean by “ready to race”  ?
Our commercial operation will run on three levels : 1) Sales with assistance and sale of spare parts at the track. 2) Hire purchase through a specialized company. 3) Turnkey formula for a full season, whether for the FIA Championship or an ALMS-Le Mans calendar. In any case, we will be closely involved in our client programs, as we intend to ensure the continuous development of the car.

Do you have any plans to enter your own team ?
We have no plans, but we are thinking about entering into an agreement with a team which could be considered as a semi-factory team.

When did you launch this project ?
Paolo Catone and I started to think about it in early May. Briefly, the formula consisted of reusing the carbon chassis from the C 60, if only because it has already gone through the crash tests.  After Le Mans, we designed the rear drive and the gearbox, which will be a Hewland with Courage elements. In order to keep to our schedule, which was to have a chassis ready to run at the end of December, we decided against competing in the Petit Le Mans in the USA. 

So nothing revolutionary then ?
No, because we wanted to create a product that was both reliable and competitive, able to win straight away, using Courage's know how. Considering the way this small class has developed at Le Mans over the past two year, this technical philosophy is making a place for itself, and the little Courage could soon be a major player in its category.

Why have you chosen to call it the  « C 65 » ?
We decided that the multiples of 10 would be reserved for the big prototypes, with the little prototypes given numbers between them.  Therefore, the car that will follow the current C60 will be the C 70, the next replacement for the C 65 will be the C75 and so on.

Can we call it the C 60’s little sister?
Absolutely.  It will be a reduced size C 60.  The same central core, different suspension and gearbox, less powerful, lighter, with a lower center of gravity, but with bodywork that will have a definite family resemblance to the current prototype.

Which engine have you chosen ?
The client will have a large range of engines to choose from : the 4-cylinder turbo engine from the MG made by AER, or various V6 engines, either currently available or in development, including the Sodemo. We will however steer our future clients towards that which appears to us to be the best compromise, which is the four-cylinder turbo.  But it will also be the most expensive choice as far as budgets are concerned.

Have you taken the future regulations into account ?
Of course. We have taken them into account, so that the car conform to the future 2004 regulations, and hope that it will be able to run until 2005-2006. We work closely with the FIA technical stewards. For the 2003 season, for example, we are anticipating the fact that the minimum authorized weight could be increased from 675 to 750 Kg, and that the power could be reduced by around 10% compared to the current values.

The category could no longer be called LMP 675  ?
Internally, we are referring to it as  LMP 2. That is most probably how it will be called next year.

Have you already set a price for this C 65 ?
It will be put on the market almost at cost price, that is 380.000 Euros without the engine.  As far as the latter is concerned, if a 4-cylinder turbo is chosen, the cost will be 92.000 Euros.

Have you already chosen a date for the presentation ?
If the work continues as scheduled, the official presentation will take place at the Birmingham show, in England (January 9-12 2003). After that, we will start to work on the finishing touches and then on to the development. 

Courage press release

>>First view, Courage C65 LMP675.  The official unveiling will be at the Birmingham, England Auto Show, January 9-12 2003.
>>When questioned about his LMP900 program, Yves Courage indicated that development would continue with the Courage C60 Evo., and that, "We are planning a racing calendar for 2003, which will include taking part in the big European and American races with a C60, that will be an evolution of the current car."  Courage will transition to the new C65 for 2003.
>>Well all hope for Cadillac to make an intelligent decision are gone.  Autosport reports that any hint of a Cadillac U-turn on the decision to cancel the LMP02 program have vanished.  They came, they saw, they assigned themselves to mediocrity.  "We accomplished all we set out to do", very telling final words. 
>>Courage is in the news.  According to dailysportscar, Courage is in the process of designing an LMP675 chassis.  Though the timing seems odd as Autosport is reporting that the ACO, in line with the '04 rules changes, is considering dumbing down the LMP675 class making them slower and not in contention for overall victory.  The proposed changes would bring the all up weight in the smaller category up from 675 kilos to around 725-750.  Of course the '04 changes are all a matter of conjecture until the ACO releases the rules at the Petit Le Mans in October.
©Copyright 2002, Michael J. Fuller