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Pete Lyons' fantastic Can-Am Cars in Detail:
September/October 2010
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All news content copyright Michael J. Fuller, unless otherwise noted
>>Petit Le Mans 2010<<
Peugeot 90X10.30.10

4 hours after the teaser image on Autosport, Peugeot releases 3 views of their new 90X LMP1.  The accompanying pdf says precious little about technical details and Bruno Famin is quoted saying, "We are still exploring several options with regard to the engine and technology we will use."

Evident are the mandatory for new 2011 cars big honking fin, as well as the swan neck rear wing mounts, and the curious large air intake on the roof.  The traditional turbo inlets have made a visit to the witch doctor and have been drastically reduced in size and more importantly inlet area (and their locations has been shifted rearwards).  Interestingly the front end looks essentially identical to the 908 (even the mirror's shape and position, which lends the belief that everything from the side pod leading edge forward is the same), though the splitter looks a little shorter.
Peugeot 90XFrom this angle it seems pretty clear the 90X shares much in the front end with the 908.
Peugeot 90XNote the lack of NACA brake cooling intake (as was on the 908).  More evidence that the small "turbo" duct on the rear fender leading edge is actually now for brakes.  You can also just see the carbon cover for the exhaust which pokes out of the top of the rear bodywork.  The location of the exhaust begins to seem significant to the engine choice, as does the choice of photos (note none show the opposite side)...
Peugeot 90XHere we can see that the entire rear end has been redesigned.
Peugeot 90XNote how the front pontoon fender trailing edge shape matches the sculpted shape for the sidepod.
Peugeot 90X
Peugeot 90XThe 90X's rear fender profile has been completely redesigned as have the side pods.  We can still see the large louver panel on the outboard vertical face of the side pod.  The trailing edge detail to the front pontoon fender is different to the 908 as well.  This is driven by the more sculpted outboard side pod shape.  The endplate shape has changed, specifically the lower left chamfer size.

It also does appear the wheelbase dimension has been revised and is shorter.

Yesterday's guess was that this was an interim test mule.  With these images being officially released by Peugeot that opinion changes.  We're a little surprised.  The 2011 engine regulations call for drastically smaller engines (and power outputs) and the car we're seeing here still very much has that "big car" look and feel to it.  Could their still be a diesel in the 90X's future?  Possibly, the cooling package we're seeing on the 90X bears resemblance to the 908's.  One would think with a small gas powered engine (for instance) the car's cooling needs would shrink drastically and it doesn't appear that's the case.  If anything, the height of the side pod at the leading edge seems as tall ason the 908 leading one to beleive the inlet area for the coolers is similar.  While this may seem a little confusing given the smaller 3.7 liter capacity for 2011 diesels (compared to the previous 5.5 liter cap) ; smalle engine, smaller coolers.  But it's a good guess that there's a hybrid coupling in the 90X and that could push Peugeot back to needing similar volumes of airflow to keep the engine cool.  But then there's that exhaust location (and roof intake) the end I wouldn't be surprised if Peugeot did an end-run and surprised everyone with a gasoline powered engine (of some variety) coupled with a hybrid powerplant...
Peugeot 90X
Peugeot 90X is an online shop for performance parts & accessories, including headlights and tail lights

ews flash, Mulsanne's Corner breaks into the 21st Century.  We'll be updating live from the track, bringing it to you as we see fit!  At some point I'll create a dedicated page (see link above)...frankly this is basically a test of the wireless...;-)

Here's a FaceBook album from this afternoon's session.

Continue to check the dedicated Petit Le Mans 2010 page for the most recent updates.
Lotus 2012 LMP29.28.10

oday's big news had to do with Lotus Group's announcement of a LMP2 program aiming at Le Mans 2012.  Along with this news Lotus Group also announced a GT2 program, a GT3 program, as well as ratcheting up their IRL commitment for 2011 culminating in an aero kit in 2012, and all of this to go along with their current F1 program in addition to last week's news of a GP2 sponsorship tie-in (ART racing)....whew.  Ok, I'm skeptical.  All this motorsport activity and one wonders who's paying for it as none of it's cheap.  And of course their's the push pull over the use of the Lotus name between Proton and Lotus Racing.  While I don't know for sure how that relates, it certainly muddies the water.
Lotus 2012 LMP2The only thing giving today's LMP2 announcement any credibility is that Paolo Catone (Peugeot 908, 905, Courage) has been signed to design the car.  Lotus Group only released these images and no technical details only to say they expect the car to be testing by late next year.  Note the lack of big honking fin...


Final 2011 Dome S102 developments9.15.10

bout a month after Dome's public decision to cease all efforts to field a factory backed team at Le Mans or sell customer LMP cars, Dome have released images of the final developments to the S102 chassis.
Final 2011 Dome S102 developmentsThe requisite big honking fin for 2011 coupled with swan neck rear wing mounts.  Note the longitudinal cuts in the big honking fin; the big honking fin has an allowable height variance of between 920 and 1030 mm from the reference plane.
Final 2011 Dome S102 developmentsNote the rear tire masking plates behind the rear fenders.
2011 Aston Martin LMP concept9.11.10

>>We're catching up on some news from the past week(s) starting with today's Aston Martin announcement.  Aston Martin has committed to a factory backed LMP1 program and has indicated that 6 cars will be built and the initial construction is already underway.  Aston Martin's David Richards indicated that the regulation changes for 2011 helped ease their deciscion, "In recent years, it has been impossible for petrol cars to compete on equal terms with the diesels.  However, we now have assurances from the ACO that, with the adoption of the 2011 regulations, they will properly balance the performance of these new cars.  Under these circumstances we have been prepared to develop Aston Martin’s first purpose-built racing chassis and engine for more than 50 years."  Few techncial details for the moment other than what we can observe: open cockpit, big honking fin, Aston Martin styling cues (front wheel well exit).  Aston are hoping for a Sebring 2011 debut.
>>Video of the Aston Martin press conference:
2011 Judd "HK" LMP2 engine>>On Thursday Judd released a press release and photo showing their 2011 LMP2 engine.  The engine is based BMW's 4.0 liter V8 and will have a "HK" desigantion in memory of Judd engine designer Hiro Kaneda who passed away in January of this year.
2011 Oreca 03 LMP2>>Oreca has released a rendering of their 2011 "03" LMP2.  Looks pretty much like this year's car but with a big honking fin.  Though we're reminded, it is just a rendering.
>>For the past year and a half I've been working on a CFD investigation of the 2009 ACO rear wing regulations.  With the help of Simon McBeath we're getting close to publishing our findings.  The CFD anaylsis looks at the rear wing regulations changes introduced in 2009 and its effects as well as the introduction of the swan neck rear wing mounts.  

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ęCopyright 2010, Michael J. Fuller