2001-2002 Panoz LMP07

Images courtesy and copyright John Brooks, Dave Davies @ Club Arnage,and James Davies
Text copyright Michael J. Fuller

The increased driver protection is plainly obvious in this view.  Ironically Thorby originally designed the chassis fins to take a full roll hoop.  But for whatever reason the ACO nixed the idea.  The chassis fins served to provide lateral protection, rear impact protection, and served to connect the footwell with the rest of the chassis structurally.  Thorby indicates,  "The deep and fairly thick fins were the logical way to get the necessary bending and torsional stiffness and they also carried the rear wing supports". 

The intakes either side of the nose are for brake cooling.  The radiator intakes are situated on either side of the cockpit as well as additional ducts being located in the side pods.

Andrew Thorby explains: "Our overall deck height is so low we couldn't grab enough air. The height of the bottom of the duct is defined by the top wishbone, and the top of the duct is defined by the deck height, which I wanted as low as possible. But we couldn't grab enough air through the top surface ducts, so we've got side inlets as well."

The cooling exhaust is split as well some air going out a duct in front of the rear wheel, the rest out the rear of the car.  

Panoz struggled with cooling related issues at the beginning of the season and found itself back at the wind tunnel trying to find new solutions.  Andy Thorby admits that the initial wind tunnel development was insufficient and that the cooling architecture had not been optimized, much less the overall chassis aerodynamics.  After Thorby's departure in February 2001, the remaining design group abandoned the split cooling settling for a conventional intake either side of the cockpit.  This is how the car ran at Le Man.

ęCopyright 2001, Michael J. Fuller