2001-2002 Panoz LMP07

Image copyright Richard Dole
Text copyright Michael J. Fuller

The new Zytek designed V8 was the final piece of the puzzle.  Small and compact, the Panoz V8 should have allowed the design group greater freedom in reducing the chassis' frontal area.  But according the Andy Thorby, "The inlet trumpets should have been cross-over type, rather than near-vertical: it was not possible to fit long enough trumpets under an airbox which would still allow the driver to see over it.  Short trumpets mean reduced torque", i.e., the engine's performance had to be compromised in order to contain it within an engine height package simply equal to the LMP1's 6.0 liter behemoth.  Its lightweight  was  an advantage considering it was some 87 kgs. lighter than the LMP1's  pushrod V8 (111 kgs. vs. 198 kgs.).  While the chassis should have reaped the benefits of such a small package, in the end the Zytek motor did not reach its potential and was at the root of many of the LMP07's problems. 
Dimensionally the Mugen engine was larger than the Zytek power unit and it was quite an engineering challenge to shoe horn the motor into the LMP07's chassis.

ęCopyright 2001, Michael J. Fuller