Issuu on Google+

www.racetechmag.com

DRIVING TECHNOLOGY INTO POLE POSITION

THE SECRETS OF INDY 500 SUCCESS

I N T E R N A T I O N A L

LIVING UP TO A LEGEND

The quest to make Lotus a force in Formula One

+ WHY LOOSE WHEELS DRIVE US NUTS!

PAT SYMONDS 750FORMULA BUILD PROJECT UNDERWAY

SPECIAL REPORT ON COATINGS

MAY 2010 NO. 115 UK £4.95 USA $9.99 Cover 115 v3.indd 1

LPG’S BID FOR BTCC HISTORY www.racetechmag.com 30/4/10 18:34:59


Adverts 109 main section.qxd:Racetech.qxd

29/10/09

21:37

Page 1


Contents 115.qxd:Section.qxd

30/4/10

21:19

Page 1

www.racetechmag.com

May 2010 CONTENTS ISSUE 115

3

COVER STORY - PAGE 28 When you are sitting there with 15 people and six months to do it, you have to make value judgements of how to get the car to the race on time

LIVING UP TO A LEGEND

THE QUEST TO MAKE LOTUS A FORCE IN FORMULA ONE INDUSTRY NEWS 6

Radical options discussed for next F1 tyre contract; DeltaWing wind tunnel tests reveal 50 per cent drag reduction over current Indycar; BTCC reprieve for rearwheel drive; new NASCAR spoiler performs well

Volume 17 Issue 7 Published May 2010 The next issue will be published in early June 2010

FORMULA ONE 16

Pat Symonds examines the generation of temperature in racing tyres and the different strains the rubber endures

34

Why loose wheels drive us nuts! Pat Symonds sheds new light on a familiar problem

40

A frank account of the tempestuous infancy of Hispania Racing

ISSN 1356-2975 SUBSCRIPTIONS Subscriptions from Racecar Graphic Ltd 841 High Road, Finchley, London N12 8PT Tel +44 (0)20 8446 2100 Fax +44 (0)20 8446 2191 Overseas copies are sent via air mail

ENGINE TECHNOLOGY 46

Special offer 12 issues for the price of 10 12 issue subscription UK: £45.00 Europe: € 97.50, US/Canada: US$127.40 Rest of World: £75.00 All major credit cards accepted. Cheques and money orders only in Pounds Sterling payable to

THE SECRETS OF SUCCESS IN THE INDY 500 52

The Indy 500’s special place in the US racing industry

54

When everybody has the same technical package, what gives teams the extra edge it takes to win the Indy 500? We find out

62

Why the future of the great race relies on technological innovation

Racecar Graphic. BACK ISSUES AVAILABLE:

The LPG engine project that is ruffling feathers with its pace in the British Touring Car Championship

8,9,10,11,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23, 24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,35,36,37,38, 39,40,41,42,43,44,45,46,47,48,49,50,52,53, 54,55,56,57,58,59,60,61,62,66,67,68,69,70,

MOTORSPORT’S GOLD RUSH: SPECIAL REPORT ON COATINGS 64

71,72,73,74,75,76,77,78,79,80,81,82,83,84, 85,86,87,88,89,90,91,92,93,94,95,96,97,98, 99,100,101,102,103,104,105,106,107,108,109, 110,111,112,113,114

PRACTICAL RACER 74

Price including post & packing: UK: £5.50, Europe: £6.50, Rest of World: £7.55

Front wishbones are on the agenda as Graham Templeman and Rod Hill embark on their T5 750Formula build programme

RACE EQUIPMENT DIGEST

You can pay by cheque or credit card but please note the minimum on Switch & Delta is £14

Why an ever-increasing number of applications are being found for sophisticated surface coatings in motorsport

80

The latest products launched in the motorsport sector

Race Tech (ISSN: 1356-2975) is published monthly by Racecar Graphic Ltd. Cover shot : Crashpa.net Design & Repro by Maluma Design Associates, info@maluma.co.uk Printed by Warners Midlands plc © Racecar Graphic Ltd. All rights reserved. Reproduction (in whole or in part) of any article or illustration without the written permission of the publisher is strictly prohibited. While care is taken to ensure the accuracy of information, the publisher can accept no liability for errors or omissions. Nor can responsibility be accepted for the content of

If you can’t always find a copy of this magazine, help is at hand! Complete this form and hand in at your local store, they’ll arrange for a copy of each issue to be reserved for you. Some stores may even be able to arrange for it to be delivered to your home. Just ask!

Please reserve/deliver my copy of RACE TECH on a regular basis, starting with issue................................ Title...................................First name................................................................... Surname....................................................................................................................... Address.......................................................................................................................... .................................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................................... ...................................................................................................................................................

Postcode...................................................................................................................... Telephone number..........................................................................................

any advertisement.

May 2010

www.racetechmag.com

3


Adverts 114 main section.qxd:Racetech.qxd

27/3/10

13:23

Page 1


Intro 115.qxd:Section.qxd

30/4/10

12:01

Page 1

www.racetechmag.com

INTRODUCTION ISSUE 115

PORSCHE POINTS THE WAY

EDITOR William Kimberley

EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Chris Pickering

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Pat Symonds John Coxon Steve Bridges François Lassalle Graham Templeman Matt Youson

CONSULTANT EDITOR Mark Skewis

CHIEF PHOTOGRAPHER Bryn Williams

ART EDITOR Paul Bullock (maluma.co.uk)

WEB MANAGEMENT Crash.Net (info@crash.net)

ADMINISTRATION/SUBSCRIPTIONS Phyllis Sofocleous

COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR Maryam Lamond

5

T

HE NEWS that Williams has increased its stake to 78% of Williams Hybrid Power would seem to indicate that there are still great opportunities to be had in developing hybrid technology. It also vindicates the decision by the FIA to encourage Formula One teams to adopt KERS (kinetic energy recovery systems). It is just a pity that it has been dropped by the teams this season. When I interviewed Hartmut Kristen, head of Porsche Motorsport, he was very complimentary about Williams Hybrid Power, saying that when his company was investigating hybrid technology that it was the British company that not only had the right answers but also asked the best questions. The fact that Porsche, of all companies, should be progressing this technology really is a sign of the times. A class win in only its second race speaks volumes and makes one wonder just what the future will hold once the Weissach carmaker really gets to grip with this technology.

PUBLISHER Soheila Kimberley

I remember a few years ago when Toyota and Honda were making hay with their production hybrid models. Much to the surprise of the domestic and European carmakers, these Japanese companies managed to ride the wave of green motoring. While the German carmakers in particular were promoting diesel technology as the sensible powertrain of the future, and were committing vast resources to it, Toyota and Honda were winning the PR war in the everimportant US market. I remember being briefed by senior executives from virtually all the European car companies 10 years ago that hybrid technology was just a flash in the pan and that once the benefits of the common-rail diesel were explained that it would see the end of alternative powertrain technology. That, of course, did not happen. While hybrids have not really caught on in a big way in Europe due to the diesel stranglehold, the reality is that there is a market for them and carmakers also need to be seen to be going that route. If the carmakers go that route, then so should the sport’s governing bodies. They should be encouraging different series to adopt hybrid technology, not at the expense of petrol and diesel engines, but devising formulae so that no one particular technology has a big advantage. In other words, not to follow the Autombile Club de l’Ouest’s example whereby the petrol car is so heavily disadvantaged to the diesel. That really does not do anyone any good at all.

841 High Road, Finchley

We have entered a new world, one where energy conversation is very high on the agenda and one to which motorsport must be responding to in a more considered manner than it currently does.

London N12 8PT Tel: +44 (0) 208 446 2100 Fax: +44 (0) 208 446 2191

William Kimberley EDITOR

www.racetechmag.com

May 2010

www.racetechmag.com

5


News 115.qxd:Racetech.qxd

6

30/4/10

18:10

Page 1

www.racetechmag.com

MOTORSPORTS PROFESSIONAL

By Chris Pickering

MELKSHAM, UK – Michelin may not be the only tyre company contemplating a return to Formula One. Cooper Tires is also understood to be in discussion with the relevant parties over a plan to supply tyres through its UK-based Avon Tyres Motorsport operation, although there has been speculation that an F1 bid would use the Cooper name as Avon is less well known outside the UK. Either way the company has refused to comment at this stage. Not only does this revive competition to Michelin’s bid after Bridgestone pulled out of talks, but it is also understood to be a rather different proposition.

6

www.racetechmag.com

Michelin stated several provisos for its return to F1, including that it wanted to be in competition with another tyre manufacturer, it wanted to be paid for its involvement, and, crucially, it wanted to switch from the current 13 inch diameter wheels to 18 inch rims, making the technology more relevant to road car tyres. The principal objection to the French firm’s bid so far is cost. The projected bill is thought to be around £45 million in total, but the Cooper Tires bid is rumoured to be far lower. Allied to this, sources suggest that Cooper would retain the 13 inch wheel size, virtually eliminating

May 2010

the need for a costly redesign. Commenting on the switch to a larger diameter, Race Tech contributor Pat Symonds said: “If you assume the tyres’ outside diameter and width are to remain roughly the same, then the fronts will drop from an aspect ratio of around 66% down to around 40%, and the rears from 50% to around 30%. Those are pretty low profile tyres and they’re likely to be pretty stiff as a result, which could mean some big changes. “At present the suspension geometry is very much dictated by aerodynamics. The wishbones are steeply inclined upwards towards the inboard end on the

front of current Formula One cars simply because the chassis has been placed so high. That leads to things like high roll centres and poor camber compensation, but to a certain extent you can get away with that when you have a nice big compliant tyre. When you’re looking at a 30 or 40% aspect ratio, you’re going to have to examine the geometry far more carefully in order to get the contact patch flat on the ground though.” Currently the tyre sidewalls also account for something like 50% of the wheel movement in an F1 suspension system, meaning that significantly softer, longer travel springs would be needed to


News 115.qxd:Racetech.qxd

30/4/10

18:11

Page 2

www.racetechmag.com

MOTORSPORTS PROFESSIONAL

compensate. The upside to this, of course, is that more of it could now be controlled and adjusted with the dampers – and that is not the only potential benefit. Larger wheels are likely to give more room to position the outboard suspension pickups. Likewise, it would provide more room to package the brakes in, and this may even mean it's possible to make the brakes last longer, reducing costs.

7

BELOW The debate is on as to which company will become the tyre supplier to Formula One in 2011

THE RACE IS ON “A smaller volume would also result in less gas in the tyres, so they would be less pressure sensitive, which could even raise the possibility of abolishing blankets,” Symonds noted. “This would make the drivers fight to warm the tyres up when they come out of the pits in order to retain track position, which strikes me as a good thing.” The potential change would be a mixed blessing to the aerodynamicists. Stiffer tyres with less sidewall deflection are likely to make the aerodynamics more consistent and – sticking with our assumption on overall size – the basic frontal area would not change much. The larger wheel diameter would, however, clearly put more aerodynamic emphasis on wheel design. Finally, there is also the safety implication. A lower profile tyre with a smaller gas volume would contain less elastic energy than the current tyres and would therefore bounce around less if liberated from the car in an accident. The final agreement on next year’s tyre suppliers is due to be announced at the Spanish Grand Prix this month. One thing is certain – only one wheel diameter will be allowed, so we are highly unlikely to see Michelin and Cooper fighting it out on the track. Until the decision is made, however, the fight for Formula One is very much still on.

May 2010

www.racetechmag.com

7


News 115.qxd:Racetech.qxd

8

30/4/10

18:11

Page 3

www.racetechmag.com

MOTORSPORTS PROFESSIONAL

GREAT EXPECTATIONS By Chris Pickering

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – DeltaWing Racing Cars’ radical concept for the 2012 Indy Racing League, featured in our March issue, has now completed preliminary wind tunnel testing at the Windshear facility in North Carolina. Until now the aerodynamic development had been carried out exclusively with CFD, and DeltaWing LLC’s designer and chief technical officer Ben Bowlby was keen to stress that the physical tests were largely for the purpose of validation: “The tests went extremely well. I’ve never gone as far with the development of any car using only CFD, let alone one so

unusual, so we were anticipating a few surprises, but in reality the correlation was extraordinarily close.” The headline grabbing figures produced by the 140mph full size test were a drag reduction of over 50% and a proportional level of downforce to the current car: “At Indy we race at about 760lb of drag at 200mph in typical ambient conditions. By comparison, the DeltaWing is going to be somewhere around 330 to 350lb of drag. Under the same conditions, we generate around the vehicle’s weight in downforce – so around 1,800lb – and the DeltaWing will also

pull its own weight, this time around 1,000lb.” The dramatically low drag figures, allied to reduced weight, would allow a modest 300 to 350 bhp engine – around half the current figure – to produce straightline performance comparable to today’s IndyCars. DeltaWing’s simulations predict that overall lap times on street courses would be two to three seconds a lap quicker than the current cars, and fuel consumption could be as low as half. “The goal was to produce something that was a

Following cars are said to only suffer half the loss in downforce that those behind a traditional open-wheeler would. Likewise Bowlby said the wind tunnel tests appear to confirm the CFD predictions of greatly improved yaw stability over a conventional machine. Current single-seater designs tend to suffer a dramatic fall in downforce at relatively modest yaw angles, but the DeltaWing’s yaw range could allow the aerodynamics to remain effective at far greater slip angles. The idea is this could see a return to the

stepchange in efficiency – something that could demonstrate the performance capability of modern technology,” said Bowlby. “We wanted something very lightweight and very efficient that’s still at least as fast and as spectacular as a current racecar.” It was not just performance that was under scrutiny, either. According to Bowlby a wet road simulation showed minimal spray from the front of the car hitting the cockpit area and also significantly less spray behind the car. The design is also intended to promote close racing.

more flamboyant driving style of the pre-downforce era and produce a more dramatic spectacle as a result. “We want to put the Indianapolis 500 back at the cutting edge of development, with something truly relevant to the auto industry,” Bowlby summed up. “Wind tunnel testing is a critical step for the project and allows us to move forward towards a final design with growing confidence. We are now more convinced than ever that the DeltaWing concept will meet or exceed the parameters that the IZOD IndyCar Series has established for the 2012 chassis.” RT

GT CARS TO RACE AT BATHURST 12 HOURS IN 2011 BATHURST, Australia – Aston Martin, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Mosler and Porsche could all be racing at the Bathurst 12 hour race next year as the classic endurance race is opened up to other brands next year. However, the news has not been received with universal acclaim with some entrants stating that they will boycott the race. Some GT drivers have also expressed the view that a 12-hour race for their cars will make a massive dent in their race budgets. “The momentum for this exciting initiative has come from our drivers and entrants and it is a

8

www.racetechmag.com

May 2010

natural progression for the expansion of the GT category and brand to compete in the 12 hour at the iconic Bathurst circuit. A race of this nature is what GT cars are all about,” said a press release issued in the names of GT directors Martin Wagg, Rachael Wagg and Terry Little. “The GT Championship has grown tremendously in recent years and these vehicles will now join production cars in the 12 Hour Race enabling the event to grow further including the attraction of an international audience,” said, James O’Brien,

the Bathurst 12 Hour promoter. He added that when the 12 Hour was reintroduced in 2007, it was always the intention to incorporate GT vehicles but that the timing had to be right. The introduction of GT vehicles will assist in attracting more competitors, more spectators and a larger viewing audience via television and the internet. “The Armor All Bathurst 12 Hour has the capacity for a 72 car grid, and with 42 cars entered for the 2010 event we are targeting a 50 plus entry for 2011,” he said. RT


Adverts 115 main section.qxd:Racetech.qxd

30/4/10

17:31

Page 1

$))25'$%/( +,*+3(5)250$1&(75$160,66,2162/87,216    The value of Xtrac’s competitive advantage is well recognised by the champions and one make series who already rely on their expertise, in addition to individual teams running on modest budgets. Success is summarised by Xtrac’s watchwords: QUALITY To maintain their position as the leading supplier of high performance transmissions, Xtrac operate a continuous reinvestment and improvement policy. PERFORMANCE Supplying championships such as IRL, BTCC, Grand-Am, FIA Super2000, Formula Le Mans and most recently, Brazilian Stockcar and Argentina’s TC2000, Xtrac’s track record speaks for itself. RELIABILITY

IMS photo by Steve Snoddy

Xtrac’s advanced engineering solutions keep their customers ahead of the competition in the most gruelling endurance events - from Dakar to Daytona and from Monte Carlo to Le Mans - all the way to the chequered flag.

;75$&8. ; 7 5 $ &  8 .  ‡  ;75$&,1',$1$32/,6 ;75$&,1',$1$32/,6 ‡  ; ;75$&0225(69,//( 75$&0225(69,//(

www.xtrac.com www .xtrac..com


News 115.qxd:Racetech.qxd

10

30/4/10

18:11

Page 5

www.racetechmag.com

MOTORSPORTS PROFESSIONAL BELOW BTCC series director Alan Gow hands rear-wheel drive a reprieve

BTCC REAR-WHEEL DRIVE REPRIEVE ANNOUNCED By Chris Pickering LONDON, UK – TOCA, the touring car association that administers the British Touring Car Championship, has confirmed more details of the forthcoming Next Generation Touring Car rules and announced its suppliers for 2011. Perhaps the biggest news was the decision to include a provision for rear-wheel drive cars. Initially the NGTC formula only covered front-wheel drive machines, meaning that cars such as the BMW 320si would cease to be eligible when the current Super 2000 based regulations were phased out. Although there are several teams actively campaigning rear-wheel drive machines in the BTCC the last factory entry was way back in 1996. When the NGTC rules were previewed last year it wasn’t thought there was enough interest in rear-wheel drive to justify it. At the time, BTCC series director Alan Gow argued that it did not make sense to compromise the new regulations and raise issues of parity for the possibility of including a single manufacturer, but the option was left open. “After we released details of the NGTC programme last year, I stated that we would revisit the question of incorporating

10

www.racetechmag.com

rear-wheel drive in the regulations if there was enough interest or commitment from teams and manufacturers of rear-wheel drive cars to support it,” he stated recently. “Having now had those discussions, I’m confident that there is and so we have now included it.” As expected, the rear-wheel drive layout can only be used if it is featured on the car’s standard production equivalent and, like the front-wheel drive cars, it must also use standardised TOCA front and rear subframe/ suspension assemblies. The units will be produced by Berkshirebased GPR Motorsport and both layouts will feature double wishbone suspension with coil-over dampers. Meanwhile AP Racing provides

the brake package and pedal box, along with the clutch, mated to an Xtrac 6-speed sequential. Cosworth Electronics has also been confirmed as the electronics supplier with a package that includes the mandated ECU, dashboard, data-logger and scrutineering logger. The NGTC package effectively represents a kit of components around which teams or manufacturers can build their own car. However GPR Motorsport will also offer an assembly service based around a production car of the customer’s choice. The bodyshell must be based around a 2, 3, 4 or 5door car freely available in the UK through the manufacturer’s dealer network. An equalised

TOP & BELOW A rendering of the Next Generation Touring Car that will be open to both front and rear-wheel driven cars

May 2010

width of 1875mm and various aerodynamic enhancements such as a flat floor and a standard rear wing profile will be specified. The cars will also feature stylised front and rear wheelarch extensions which are intended to give them a more dramatic look, similar to those of the old Super Touring Cars. A rendering released by the organisers points the way to how a typical NGTC car might look. The main thinking behind the NGTC rules remains cost reduction. TOCA is aiming to halve the budget needed to run a current BTCC car, through significantly lower parts and maintenance costs. "At around £100k, plus engine, they will then have a better car - which is easier to maintain and has greater performance potential at about half the cost of a current one,” said Gow. “It's a win-win situation for everyone.” RT


Sulzer Metco Plasma Ad RT115.qxd:Section.qxd

30/4/10

22:57

Page 1

The Leading Global Surface Solution Company Sulzer Metco coats and enhances surfaces, produces materials and equipment for these purposes and develops machining processes for special components. Our state of the art products, solutions and services are delivered through a global sales, customer support and manufacturing network.

SUMEBore is a cylinder bore coating technology applied in the Bugatti Veyron W16 engine and the Aston Martin One-77 V12 engine. It is also used by teams in F1, GP2, DTM and NASCAR, to name but a few.

www.sulzermetco.com

info@sulzermetco.com


News 115.qxd:Racetech.qxd

12

30/4/10

18:12

Page 7

www.racetechmag.com

MOTORSPORTS PROFESSIONAL

NO SPOILING NASCAR’S PARTY

By Andrew Charman

FORT WORTH, TX – Drivers in NASCAR’s top level Sprint Cup series have reacted positively to the first races with a new rear spoiler on their cars, after NASCAR abandoned the aerodynamic rear wing that was such a signature feature of the Car of Tomorrow introduced in 2007. While the first races with the new spoiler were at the short tracks of Martinsville on 28 March and Phoenix two weeks later, the acid test of the changes was always expected to be at Texas on 18 April. The speedway is a 1.5-mile track like many of the Sprint Cup schedule, and it is at these tracks where the characteristics of the spoiler are expected to be most keenly felt. Despite rain washing out much of the vital practice at Texas and delaying the race by 24 hours, drivers were very positive about the spoiler when questioned after the race. Drivers remarked that the cars had more grip and were more drivable, particularly when running side-by-side with rivals. This had been a major criticism of the rear wing, drivers complaining that the characteristics of the aerofoil made it very difficult to run alongside cars and pass them. Denny Hamlin, who won the Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas in his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, said that the spoiler produced better racing. “The car seemed to be planted to the race track quite a bit more – you could race around guys without the air being taken off of you as much as it did.”

The spoiler is 64.5 inches wide and four inches tall, placed at an angle of 70 degrees to the car’s rear deck. It has been estimated to add 20% downforce to the rear of the car. For the Texas race a side fin was added to the decklid with the aim of further improving side forces on the car. Some drivers have repeatedly commented on the increase on drag caused by the spoiler. Following tests at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Penske Racing’s Kurt Busch said that the car felt very stable but had a far more drag. “We are going slower down the straightaways but we can maintain that speed in the corners.

ABOVE Team-mates Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon battle at Texas in their now be-spoilered cars. (Photo: John Harrelson for NASCAR)

“We’re getting the difference we’ve needed to help us run side by side better. It has slowed us down by around 200rpm so NASCAR will likely need to work on the gearing. However, the car feels stable, that’s the best thing, that’s a thumbs up.” Four time champion Jeff Gordon suggested that the spoiler would see an end to the crab-like look of cars racing in the Sprint

ABOVE The new Sprint Cup spoiler, seen here on Juan-Pablo Montoya’s Chevrolet. (Photo: Rusty Jarrett for NASCAR).

12

www.racetechmag.com

May 2010

Cup. “We learnt that with the wing if we ran the car slightly sideways we could make up for the loss of drag and downforce with some side force. With the spoiler we don’t have such an amount of side force but we make up for it with overall downforce.” Gordon added that the spoiler improved the look of the car. “I like the way the cars look with the spoiler, that’s a plus.” NASCAR’s rear wing era lasted 93 races, just under three seasons. IN OTHER NEWS In a move that sees it being gradually phased in this year, all four Roush Fenway Racing and four Richard Petty Motorsports Ford Fusions ran the new-generation FR9 engine in a race. The new engine is said to provide superior cooling and centre of gravity as well as better handling. “It’s really the first across-the-board running for the FR9,” said Ford Racing engineer David Simon. “We ran them at Daytona, of course, in the (Budweiser) Shootout across-theboard, but the Talladega race is the first full one for it as the primary engine for us. The reason it’s a milestone is that we’ve gone through the validation process on the plate package, so, at this point, we’re ready to race the FR9 full-time in restrictor-plate form. In the second half of the season, as the validation process gets completed, the FR9 will become the primary race engine for us in both the open and plate races.” Uncertainty surrounds the future of Richard Petty Motorsport after it was revealed that the team had defaulted on a $90 million loan, caused by car manufacturer Dodge ending its financial support of the team – Petty has since switched to racing Ford chassis. Team owner George Gillett, who is currently trying to sell his stake in Liverpool Football Club in the UK, said that the loan was not an issue, describing it as a technical problem which would soon be solved by a restructuring. However, Petty was further troubled by the news that its star driver Kasey Kahne will not renew his contract at the end of the season, heading instead to Hendrick Motorsports. The team fears that lucrative sponsorship from the Budweiser beer brand, which is built around Kahne, could follow the driver to Hendrick. In another move, Shell/Pennzoil is replacing Mobil as the Penske Racing team’s official fuel and motor oil supplier next year. It will also sponsor the Kurt Busch No 22 car. RT


Adverts 113 main section.qxd:Racetech.qxd

27/2/10

18:05

Page 2


News 115.qxd:Racetech.qxd

14

30/4/10

18:12

Page 9

www.racetechmag.com

MOTORSPORTS PROFESSIONAL BELOW John Watson's McLaren at the Caesars Palace GP in 1982. Is a return to Las Vegas on the cards?

F1 TO RETURN TO THE US? SHANGHAI, China – Formula One could be returning to the US following informal talks between Bernie Ecclestone, the F1 commercial rights holder, and Tony George the former Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Indy Racing League chairman. George attended the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai at Ecclestone’s invitation to examine how and where to get a Formula One race back to the US. Despite George’s links with Indianapolis, Ecclestone is known to favour other venues, his first choice being New York. However, he is also said to

be considering Las Vegas, Miami and San Francisco and possibly even two races in the country following strong support for the idea from sponsors. Although he retains a share in the Speedway, where he spent around $30 million of the Hulman-George family fortune to build the 2.6-mile road course needed for the US GP, George is a free agent. The US GP has struggled to find a home in the US since leaving Watkins Glen in 1980. Long Beach in California was the

home to eight grands prix but the two events in Detroit and Las Vegas, the single event in Dallas and the three events in Phoenix never caught on with the US public. However, the event left after George and Ecclestone could not come to an agreement that made financial sense for both sides. Reports from IMS management, though, have stated that they would be interested in bringing an F1 race back to the Speedway under the right financial circumstances, the stumbling block being the high F1 sanctioning fee. RT

GAS TURBINES BACK ON THE AGENDA Athens, Greece: The turbine engine, last seen in Formula One nearly 40 years ago, could make a return. Project 1221, a specialist company based in Athens that is dedicated to creating and marketing gas turbine vehicles, claims that it has approached F1’s commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone with a proposal. It says it could have an engine ready to power a car by 2013.

The company claims it is working on different turbine engines for land, sea and air, working on new concepts to power supercars, ‘superyachts’ and even ‘supersonic business jets’. According to Andreas Andrianos, Project 1221’s CEO, gas turbine engines would be cheaper to run than an internal combustion unit. While fuel consumption would be higher

than with the current breed of petrol-fuelled V8s, the inefficiency would be more than offset by use of bio-diesel fuel, which would make the engines more environmentally friendly. With no traditional cooling required, the engines present fewer packaging problems, although the units could not be used as stressed members of the car and would also cause challenges with the gearbox.

And finally... Personnel Williams F1 recently acquired a majority shareholding in Williams Hybrid Power (WHP), increasing its stake in the composite flywheel specialist to 78 percent. It comes after WHP’s technology made a successful racing debut in the Porsche 911 GT 3 R Hybrid, which won its class at the second race of the VLN series last month.

14

www.racetechmag.com

May 2010

The recent spin-off of McLaren Automotive from McLaren Group has led to a fundamental management restructure with Ron Dennis will resuming his role of executive chairman of McLaren Group as Sir Richard Lapthorne resigns from being the non-executive chairman. However, he will continue is his role as a consultant to McLaren Automotive. Reporting to Dennis will be Tim Murnane, group

legal director and company secretary, and Andy Myers, financial officer, both of the McLaren Group. Meanwhile Martin Whitmarsh has been appointed to two new roles – chief executive officer of McLaren Group and deputy chairman of McLaren Automotive. He will also continue in his role of team principal of Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. Antony Sheriff will continue in his role of managing director of McLaren Automotive.

RT


Adverts 113 main section.qxd:Racetech.qxd

27/2/10

18:05

Page 3


Formula One-Pat Tyre Grip Part2.qxd:Racetech.qxd

16

30/4/10

13:52

Page 1

www.racetechmag.com

FORMULA ONE PAT SYMONDS ON TYRE GRIP

A GRIPPING Pat Symonds examines the generation of temperature in racing tyres and the different strains the rubber endures

I

N THE first part of this article, we examined the peculiar properties of the rubber mix used in tyres and identified why temperature, amongst other things, was fundamental to the grip that a tyre can produce. We will now go on to look at the generation of temperature in tyres and the effect of the various strains that a tyre undergoes in racing conditions. TEMPERATURE EQUILIBRIUM Before we look at the generation of the temperature, we should first think about the temperature equilibrium of the tyre. If we consider a tyre running on the

16

www.racetechmag.com

May 2010

track, there are three distinct areas of tyre tread we should distinguish when we are considering the thermal equilibrium. Figure 1 shows a tyre running on the track before it has reached thermal equilibrium. The segment of the tyre that is marked (1) is the part of the tyre that is adherent to the road, the segment marked (2) is the part of the tyre that is sliding and the segment marked (3) is the large part that is rotating in contact with the air. In the adherent area (1) the thermal flow is from the tyre to the road by means of conduction (assuming that the tyre is at a higher temperature than the road). In segment (2) there is a lot of sliding

FIGURE 1


Formula One-Pat Tyre Grip Part2.qxd:Racetech.qxd

30/4/10

13:53

Page 2

www.racetechmag.com

FORMULA ONE 17 BELOW With each revolution the racing tyre gains and loses temperature in three distinct areas

FIGURE 2

an amount . This implies that during this one revolution of the tyre it is still increasing in temperature. Even with pre-heating in tyre blankets, it still takes some time for the tyre to reach full working temperature. True equilibrium can take six or seven laps to be reached and, of course, this equilibrium temperature may be above the ideal working temperature. We achieve thermal equilibrium when

TALE energy and strain energy putting work into the tyre and hence producing a large heat flow into the tyre. In the final segment (3) the tyre is generally at a higher temperature than the surrounding air and loses heat to the air by the mechanisms of convection and radiation. If we consider the temperature of the tyre surface as a function of time through one revolution and if we assume that the tyre is hotter than both the track surface and the air but not yet at thermal equilibrium, we will see the conditions shown in Figure 2. Area 1 shows the decrease in temperature as heat flows from the tyre to the tarmac. Area 2 shows the very rapid increase in temperature as the tyre does work through slippage and area 3 shows the loss of temperature of the tyre as it is cooled by the air. This follows an approximate Newtonian cooling law. It can be seen that in the cycle shown above the finishing temperature of the tyre is higher than the starting temperature by

Subscribe +44 (0) 208 446 2100

where Cp is the specific heat capacity of the tyre and Q is the heat energy. The inflow of heat arises from the environmental conditions and external heating discussed below. The outflow of heat is the conduction to the road and the convection to the air while the generated heat is the main source of heat energy that we will look into in some detail. At this point it is worth trying to decide what we mean by tyre temperature. Rubber is a very good insulator. It has a coefficient of thermal conductivity of only 0.16 Wm-1K-1. By way of comparison, the Styrofoam used for insulated plastic cups is about a fifth of this value and aluminium is over 1,500 times as conductive. This means that the heat generated in any part of a tyre moves very slowly through it. In Figure 2 we are considering the tread temperature but this can be quite different to the bulk temperature of the tyre. Race teams tend to make three measurements of the temperature of the tyres. When the car is running they can measure the tread surface temperature. This is measured by remote infrared sensors. They can also record the temperature as measured by the tyre pressure measuring system (TPMS) which relates to the bulk temperature. Both have drawbacks and need to be treated with caution. The measurement of tread temperature is very sensitive to the aim of the focal point of the sensor. Typically, a sensor will have a viewing angle of around 15 degrees and will average the temperature of all it sees in its viewing spot. This means that at a distance of 250 mm it is averaging the temperature in a spot of over 65 mm diameter. There is obviously a temperature gradient across the width of a racing tyre that needs to be considered and if the tyre has grooves or a tread pattern then large inaccuracies can be present. TPMS systems tend to measure the temperature of the gas in the tyre cavity. This is, in general, a reasonable indicator of the tyre rubber bulk temperature. Unfortunately the

May 2010

www.racetechmag.com

17


Formula One-Pat Tyre Grip Part2.qxd:Racetech.qxd

18

30/4/10

13:53

Page 3

www.racetechmag.com

FORMULA ONE PAT SYMONDS ON TYRE GRIP

sensors themselves are difficult to insulate from the wheel and therefore can be influenced by the fact that the wheel is heated quite strongly by the brakes. The final measurement used is that made by the tyre technicians in the pits. This is done with a needle thermocouple that is stabbed into the tyre. It is essential to use a thermocouple that has a depth stop on it so that the temperature is always measured at the same distance into the rubber. The technician will normally make three measurements across the width of the tread and again it is important that he makes the measurements in the same place every time as, particularly near the shoulders, there can be large temperature gradients. This method can be quite accurate as the slow heat flow in the tyre actually helps make this a stable measurement. It relies more than anything on the driver driving consistently hard on his in-lap – something all drivers should be required to do anyway. In absolute terms the conditions on entry to the pit can make a difference. For example at Spa, when using the F1 pit lane, the temperatures are highly influenced by the high loadings at Blanchimont but for comparative purposes this does not matter.

The flow of heat from the brakes into the tyres is not something that is commonly looked at outside the racing industry’

SOURCES OF TYRE HEATING There are three primary sources of heat generation in racing tyres. The first of these is the heating from what may be termed the environmental conditions. In a racing car, a large part of this will be heating from the brakes. Secondly, there is the heat generated by the strain energy loss in the constantly deflecting tyre, which occurs in the tread bulk and carcass area, and finally there is heat generated by the friction of the tyre on the road or more specifically that caused by tyre slip. This occurs largely in the tread surface of the tyre. Environmental conditions, particularly track and air temperature, will play a part in determining the running temperature of the tyres but is not, at least in the first order, a source of heating. Although generally the environmental conditions will dictate a net heat flow out from the tyre into either the tarmac or the surrounding air, there is a particular case when there can be additional heat flow

18

www.racetechmag.com

May 2010

ABOVE The flow of heat from the brakes into the tyres can be a very significant factor


Adverts 115 main section.qxd:Racetech.qxd

30/4/10

17:31

Page 2


Formula One-Pat Tyre Grip Part2.qxd:Racetech.qxd

20

30/4/10

13:53

Page 5

www.racetechmag.com

FORMULA ONE PAT SYMONDS ON TYRE GRIP

into the rear tyres from the exhaust plume. This has been used as a tuning aid by at least one Formula One team that had exhaust tail pipes that were angled toward the rear tyres for use in cold conditions and away from the rear tyres for use when the tyres were easily able to achieve their operating temperature. The flow of heat from the brakes into the tyres is not something that is commonly looked at outside the racing industry. In a car with carbon brakes it can be very significant. In racing there is little that can be done to alter this effect other than to polish the inside of the rims if it is desired to minimise this effect or to coat them in a dark colour if it is desired to use this heat energy. Thermal barriers on the brake cowlings can also have some influence. This effect is not completely unique to motor racing, however, as a paper was published in 1998 by authors from Mercedes-Benz and Pirelli in Brazil that examined the effect of brake heating on urban bus tyres after a number of tyre failures on buses in Sao Paulo!

how these heat the tyre. Firstly we have the bending strain in the rubber entering and leaving the contact patch. This strain depends on the change from the initial curvature in the upper part of the tyre, through its curvature in the transition zone at the leading edge of the contact patch, and through and out of the contact patch. In the contact patch itself the radius is of course infinite as the tyre is flat on the track surface. A simple model known as the Koutny model can be used to construct the geometry of curvature. The maximum strain of the tread subject to bending is

where h is the tread thickness, Ri is the initial radius of curvature and Rf is the final radius of curvature. Note that when an object is flat its curvature radius is infinite and hence 1/R equals 0. The second strain is the compression strain of the tread and is defined as the ratio between its deformation (Δh) and the initial height (hinitial) such that

STRAIN ENERGY LOSS The strain energy loss is a function of the tyre forces in X, Y and Z directions as well as the camber angle, rotational speed and inflation pressure. There are other factors, for example while the slip angle is mainly thought of as a generator of frictional heating, the deformation of the tyre carcass resulting from the slip angle causes an additional source of strain energy loss. Strain energy arises from the tread bulk area. This strain energy loss contributes around 90% of what is termed the rolling resistance of the tyre. It is largely generated by the vertical deformation of the tyre as vertical load is applied to the carcass as it enters the contact patch area and the relaxation of that deformation as it leaves the contact patch area. In Figure 3 we can see that as the tyre flattens in the contact patch area there is a longitudinal deformation of the crown that leads to bending as well as shearing and the compression that arises from vertical force. The angle shown as α is known as the “de-radialisation” angle which indicates the angular deflection which leads to shearing in the sidewalls. FIGURE 3

www.racetechmag.com

where σ is the pressure, M10 is the modulus at 10% stretch or compression and F is the aspect ratio of the tread footprint defined as shown in Figure 4. FIGURE 4

The distribution of energy dissipation is approximately 14% in the bead area, 25% in the sidewalls, 27% in the shoulder and 34% in the tread. Approximately 70% of the heat build up is therefore in the tread and shoulder (edge of belt) area. Anyone who worked with extremely soft qualifying tyres in the past will remember that they often blistered on the straight. This is the reason why. Let us look at the strains involved before reminding ourselves of

20

The compression strain depends on the pressure (σ) exerted on the tread and the modulus of rigidity of the material (M) but the modulus of the material is also a function of the pressure exerted on it. This is because rubber is in fact essentially incompressible. If you apply a load to a block of rubber it will deform in the direction of the load but at the same time it will bulge out sideways if unconstrained. This bulging (known as dilation) is not, however, infinite. Even when unconstrained, the more load that is applied, the more the rigidity increases. To take this into account the compression strain may be calculated by the following formula:

May 2010

The final strain involved in the total strain energy loss is the shear strain. If a block of rubber is placed in shear then it will take an angular deformation. If the block has a height of h and is displaced by a distance d then it will have an angular displacement of


Adverts 114 main section.qxd:Racetech.qxd

27/3/10

13:23

Page 3


Formula One-Pat Tyre Grip Part2.qxd:Racetech.qxd

22

30/4/10

13:53

Page 7

www.racetechmag.com

FORMULA ONE PAT SYMONDS ON TYRE GRIP

This angle α is the so-called “de-radialisation” angle shown in Figure 3. It can be shown geometrically that

The stress-strain curve has “memory” ’ SLIPPAGE AND FRICTION ENERGY

If we consider these three strain energy losses for a typical rolling tyre, we may see that the bending strain is around 3% and acts through both transition areas as well as the footprint itself. The compression strain will be around 5% (less for a slick tyre as F is larger) and will act only in the footprint area. The shear strain will peak at around 8% at the entry to the contact patch and 10% on exit while reducing in the middle.

ABOVE Even after the use of tyre blankets it can be half a dozen laps before a tyre reaches its full working temperature

22

www.racetechmag.com

May 2010

In part 1 of this article we considered slippage and friction in some detail as it is the most fundamental requirement of any tyre, let alone a racing tyre. Fortunately, it is also much easier to determine than the various types of strain energy loss. Friction energy arises from the tread surface area. The total energy from slip is simply the sum, in the X and Y directions, of the slip multiplied by the force.


Adverts 101a.qxd:Racetech.qxd

2/3/09

15:02

Page 1


Formula One-Pat Tyre Grip Part2.qxd:Racetech.qxd

24

30/4/10

13:53

Page 9

www.racetechmag.com

FORMULA ONE PAT SYMONDS ON TYRE GRIP

70% of the heat build up is in the tread and shoulder, which is why extremely soft qualifying tyres used to blister on the straight’

FIGURE 5

ABOVE Track and air temperature both play a part in determining the running temperature of the tyres (Photo: Bridgestone Corporation)

FIGURE 6

From Figure 5 we can determine the longitudinal slip speed (Slip X)

And from the Y direction:

ENERGY TO HEAT which can be approximated for small angles to

Similarly for the lateral slip speed (Slip Y)

The slip energies are therefore, from the X direction:

24

www.racetechmag.com

May 2010

So how do these energies relate to the heat generation? In part 1 of this article, we looked at the phase diagram for a visco-elastic material. It is reproduced as Figure 6 in a slightly different form. In this representation, we have applied a sinusoidal stress to the material just as before and have a phase lag between that stress and the subsequent strain. As the X axis is expressed as the angle of the sinusoidal input we can now express the lag as an angle δ. Engineers will often use this phase lag as a measure of hysteresis by referring to the property of the polymer known as “Tan δ”. This arises from the difficulty of determining a single value for


Adverts 107 main section.qxd:Racetech.qxd

27/8/09

05:20

Page 3


Formula One-Pat Tyre Grip Part2.qxd:Racetech.qxd

26

30/4/10

13:54

Page 11

www.racetechmag.com

FORMULA ONE PAT SYMONDS ON TYRE GRIP

the modulus of rubber. The stress-strain curve has ‘memory’ and does not follow reversible stress-strain relations. For filled rubber there is no valid constitutive law. The higher the value of Tan δ, the more inherent damping there is in the rubber. This leads to higher heat dissipation but also a higher potential for sliding friction. In order to describe the modulus of rubber engineers use a descriptor named the dynamic modulus. In tension this is referred to as E*. This value is the stress amplitude divided by the strain amplitude but, by means of the phase lag δ, allows the modulus to be split into two parts. The first is the storage modulus (E’) which relates to the spring part of the Kelvin–Voight model we introduced in part 1 and therefore converts kinetic energy into potential energy. The second is the loss modulus (E’’) which relates to the damper element of the model and therefore converts kinetic energy to heat. These are related as follows:

tyre wear. If we integrate this energy with respect to time we can determine

and So therefore the measure “Tan δ” is:

If we consider the two main sources of heat generation, friction loss and strain energy loss, then we find that typically, even in a racing tyre, the strain energy loss is the more significant. In general, between 55% and 65% of the total heat generated by both friction loss and strain energy loss will come from the strain energy loss. A NOTE ON TYRE WEAR It may not have escaped your notice that the slippage and friction energy is the energy that has the primary influence on

By integrating the slip velocities with respect to time, the wear is dependent on the force and the slip distance. If the limits of integration are zero and the lap time then the relevant distance is the lap distance. This integration shows that equal wear could be obtained under conditions of low load and high slip as may be obtained under conditions of higher load and reduced slip. In generalisation, the wear rate will be a function of the sum of these energies multiplied by factors that pertain to the track abrasion, the general compound wear characteristics and a coefficient that describes the change in wear rate with temperature.

ABOVE The theory isn’t confined to the laboratory: tyre companies have worked hard to improve the teams’ assessment of grip and understanding of the way the car behaves over consecutive laps

26

www.racetechmag.com

May 2010


Formula One-Pat Tyre Grip Part2.qxd:Racetech.qxd

30/4/10

13:54

Page 12

www.racetechmag.com

FORMULA ONE 27

ABOVE Energy generated from slippage and friction is the primary influence on tyre wear. This is Rubens Barrichello’s Williams (Photo: Bridgestone Corporation)

USING THIS INFORMATION It may seem that this information is largely academic. In fact, this is far from the case. In Formula One the tyre companies have spent considerable effort in the last few years to develop thermal models that can be used to supplement the general Pacejka model to improve the teams’ understanding of the way the car behaves over consecutive laps and give a more accurate assessment of grip. The ability to predict the bulk temperature of the tyre, together with knowledge of the thermal behaviour of a particular compound, can also

Subscribe +44 (0) 208 446 2100

Of the two main sources of heat generation – friction loss and strain energy loss – the latter is typically the more significant’ be used to determine if the compound may be prone to blistering on a particular circuit and, even if blistering is not a problem, ensure that a compound with a suitable working temperature range is chosen. In the concluding article we will look at

how tyre companies may use this knowledge to choose the correct tyre compound for a given set of conditions and how the competitor may use means at his disposal to alter the characteristics of the tyre that has been supplied to him. RT

May 2010

www.racetechmag.com

27


Cover Story-Lotus.qxd:Racetech.qxd

28

30/4/10

01:33

Page 1

www.racetechmag.com

COVER STORY LOTUS RACING

STICK OR TWIST? Technical chief Mike Gascoyne tells William Kimberley that having won its race against time to make the grid, Lotus Racing faces a tough choice: develop its car or focus on 2011

When you are sitting there with 15 people and six months to do it, you have to make value judgements of how to get the car to the race on time’

ABOVE The T127 has acquitted itself well in the early races, notably surviving the punishing heat in Bahrain

28

www.racetechmag.com

May 2010


Cover Story-Lotus.qxd:Racetech.qxd

30/4/10

01:33

Page 2

www.racetechmag.com

COVER STORY 29

T

HIS YEAR has been a rather special one for Mike Gascoyne. Not only is he returning to the thick of the action on the Formula One circuit after a short spell away, but he is also heading up the technical team of Lotus F1 Racing. As a Norfolk man through and through, he is aware of the responsibility that goes with the name, the baggage of its history and heritage and the level of expectation that goes with it. Nothing can escape the fact, though, that in reality it is still a start-up team, one that technically did not even have any facilities to its name on September 14, the day before team principal Tony Fernandes, founder of the AirAsia airline, learnt that it had been awarded the 13th entry in the 2010 World Championship. In other words, Gascoyne, upon whom the weight of responsibility fell as the chief technical officer, had just six months and two days to get a car designed,

constructed, tested and onto the grid for the first race of the season. However, he had already taken the precaution of doing some groundwork before receiving the official green light from the FIA on the offchance that the team was selected. Through MGI Motorsport, his own Cologne-based design consultancy, he had already initiated design work and identified some suppliers. “When we got the entry, the chassis and primary crash structures such as the nose box, side impact structures and sidepod inlets were on critical paths which we had to fix before we’d undertaken any wind tunnel testing which only commenced in October,” he says. “Then final design decisions were being made after just a month or two of wind tunnel testing. At the same time the fundamental architecture had to be fixed without data from the engine supplier. What this added up to was that we had to be reasonably

ABOVE The dreams of relocation to Malaysia are on hold for the short-term, with the team operating from a factory in Hingham, Norfolk

Subscribe +44 (0) 208 446 2100

May 2010

www.racetechmag.com

29


Cover Story-Lotus.qxd:Racetech.qxd

30

30/4/10

01:33

Page 3

www.racetechmag.com

COVER STORY LOTUS RACING

conservative to produce a reliable car.” Being up against it in terms of time and with little more than a skeleton staff, Gascoyne had to turn to help wherever it was offered. “It wasn’t just about the best supplier but the one that could do it in the time available. It was quite different criteria than usual for selecting suppliers,” he says. “Our hands were very tied in some areas because it was a case of who had the short-term capability as opposed to where the best place was in getting a job done. For example, we had to use some suppliers in Germany for the major composite and suspension components.” Apart from work on the car, the other principal challenge was finding a factory and then staffing it. At first, the talk was of establishing a state-of-the-art facility in Malaysia, home of the investors behind ABOVE & LEFT The evocative sight of Ayrton Senna at the wheel of the Lotus 97T at Monza in 1985 (above). The team’s history has burdened it with expectation. Left, in case of victory: Colin Chapman would celebrate wins by throwing his cap into the air and the team is ready and waiting if a twist of fate offers it the chance to emulate its founder

this Formula One team, but a reality check quickly established that this was impossible in the circumstances. The immediate problem was therefore finding somewhere suitable in Europe. “Initially it was odds-on that we would move to Malaysia but there has been a realisation from the owners that it’s not really possible,” says Gascoyne. “For the foreseeable future, Lotus F1 Racing is going to be based in the UK, specifically Norfolk, and we are looking at setting up research centres and maybe a wind tunnel and calling upon the expertise of such local companies as Carbon Fibre Technologies, which works closely with Airbus, and establishing a partnership with them. During any car-build period even the biggest teams look to get help from high-quality sub-contracting experts and we are very lucky in Norfolk to have so many great companies on our doorstep. We will also be using specialists from Europe and beyond and, of course, Malaysia but already we have a number of

30

www.racetechmag.com

May 2010

local companies carrying out work for us.” The Malaysian consortium has pledged to commit 168m ringgits (£30m) to starting up the team and set an annual racing budget of 308m ringgits (£56m). “I think the Malaysian government is also very keen to sponsor Malaysian graduates in the UK with internships and things like that,” says Gascoyne. LOTUS F1 COMES HOME That the decision was made to go to Norfolk in England, home of Lotus Cars and the original Team Lotus when owned and run by Colin Chapman, was met with universal praise. However, it did set its own challenges, as Gascoyne explains. “Obviously location was a relevant thing because we decided to locate the factory in Norfolk at the former Intersport Racing location in Hingham on which we have a three-year lease. It is an asset for us because it’s well-equipped and was originally designed

as a motorsport facility. We had all the plant and machinery serviced and calibrated and with an IT infrastructure, carbon clean rooms and with all the facilities here, it was very easy to get up and running. It’s very similar in size to the old Jordan or Force India factory but in some ways slightly better equipped – and it’s on a site where there are other buildings available for expansion purposes.” No matter how romantic that the new team has located in Norfolk, a more logical choice would have been to move to a more centralised region and not one on the edge, but Gascoyne disagrees. “There are quite a number of people in the industry who work in Formula One teams that have families in the county because they come from the infrastructure that exists around here. So in the event there have been quite a number of people who have been willing to move back to the county as they were originally Norfolkbased and have family connections here.” The proof of the pudding was that more than 1,000 people applied for a job when recruitment began in earnest last autumn. The main problem, though, has been getting people with Formula One experience in quickly enough. “The bigger problem has been in terms of designers because while Formula One experience is not necessary on the production side – there are composites facilities in Norfolk because of the junior formula infrastructure – the main problem is attracting the design and technical staff,” says Gascoyne. “Most people in the industry can be on three or six months


WEb ad.qxd:Racetech.qxd

30/4/10

16:39

Page 1

www.racetechmag.com ADVERTISING ON THE RACE TECH WEBSITE Advantages to Advertisers • Direct links from your ad on the Race Tech website or the digital edition to your website • Link pictures of your equipment directly to videos or other information giving readers more information at the initial point of contact • Allows readers to contact advertiser directly via e-mail link from the Race Tech website or within the digital edition • Ability to imbed audio or video files directly into your ad • Detailed tracking information on the activity connected to your ad • Connect your ad with your online promotion and market campaign. Drive traffic directly to your site without having to pay for referral clicks from search engines • Faster delivery to the reader than traditional postal mail. Get your message out fast! • Competitive pricing for print advertisers For further information on placing a banner, logo or booking a space in the Directory, contact: maryam@racetechmag.com

Coming Soon... the new-look RACE TECH website

NEWS FEATURES CREDIBLE ORIGINAL CONTENT INTERACTIVE USER FRIENDLY It is one that is being developed specifically for the Race Tech reader, people who require topical in-depth information that is not available anywhere else. The relaunched website will also give our advertisers the opportunity to have a direct link from it, thereby opening up huge opportunities for attracting new visitors.

RACE TECH GOES DIGITAL RACE TECH is going digital. Those who cannot wait to receive their printed version can now subscribe to a digital edition. Get the creative design and relevant, focused content of print, the instant accessibility, searchability, and interactivity of the web while also feeling good about choosing an environmentally-friendly media option. • Receive your issue much faster than the traditional print publication – in some cases, up to three weeks faster • The digital edition provides for a completely new experience that includes video, audio and animation possibilities • Content becomes truly interactive where you can go directly from the magazine to related content on the Web • Readers can search the articles using the keyword feature • Issues will be archived allowing readers to search multiple issues conveniently for information

To subscribe e-mail: subscribe@racetechmag.com

Watch out for the new-look

www.racetechmag.com the new online motorsport engineering resource


Cover Story-Lotus.qxd:Racetech.qxd

32

30/4/10

01:33

Page 5

www.racetechmag.com

COVER STORY LOTUS RACING

ABOVE Jarno Trulli in the thick of the action. The T127 will get an update package for race five but resources could be switched early to focus on the 2011 challenger notice but if you have just half a year to do the whole project it means they can’t contribute very much.” When it came to designing the car, Gascoyne deliberately chose to follow conventional lines as time and resource meant that he could not take risks and look for the 2010 equivalent of the double diffuser. “Our aim was to develop a reliable package that would cool and finish the first four races because no matter how quick you are, you still need to finish and then we’d make it quicker,” says Gascoyne. “For example, we always knew the amount of time spent on aero would be very limited which means that there are some pretty big steps we can be making. We can take plenty of weight out of the car because we weren’t able to instigate some things like FE work due to the lack of time and people to do it. We can also lower the car or reduce the unsprung masses and we don’t have carbon suspension at the moment because it just wasn’t possible to do the iterations and tests and get it on the car in time, so there is a project we can very quickly switch onto. “It’s similar in other areas: we don’t have any mass dampers because when you

32

www.racetechmag.com

May 2010

struggle to design a car it’s left as a future project once the decks are cleared. We can run the car, get Penske to do the adjustable lightweight dampers, all the good things, but when you are sitting there with 15 or so people and six months to do it then you just have to make value judgements of how to get the car to the race on time. Likewise we knew we didn’t have time to do a 7-post rig test so we had to leave it and not worry about it.” The relationship with Cosworth has worked out very well, says Gascoyne. “The engine has been very reliable – its fuel consumption is good, as is its performance in terms of power. There are some issues we are solving with them in terms of general mapping and driveability – things like fuel volumes because they didn’t know what the fuel consumption was going to be as they had never run an engine to 18,000 rpm in a race. However, we were making basic architecture decisions before we even had the figures that were predicting what was going to happen. This meant that we were taking some pretty rough guesses with cooling numbers based on average face velocities and assumed heat rejection figures without any definite data.

However, we got it right because we ran and finished at one of the hottest races of the year in Bahrain at the start of the season without any problems. This was the result of some good engineering decisions being made.” WEIGHT DISTRIBUTION Asked whether the diminishing fuel might upset the handling of the car as the 160 kg payload at the start of the race disappeared, Gascoyne responds: “In some respects some of that worry passed us by because we didn’t have time to think about it. We did some modelling and were aware of where people were going with weight distribution. There were concerns in terms of tyre degradation, especially at the rear with the extra weight, but we knew where we wanted to aim at following the modelling in terms of weight distribution. We are a little limited compared to some other cars because they have far more freedom in terms of weight distribution and can have far more ballast whereas we are on the weight limit. We estimate that by race five in Barcelona, though, we will be on our optimum weight distribution. “So we got the basic assumptions right but


Cover Story-Lotus.qxd:Racetech.qxd

30/4/10

01:34

Page 6

www.racetechmag.com

COVER STORY 33

didn’t have the time to do as much work as some of the other teams. For example, you only get tyre data from Bridgestone once you are a confirmed entrant into the F1 championship. With things like the revised front tyre for 2010 we didn’t have any data and were doing the basic architecture for the car without any. It was a challenge but in the end we don’t have any compromises so I think we did our job pretty well.” However, Gascoyne has a conundrum. While he knows that he can improve this year’s car, there is only so much he can do to bring the car up the grid whereas next year, with the change in the aero regulations, it is much more of a level playing field. “We are already looking at the 2011 aero regulations and the banning of the double diffusers and how we are going to cope with that and have accordingly set up a separate design group to deal with it. Against that, though, is the desire to catch up this year. However, you don’t want to put too much resource into trying to do so as it may never happen anyway and consequently you miss out on the opportunity of starting on a level playing field next year. So we have to box clever as a new, small team. I think that for us the priority of putting people on next year’s car is very important.” As with every team on the Formula One grid this year, Lotus F1 Racing is racing under the Restricted Resource Agreement, the Formula One

ABOVE The T127 nosecone undergoing crash testing. Never mind race wins, just getting the car to the grid on time was a victory

Teams Association’s (FOTA) response to the proposed budget cap that was put forward by the-then FIA president Max Mosley. “I think that what Max was trying to do was exactly right,” says Gascoyne. “Formula One and the spending competition had become totally unsustainable in today’s economy. When I was at Force India spending €40-€50 million a year and racing not that far off the pace, the argument was always that if you had 26 Force Indias on the gird painted in different colours, would the spectator really notice the difference? And would anyone notice the difference where the total cost of that would be €50 million per team? Of course they wouldn’t, so it can be done for that. The problem was that there was a cartel of manufacturers that didn’t want to give up any advantage. “Formula One had got to the stage like the Premier League in Britain where only four or five teams can afford to spend enough money to be at the top while the smaller teams can never generate enough revenue from their results to join the big group, and that was clearly unsustainable. I still think a budget cap would have been a good idea. We’ve got the Resource Restriction Agreement and it’s not bad as a start but I hope it becomes much tighter so that it really does limit what people spend because I think that’s the only way forward for Formula One.” RT

RIGHT Chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne oversaw a frantic dash to get a car ready for pre-season testing

The spending had become totally unsustainable but a cartel of manufacturers didn’t want to give up any advantage’

Subscribe +44 (0) 208 446 2100

May 2010

www.racetechmag.com

33


F1-Loose Wheels.qxd:Racetech.qxd

34

30/4/10

01:36

Page 1

www.racetechmag.com

FORMULA ONE LOOSE WHEELS

WHY LOOSE WHEELS DRIVE US NUTS! With all the technology at our disposal in Formula One, it seems crazy that loose wheels are still the cause of retirements. Pat Symonds sheds new light on a familiar problem A FORMULA ONE car is an incredibly sophisticated piece of equipment designed by some of the best engineers on the planet and maintained by technicians chosen for their understanding of engineering and their attention to detail. How, therefore, can a fundamental problem like a loose wheel cause a race retirement – a situation we saw twice in the first three races of the season? Losing wheels is certainly not a phenomenon exclusive to motorsport. Reports can even be found in Horse and Hound magazine about accidents caused by wheel nuts coming off horseboxes.[1] Prior to EU rules on the subject, many heavy goods vehicles used left-hand threads on the wheel nuts fitted on the left-hand side of the vehicle. Recent research carried out in both the UK and Finland [2] showed that there was a bias toward the problem occurring on the lefthand side of vehicles. However, the bias was small for loose wheel nuts but large for wheel detachment, suggesting that the thread hand influence may be a small factor in the root cause of nut loosening but may be a large influence in the subsequent unwinding of an already loose nut. The fact that similar numbers of wheel loss incidents occurred in countries that drove on the left as those that drove on the right again suggests that the hand of the thread is fundamental to this problem.

If this type of nut were to come loose then the weight of the vehicle forces the cone to rest in the bottom of the conical socket in the wheel. This is shown, with exaggerated clearances, in Figure 2. FIGURE 2

MULTI-STUD WHEEL FIXINGS Before we consider centre lock wheels we should examine the common coned wheel nut or bolt.

FIGURE 1 A conventional wheel nut

34

www.racetechmag.com

May 2010

The result of this is that the nut has a smaller effective diameter than the “socket” formed by the wheel and hence rolls at a speed greater than that of the wheel. Expressed a different way, it rotates on the stud in the same direction as the rotation of the wheel. If the thread of the stud is right-handed, therefore, nuts on a right-hand wheel will tend to tighten while those on a left-hand wheel will tend to loosen. With tapered nuts and wheel recesses, the effective gearing of the mechanism will alter as the nut unwinds and so any loosening occurs at an ever-increasing rate. With this in mind, it was common practice some years ago to fit left-hand threads on the left-hand side of vehicles. This was particularly true of heavy goods vehicles but in the USA until 1965 Buick, Pontiac and Oldsmobile used left-hand threads on the left-hand wheel nuts and Chrysler used them on some models until 1975. Perhaps the extreme example will be one known to many a home mechanic: the rear hub nuts on the Mini. On this vehicle the left-hand rear hub nut was not only of a left-hand thread but was also castellated and fitted with a split pin!

1

http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/article.php?aid=55832&cid=397

2

TRL Ltd project Report PPR086 “Heavy vehicle wheel detachment: frequency of occurrence, current best practice, and potential solutions” Knight, Dodd, Grover, Bartlett & Brightman


F1-Loose Wheels.qxd:Racetech.qxd

30/4/10

01:37

Page 2

www.racetechmag.com

FORMULA ONE 35

CENTRE LOCK WHEEL FIXINGS While wheels with a single central nut (or centre lock as they are commonly known) may be a completely different design to the multi-stud fixings described above, the problem is a similar one. Many British and European sports cars were fitted with centre lock wheels up until the 1970s. These nearly always had a left-hand thread on the right-hand side of the car. Interestingly one notable exception was the Lotus Elan that used left-hand threads on the left-hand side. If we examine a typical centre lock wheel as used on most race cars that are involved in pit stops we see that they use a coned male nut which locates in a female coned wheel (Figure 3). FIGURE 3

ABOVE & BELOW The wheels coming off the wagon is far from a new problem. Above, Michael Schumacher retires with a loose wheel on his Mercedes in Malaysia 2010. Below, Nigel Mansell lost the 1987 Hungarian GP when the right rear wheel nut came off his Williams FW11B

It can be seen that there are topographical similarities between this design and the simple coned wheel nut used on many road cars. There is a difference in that with the road car wheel the drive torque is transmitted through the wheel stud (or bolt). In the typical racing design, the torque is transmitted through drive pegs. On classic British sports cars, the drive was taken through a spline on the axle that engaged with a female spline in the wheel. If these drive mechanisms were a perfect fit then there could be no relative radial movement between the wheel and axle or indeed between the wheel and nut. In reality, there has to be clearance in order to be able to fit the wheels. In a typical Formula One wheel the drive peg holes in the wheel are elongated to allow for the vastly different

May 2010

www.racetechmag.com

35


F1-Loose Wheels.qxd:Racetech.qxd

36

30/4/10

01:37

Page 3

www.racetechmag.com

FORMULA ONE LOOSE WHEELS

expansion rates of the magnesium wheel and the steel or titanium axle. In some cases the drive peg may be fitted to the wheel and engage in a slot in the axle or disc bell. The effects are the same. If we now consider this mechanism with exaggerated clearances by looking at the section marked A-A on Figure 3, we see what is shown diagrammatically in Figure 4. FIGURE 4

We can now see that there is a subtle difference to the simple wheel stud considered originally in that there is a “geared” mechanism between the wheel and the nut as well as the nut and the axle. Considering clockwise rotation, we can see that the axle will rotate clockwise relative to the nut due to the axle/nut

There is a ‘geared’ mechanism between the wheel and the nut as well as the nut and the axle’ interface but that the nut will rotate clockwise relative to the wheel due to the nut/wheel interface. If we consider that rotationally the wheel is locked to the axle by means of the drive pegs then the latter movement amounts to a clockwise rotation of the nut relative to the axle. This means that effect of the two interfaces is contrary. Thinking of these two interactions on a system with a left-hand thread fitted to the right-hand side of the vehicle, then the interface between the axle and the nut will tend to tighten the nut while that between the nut and the wheel will tend to loosen it. So which is the dominant effect? The answer will depend on three basic factors. The first and most obvious is the friction developed at each interface. This will be a function of the lubrication and surface finish. Secondly, the diameters are of significance as a given frictional force acting at a larger radius will transmit a greater

ABOVE The refuelling ban has reintroduced lightning-fast pit stops to F1 but mistakes can be made under pressure. Here Renault’s mechanics produce a slick stop to send Robert Kubica on his way (Photo: Steven Tee/LAT Photographic)

36

www.racetechmag.com

May 2010

torque. Finally, the clearances that we have shown in a very exaggerated way come into play as they provide the fundamental gearing between the components. In practice the cone angle of the wheel nuts and the wheel recess are slightly different to ensure that there is a controlled line contact between the parts and hence the interface between the nut and the axle is the dominant one. This, if a left-hand thread is fitted on the right-hand side, will ensure that the natural tendency is one of self-tightening. It is interesting that of the two occurrences of loose wheels so far in 2010 both involved left-hand wheels but in one case the nut was a right-hand thread and in the other a left-hand thread. In addition, one occurred before any pit stop had been made and the other after a pit stop. There are obviously more things that can go wrong in a pit stop just due to the hurried nature of it. On the grid, the wheels are carefully torqued either with enormous torque wrenches or with


Adverts 114 main section.qxd:Racetech.qxd

27/3/10

13:23

Page 4


F1-Loose Wheels.qxd:Racetech.qxd

38

30/4/10

01:37

Page 5

www.racetechmag.com

FORMULA ONE LOOSE WHEELS

carefully calibrated air guns. Formula One cars can generate enormous braking torques. When Sebastian Vettel’s wheel came loose in Australia it was not into a turn with very severe braking but nevertheless the left front wheel drive system would have been resisting over 2,500 Nm of torque. The Red Bull car has the drive pegs in the wheel itself. On the front wheel there are just three of them, each with a diameter of around 10 to 12 mm. Even if these are made of maraging steel the shear stress under heavy braking would be uncomfortably close to, or even over, the yield strength so some additional torque transfer mechanism is required. A typical Formula One axle has a thread of around 60 mm diameter and a pitch of 1 mm. The nuts are done up to around 700 to 750 Nm. This generates an enormous clamping force between the wheel and the hub, normally via the disc bell, and this makes a significant contribution to the drive system. The static friction coefficient between dry magnesium (which the wheel is made of) and dry aluminium (which the disc bell is made of) is around 0.6 so this clamping load contributes a significant amount of the drive. I suspect that when Vettel’s wheel came loose, his drive pegs sheared, losing the ability for that wheel to react the braking torque.

patent by Wolfgang Weiss [5] that has been presented to Formula One teams in the past. Perhaps, though, the most intriguing in its simplicity is a patent filed by J.V. Pugh in 1911 entitled “Improvements in and relating to detachable wheels” in which he simply inverts the gender of the nut and wheel such that the wheel has a male register and the nut a female one as shown in Figure 5. This rather old patent was brought to light more recently by Thorpe [6] whose discussion is summarised here. FIGURE 5

If we now consider the cross section shown as A-A in Figure 5 (with exaggerated clearances) we see an arrangement as shown in Figure 6. FIGURE 6

LOCKING SYSTEMS

SOLUTIONS

A search of patents finds an enormous number of locking devices for threaded fasteners, with several specifically dedicated to the problem of wheel nuts. Among the interesting ones are those of Lees [3] and Vanderdrift [4] as well as a

So what, if any, is the solution to this aggravating and yet potentially serious problem? With a conventional internal, centre lock, wheel nut (that is a male nut that engages a female wheel), it is probable that the physics are such that a left-hand thread on the right-hand side of the vehicle and a right-hand thread on the left-hand side of the vehicle are best. With multi-stud fixings the opposite is true and left-hand threads should be used on the left-hand side of the vehicle. However, to eliminate the worries brought about by inconsistencies, the external nut proposed all those years ago by Pugh is worthy of adoption. Having said that, there is one vital point to get across: if a wheel nut is tightened properly, it will not come loose irrespective of the design of the axle thread and the nut. Equally and even more importantly, if a wheel nut is loose then using threads of the correct hand for the particular side of the car will inhibit the departure of the wheel nut but no more than that. RT

ABOVE Sebastian Vettel streaks clear of the field in Australia, only to surrender a potential 25-point haul when his Red Bull’s wheel nut worked loose

38

Once again, this figure shows the clearances taken up by the weight of the vehicle on the wheel. While the axle to nut interface is still at the bottom of the assembly, the wheel to nut interface is now at the top. If we consider the wheel rotating clockwise and the vehicle moving forward, the whole system rotates but the interface lines remain vertically aligned. The axle to nut relative rotation is similar to the standard coned wheel nut to wheel rotation shown in Figure 2. The nut therefore rotates anti-clockwise relative to the axle. If we consider the wheel to nut interface, it can be seen that the wheel will rotate faster than the nut due to the “gearing” and the nut therefore is subject to an anti-clockwise rotation relative to the wheel. As the wheel and axle is constrained rotationally by the drive pegs, this implies an anti-clockwise rotation of the nut relative to the axle. The axle-nut interface and the wheel-nut interface therefore both cause the nut to rotate in the same direction relative to the axle. With this arrangement, the relative rotations are more clearly defined and less reliant on local conditions. As shown, the vehicle would require left-hand threads on the right-hand side and vice-versa and would inhibit the loss of a loose wheel nut.

www.racetechmag.com

May 2010

3

US patent 6,916,144B2 July 2005 Wheel Nut Assembly

4

International patent WO 97/14892 October 1996 Self locking Ratchet Nut

5

US patent 7,445,413B2 May 2003 Screw nut assembly including an integrated securing arrangement

6

T.E. Thorpe “Self Locking Wheel Nuts” Proc IMechE Vol. 209


Adverts 113 main section.qxd:Racetech.qxd

28/2/10

13:22

Page 7


F1-Hispania.qxd:Racetech.qxd

40

30/4/10

01:40

Page 1

www.racetechmag.com

FORMULA ONE HISPANIA RACING F1 TEAM

THE PAIN IN SPAIN The infancy of Hispania Racing has been uncomfortable, but gradually order is emerging from chaos. De facto technical director Geoff Willis gives Matt Youson a frank account of a tempestuous beginning BELOW The key action has taken place in the garage, rather than on the racetrack

40

www.racetechmag.com

May 2010


F1-Hispania.qxd:Racetech.qxd

30/4/10

01:40

Page 2

www.racetechmag.com

FORMULA ONE 41

W

HICH IS the most impressive team in Formula One at the moment? Would anyone accept it is Hispania Racing? Red Bull clearly has a quick car; Force India is arguably the most improved. Renault is better than anyone expected and Lotus seems to have a pragmatic and tidy base on which to build – but Hispania is something different. Its car has no testing, its crew no experience. Many of the parts are quick-fixes and last resort bodges – and yet it made it to the grid in Bahrain, crawled to the chequered flag in Australia, enjoyed a comparatively spritely double finish at Sepang and repeated the feat in the rain in China. Compared to where it was 24 hours before the racing year began in earnest, that must surely go down as the achievement of the season. After a stalled development programme, financial difficulties, poor supplier relationships and an 11th-hour transfer of ownership, Hispania arrived for the first race of the year with no testing and its cars still as yet unassembled. Working 24-hour days, it managed to get one bolted together and on track for second practice on Friday and the second for qualifying on Saturday. The gap to the leaders was around 11 seconds. Given that the interval between front and back had by the end of 2009 fallen to as little as 0.7 seconds, Hispania’s debut was reminiscent of the disastrous MasterCard Lola of 1997. Lola’s problems were caused by a pushy

ABOVE Bruno Senna claimed it was a “miracle” just to have the cars running at the first grand prix

of work to do before it will be able to compete with Virgin and Lotus. The other new teams (save the ill-fated USF1 project) had their cars built up by midFebruary, a few weeks behind the established outfits. With the HRT F110 being first fired up on March 12 it suggests the team was nominally a month behind in its development programme. Willis, in a brief respite from fire-fighting, argues the situation was actually far, far worse. “Because the car build started so late, corners were cut in many areas. Bodywork had to be trimmed manually, various brackets weren’t completed, some systems

Hispania arrived for the first race with no testing and its cars still to be assembled’ sponsor demanding the team enter a year ahead of time. Hispania’s issues came about through a lack of sponsors (pushy or otherwise) but its problems were broadly similar – the car simply wasn’t ready. But while the Spanish team was a long way out of its depth, it was at least racing. It also gained recognised management. In February the experienced Colin Kolles had arrived as team principal and Geoff Willis as a technical consultant; the hired guns were there to stabilise things and get the team moving in the right direction. Gradually they have done precisely that, while acknowledging there is a great deal wrong with the team, and a lot

Subscribe +44 (0) 208 446 2100

were being drawn and made on the fly, so it really wasn’t a normal car build, regardless of when it took place. “Also, Dallara had not built an F1 car in many, many years, and I think they simply underestimated the level Formula One has now reached. With an F1 car we try to minimise the amount of customisation that goes on at the build stage; we try to design everything so that the car can only be built one way. The reasons for that are at least partially based on the packaging demands: we need to know exactly where everything is because things won’t fit if they don’t go in exactly.

“Finally, the astounding reliability now experienced in F1 is based upon taking nothing for granted: every part of the electrical loom is properly supported; hydraulic lines are anti-vibration mounted and are the correct lengths and not under strain. All the services in the car are properly laid out – and that level of detail is just missing from this car, which puts a huge load on the car build itself.” "GP1" RATHER THAN F1 Willis is obviously critical of the way in which Dallara has managed the project. Having been in Italy for the initial build, he expresses surprise that the manufacturer did not hire a greater number of experienced F1 personnel. With reference to the company’s successes in GP2, he suggests what it has produced is more akin to an advanced GP2 chassis than a fully-fledged F1 car. “It’s GP1 rather than F1 and I’m sure the integration, the detail and the quality of components in the garages next to ours [ie those of the other new teams] will be significantly better.” The problem, says Willis, is that the project falls between two stools. If not intending to enter with a competitive car it would, he argues, be perfectly feasible to begin life in F1 as a ‘Super-GP2 team’, gain experience, build up a technical group, ramp up quality and slowly advance to the higher level, “but what we have is neither cheap enough and sufficiently easy to work on to take that route, nor is it of a high enough quality to follow the conventional approach.” The big question being wrestled with at the time of writing is whether HRT will continue

May 2010

www.racetechmag.com

41


F1-Hispania.qxd:Racetech.qxd

42

30/4/10

01:40

Page 3

www.racetechmag.com

FORMULA ONE HISPANIA RACING F1 TEAM

You have to make sure every problem is properly reported, not just dealt with quietly at the scene’

ABOVE Senna’s F110 runs wheel-to-wheel with the Lotus of Heikki Kovalainen but the team knows it will be a long hard fight to drag itself up to the level of its fellow newcomers the partnership with Dallara, or obtain the geometry for the F110 and set up its own development programme. “Those are the two options available to us. The latter will take a few weeks to sort out and realistically any standalone programme would be 10 or 15 weeks away from producing anything for the car,” Willis says. Rare for a Formula One team, development isn’t top of the priorities list at Hispania. Understanding what it has, and then optimising it, is viewed as the more urgent matter. With a non-negotiable deadline of Bahrain qualifying on March 13, neither car was built to its design specification. For example, steel suspension makes its return to F1 because there was not sufficient time to manufacture composites, and both cars are running with a minimal racing loom, limiting data channels to the bare necessities. Of the parts the team does have, Willis says some are well-concepted and manufactured, while others are rather crude. “In terms of refinement, the design is certainly some way behind where a mid-grid F1 car would be. How far behind is difficult to say; certainly the BARs of the early 2000s would be much better integrated and easier to work on. “How much that reflects the target of Dallara and how much it reflects the lack of time at the end of the programme is difficult to judge. I will need to go through on a component by component basis and determine which parts could have benefited

42

www.racetechmag.com

May 2010

from more effort at the design stage, and which are the product of the choice between doing it the way it has been done or not having a car. In some instances it’s easy to judge what has been rushed through, jumping [manufacturing] stages all the way – the quality of composite components depends an awful lot on the pattern, mould and paint preparation, the time taken to laminate and de-mould and cure and trim. Work at the proper rate and you get a quality product; rush it and what you get doesn’t look very nice…”

ABOVE Out of the darkness: the Hispania Racing F1 Team was born only after an 11thhour change of ownership

Willis’ shopping list includes the usual teething problems that afflict most new builds but also some fairly fundamental issues in need of remedy. “We certainly need some more cooling options on the brakes and we’re going to redesign the steering wheels,” he says. “We want to give the hydraulics a facelift to improve the packaging and the reliability; we’ve got to do something about the driver installation because the cockpit isn’t tidy enough, which means we don’t have enough freedom to move the drivers where we want them to go. Added to that are a whole series of serviceability issues that need to be addressed: it takes too long to make a suspension change; too long to put a floor on; there are too many fasteners in the bodywork and it’s too dependent on individual hand-building. The car is just too difficult to work on so we have to simplify all of that.” With the future ownership of design responsibility uncertain, the question of who will address these issues is also ambiguous. “There is a discussion about the level of fault resolution that comes with the new car design – but when does fault resolution become car development?” asks Willis rhetorically. Hispania’s problems do not begin and end with design and manufacturing, it also faces the experience deficit with which any new team must cope. Of the small crew, only three of those working on the mechanical side of


Adverts 115 main section.qxd:Racetech.qxd

30/4/10

17:31

Page 3


F1-Hispania.qxd:Racetech.qxd

44

30/4/10

01:40

Page 5

www.racetechmag.com

FORMULA ONE HISPANIA RACING F1 TEAM

the operation have prior F1 experience. The rest, while experienced in motorsport, are learning on the job. “And without being snobbish, there is a fundamental difference,” says Willis. “This is the only formula with an engine that revs to 18,000 rpm: the vibration from that does a lot of damage to sensors, actuators, looms etc; the intensity of braking and kerbing events causes higher acceleration levels; and the packaging is much tighter than anywhere else. Le Mans, for example, is equally high-speed, but those are much bigger cars, much heavier and can absorb more weight to protect systems, while also having more room to play with. F1 has all sorts of unusual quirks which make it a very difficult environment to work in and if you haven’t got the experience, you have issues with the car because of problems you haven’t seen before. “Reliability comes predominantly from design and then quality control through manufacture and then procedure and attention to detail in the car build stage… but certainly not least through the fault reporting mechanism in the garage. You have to make sure every problem is properly reported and not just dealt with quietly at the scene: it should be reported, it should be fixed, and the fact it’s been fixed should be reported, so that somebody is required to come up with a proper solution, whether it

requires a process or a design change. We’re just not in a position to do that yet.” The ‘yet’ in that sentence is important. In stark terms Hispania seems chaotic, but the work going on in the garage is calm and methodical; the team got one car home in Australia and both in Malaysia and China, albeit several laps off the pace. Willis acknowledges that he is putting together a design group with experienced F1 personnel that will – subject to a budget being agreed – begin to look at topics covering a wide spectrum of performance and nonperformance related issues. TECHNICAL COLLABORATION In the longer term he doesn’t rule out the possibility of a technical collaboration with an established team (similar to the Force IndiaMcLaren arrangement), but he is encouraged by the performance of Hispania’s current engine package: “It [technical collaboration] is certainly a possibility but at the moment the Cosworth looks like a pretty good engine. It has a glitch mid-range but in terms of fuel consumption and top-end power, I’m pretty happy with it.” Willis does, however, also say that the current Xtrac gearbox is too heavy and that the proposed regulations regarding greater gearbox longevity make the need to source a

INSET Paper trail: many of the systems that F1 teams take for granted are only just being put in place at Hispania Racing BELOW Having run 11 seconds off the pace initially, the team has made steady progress. In Malaysia and China it got both cars to the finish

44

www.racetechmag.com

May 2010

carbon main case “a no-brainer”. Seamless shift is likewise desirable, “but there is sufficient experience in the pit lane to do it yourself if somebody else’s geometry didn’t precisely suit your needs.” Despite the problems of its birth, the more the technical director is able to discuss the long-term future, the more the problems of the moment appear to be transient. Over the last decade there has been a tendency to think of F1 development in terms of the things that are most readily apparent. Horsepower and aerodynamic efficiency are at the top of the list, followed by suspension and handling for the more enquiring. Anything that isn’t a performance differentiator falls off the radar because it simply isn’t relevant. Hispania’s issues shine a light into a dark corner long forgotten. Issues such as manufacturing methodology, process control, packaging practices and fault reporting aren’t ever discussed because they’ve become second nature; the attention to detail may be extraordinary but the application of the extraordinary has become mundane. The difficult beginnings of Hispania serve to bring those underlying foundations back into view. Doubtless as the team improves over the coming months they will once again be covered and forgotten, until the RT next new teams appear.


Adverts 115 main section.qxd:Racetech.qxd

30/4/10

17:31

Page 4


Engine Tech-LPG Focus.qxd:Racetech.qxd

46

30/4/10

01:43

Page 1

www.racetechmag.com

ENGINE TECHNOLOGY TEAM AON LPG FOCUS

LPG BECOMES FOCUS OF ATTENTION BELOW Although tyre troubles at Thruxton masked the true pace of the LPG-fuelled Team Aon Focus, pole position at Rockingham left nobody in any doubt

46

www.racetechmag.com

May 2010


Engine Tech-LPG Focus.qxd:Racetech.qxd

30/4/10

01:43

Page 2

www.racetechmag.com

ENGINE TECHNOLOGY 47

Chris Pickering investigates the LPG engine project that is ruffling feathers with its pace in the British Touring Car Championship

T

HE BRITISH Touring Car Championship is a rather interesting place to be at the moment. You’ve got front-wheel-drive cars racing against rearwheel-drive cars, saloons against hatchbacks, turbocharged engines against naturally aspirated units, and the impending upheaval of next year’s rule changes. And now, as if that wasn’t enough for the scrutineers to deal with, a new fuel has just been thrown into the mix. What’s more, the powerplant doesn’t

strictly fall into any of the existing categories. While the familiar naturally aspirated Super 2000 engines continue to dominate – at least in numbers – the only official regulations for turbocharged units are those which fall under the Next Generation Touring Car (NGTC) rules for direct-injection petrol engines. The new unit, developed by Essex-based Mountune Racing and campaigned in the Ford Focuses of Team Aon, is neither. It uses a turbocharger, like the forthcoming NGTC engines, but it’s actually based on a Super 2000 unit, with conventional manifold fuel injection. There’s also the small matter of the LPG system, of course. All this puts it quite literally in a class of its own at the moment, with a one-off homologation agreed with series organisers TOCA. DOUBLE WHAMMY The project came about last year while the team was considering its engine options for 2010. It was assumed at the time that the TOCA NGTC ‘package engine’ would be the way to go performance-wise, but the team was uneasy about fitting a non-Ford engine. Although officially unbranded, its origins – from one of the blue oval’s closest competitors – are fairly widely known. At the time the team was also on the lookout for a new sponsor and a solution was about to be found to both problems. Paul Onslow-Cole,

father of Team Aon driver Tom Onslow-Cole, has an LPG fitting business and it was he who introduced the team to LPG specialist Calor. When the possibility of a significant sponsorship deal was mooted the switch to LPG was all but agreed. The next call was to BTCC technical chief Peter Riches, who agreed he liked the idea of LPG and offered to work with the team on the regulations. With the NGTC rules still far from finalised at the time, Mountune was given a basic set of guidelines and left to carry on. “There was an acknowledgement that time was short and the team were basically told ‘get on with it, just don’t push your luck’,” recalls Mountune founder David Mountain. The key restraints were a capacity of two litres, in line with both the NGTC and Super 2000 cars, and a turbo boost pressure of no more than 1.8 bar absolute and a maximum 7,000 rpm (again, as per the NGTC rules). Perhaps not surprisingly, the fuel system has provided the main challenge. While Mountune is no stranger to forced induction, or indeed the Ford Duratec, LPG in a race application was new territory. “LPG was something of an unknown – when we ran the budget numbers for the team that was the only bit we couldn’t predict,” recalls general manager Roger Allen. “We knew how much it was going to be from the injector down, but before that we needed help.

ABOVE The turbocharged powerplant on the dyno. Note the thermocouples at the back of the engine used to monitor exhaust gas temperatures and infer combustion conditions

May 2010

www.racetechmag.com

47


Engine Tech-LPG Focus.qxd:Racetech.qxd

48

30/4/10

01:43

Page 3

www.racetechmag.com

ENGINE TECHNOLOGY TEAM AON LPG FOCUS

That’s where Calor stepped in.” Most of the LPG hardware comes straight from Calor’s Dutch sister company Prins. Mountune took a lot of advice from the company on things like the correct pipes and pumps: “It’s important to have the correct seals, flow rates and pressures. It’s not something we’ve delved too deeply into here, but Calor and Prins have done a lot of work in this area.” In reality the LPG fuel system isn’t quite as alien as you might first assume. “It sounds exotic, but it’s essentially just like the contents of a barbeque gas bottle,” notes Allen.

tendency to ice up. “On the dyno you can sometimes see ice forming on the outside,” Allen casually admits. “If it’s a bit on the cold side and the system is idling, when fuel flow is lower, it can get close to freezing up, but as soon as you pick up the revs and the fuel starts to flow this ceases to be a problem.” Unlike most road-going LPG conversions the engine doesn’t use an evaporator to vaporise the fuel, instead it’s injected into the manifold as a liquid. This removes weight from the system, simplifies the

LPG’s lower calorific value means you need 20 per cent more fuel mass for the same power output’

ABOVE Tom Chilton smashed the Rockingham lap record to earn LPG its first pole position start Treated with a few basic precautions LPG isn’t a difficult substance to handle, but there are a few issues. Firstly, it readily evaporates under normal atmospheric conditions and can cause severe ‘cold burns’ if it comes into contact with skin. It’s also heavier than air so it will tend to run down hill and accumulate in dips if spilt. In most respects, however, the technology in the fuel system isn’t that different to a normal petrol or diesel setup. A turbine pump, located inside the tank, works with a pressure regulator to supply fuel direct to the injectors. It does need to be kept at a somewhat higher pressure than a petrol system (6 to 8 bar plays 3 to 5 bar), but it’s still broadly the same order of magnitude. The only other issue is a

48

www.racetechmag.com

May 2010

installation and also provides additional charge cooling as the liquid vaporises. It wasn’t without its problems, however. In theory the LPG is supposed to evaporate as soon as it leaves the injector, but the development team soon discovered there was a noticeable time delay. Running at fairly high air speeds and injecting close to the inlet valves, the first engines didn’t always have time to fully vaporise the fuel before it entered the cylinder. The result was several piston failures on early engines, which are thought to have been caused by thermal fatigue as the cold LPG hit the warm surface of the piston. It wasn’t long before a simple solution was found, however. “It’s difficult to monitor the

combustion chamber without things like quartz lenses and high-speed photography, and we didn’t have access to that sort of thing, so we just went back to basics with tests on the dyno,” explains Mountain. “We discovered that moving the injectors back provided a definite improvement and we believe the fuel is now fully gaseous once it enters the combustion chamber.” The fuel injectors themselves made for something of a challenge, mainly because the pressure the system runs at would slow the internals right down on a normal gasoline unit. To get the necessary speed Mountune uses Prins side-fed injectors. Based on a Bosch design, these feed from the side, unlike conventional end-fed


Engine Tech-LPG Focus.qxd:Racetech.qxd

30/4/10

01:44

Page 4

www.racetechmag.com

ENGINE TECHNOLOGY 49

ABOVE The rapid cast alloy manifold can be seen in this dyno shot, as can the two fuel lines heading to each set of twin injectors injectors which feed the fuel straight onto the pintle and have a tendency to slow it down at high pressure. The other benefit of this architecture is that it moves the solenoid further away from the fuel, reducing heat transfer that might otherwise evaporate the fuel. Similarly, plastic fuel lines are used for their insulating properties. TWIN INJECTORS The other major problem posed by the fuel system was simply achieving adequate flow. One injector per cylinder wasn’t quite adequate to provide the fuel supply the engineers wanted, so they resorted to an eight injector setup. This is normally

Subscribe +44 (0) 208 446 2100

prohibited in the BTCC rules, but the team was granted dispensation to do so, and Mountain is quick to point out that it’s not a performance enhancing feature: “We agreed to run them side-by-side, rather than locating them separately. This means it’s effectively the same as running a single large injector and it doesn’t offer us any benefit. Using twin injectors also means we’re carrying a bit of extra weight and some additional complexity. We would like to get back to a single injector (per cylinder) and we are experimenting with some currently, but if they do go into the car it won’t be until halfway through the season.” At the business end, the injectors are encased in a cast alloy inlet plenum

manufactured using an innovative lost wax casting process developed by WCM Rapid. The benefits of this rapid casting technique were essential in the short time available and it’s also said to work out somewhat cheaper than sand casting for very small batches. It begins by creating a wax model, which is rapid printed straight from the CAD files. Next the master model has a wax running system developed around it. It’s then coated in plaster and baked in an oven, which dries the plaster and melts the wax out. This leaves the cavity form to which aluminium is poured in under vacuum to produce the metal casting. The whole process is tool-less and can be completed in a matter of days.

May 2010

www.racetechmag.com

49


Engine Tech-LPG Focus.qxd:Racetech.qxd

50

30/4/10

Page 5

www.racetechmag.com

ENGINE TECHNOLOGY TEAM AON LPG FOCUS

SUPPORTING CAST THE MOUNTUNE project wouldn’t have been possible without a small army of suppliers providing parts and services. Foremost among these are Calor and sister company Prins, who were vital in speccing and supplying the LPG system. Perhaps the next most significant change to Mountune’s former S2000 unit was the addition of a turbocharger. It’s a fairly standard Garrett GT28 roller bearing turbo, mated to a Tial wastegate and a quickrelease exhaust housing designed to enable fast changes. The exhaust system itself, meanwhile, comes from Berkshirebased Simpson Race Exhausts. Inside the engine we find many of the usual suspects at work: Carrillo conrods, CP Pistons, Supertech valves and an Arrow Precision crankshaft. NGK spark plugs and Cosworth Electronics’ Pectel ECU complete the powertrain shopping list.

Once the mixture is fully vaporised and safely inside the cylinder the combustion process is broadly the same as a spark ignition petrol engine, but there are some differences. LPG burns somewhat richer than petrol and its calorific value is lower, meaning you need around 20 per cent more fuel mass for the same power output. It also burns cooler, with exhaust gas temperatures typically 70 to 100 degrees C down (which bodes well for exhaust valve and turbo durability), but it’s not without its problems. LPG doesn’t have the same lubricating properties as petrol does and it’s not unknown for LPG engines to suffer valve seat recession. Some road car systems use an additional lubrication system to supply oil, but Mountune has elected not to do this because it lowers the octane rating and the mileages in question aren’t really high enough to cause problems. “We did consult our oil supplier and the response was that normal lubrication would be fine for LPG in a racing context,” confirms Mountain. Indeed, barring a problem with the oil breather system on an early test run, the engines appear to have fared very well in-car. When the concept first emerged there had been talk of running the car in a naturally aspirated configuration. In order to make it competitive on LPG the engineers hypothesised that they would need to raise the compression ratio to something like 14

50

01:44

www.racetechmag.com

May 2010

or 15:1 as well as re-engineering the head to provide considerably larger valve lift. Fortunately the idea of turbocharging eliminated this problem, and enabled them to run what is in many respects a fairly standard Super 2000 engine. PICK AND MIX As the concept took shape Mountune’s engineers, along with the scrutineers, pieced together a kind of pick and mix of touring car regulations. The fundamentals, such as compression ratio and component weights, were taken straight from Super 2000, while the lower 7,000 rpm rev limit and the boost pressure settings were taken from NGTC. Internally it remains fairly conventional; the head is said to be pretty much identical to the old unit from the plenum downstream, with the only real changes to the reciprocating assembly. “We’ve gone up a spec on the pistons and rod,” explains Allen. “The torque is somewhat higher, so we’ve gone for a turbo-style rod and pistons. They’re just slightly beefier designs optimised for low speed, high cylinder pressure, high torque applications.” The team hasn’t had a chance to carry out a cylinder pressure study, but it’s thought to be relatively close to the equivalent turbocharged petrol unit. The car

ABOVE & RIGHT The fuel tank in the ‘back seat’ is from Propane Performance Industries and draws on the company’s expertise with alternative fuels. “It involves a lot more than just bolting a gas tank in the back of the car,” said Arena boss Mike Earle after Rockingham. “Until you’ve tried it, nobody will understand what a technical challenge this programme presented us with.”

also takes its Pectel SQ6M engine control unit from the NGTC specification. Unlike the TOCA engine, it also features an additional boost pressure monitoring system that feeds straight into a sealed TOCA data logger – presumably just in case Mountune ever feels tempted to turn the wick up. Despite raiding the BTCC parts bin, the build hasn’t been a straight swap. The fuel tank, for example, still provides all the usual challenges associated with fuel surge and low running quantities, but it’s also added to the LPG car’s weight issues. The tank alone weighs 30 kg and you need to fill it with a greater quantity of liquid than you would a conventional system. If you really want to get David Mountain talking, however, it’s worth mentioning the subject of the lubrication system. Although this isn’t an LPG-specific issue, it’s clearly a point of contention in touring car circles. “We’ve said for a long time that a dry sump system would be cheaper, more reliable and easier for everyone,” he comments. “Big parts of the budgets are routinely spent trying to make a wet sump system with the standard production sump pan work in a racing environment [as mandated by most touring car series]. It’s been nothing but a nightmare for every project we’ve been involved with, right back to the Sierra Cosworth days.”


Engine Tech-LPG Focus.qxd:Racetech.qxd

30/4/10

01:44

Page 6

www.racetechmag.com

ENGINE TECHNOLOGY 51

BELOW The LPG powerplant has performed well, with the pace of the Focus through the speed traps in preseason testing causing rumblings amongst rivals

The Focuses’ speed trap times raised a few eyebrows amongst rival teams’

Last year Mountune, along with several other engine builders, had persistent problems with oil surge in the standard sump, which forced it to homologate an Accusump system. This is effectively an additional pressurised oil reservoir which is used to supplement the standard wet sump lubrication system when the pressure drops. It solved the lubrication issues, but meant adding extra weight to the car and finding space for the reservoir, so Mountune began developing a new wet sump system. The car retains the standard Ford sump pan – as per the BTCC regulations – but extensive internal changes to the baffles and pick up pipes have improved delivery to the point that the Accusump could be removed. “We had some interesting ideas from the aircraft world and we’ve done some testing with prototype sumps that have given a very good oil trace,” Mountain notes. Due to the rapid timescale no simulation work was carried out during the LPG project and Mountune’s first chance of gauging the engine’s progress was when it hit the dyno. It was back to basics stuff, but the development team did have a few tricks up their sleeve.

Subscribe +44 (0) 208 446 2100

Thermocouples were tapped into the exhaust system to measure exhaust temperature distribution, which allowed them to infer the mixture and any cylinder-to-cylinder distribution created by the intake system. “It’s a good way to get an idea of the distribution quickly,” explains Allen. “All you need is a few bosses in the manifold and then all other things being equal you get a basic idea of the mixture strength coming out.” GOOD RELIABILITY The engine first found its way into a car at the beginning of this year. The first shakedown was on February 13 and the engine stayed in the car for the next four tests, only coming out just before the seasonopener at Thruxton. When the engine was removed it was, says Allen, “absolutely pristine”, pinning high hopes on reliability. Sadly the tyre woes which caught out several of the teams made it a rather mixed weekend for Aon too. It’s no secret that the Focus is running considerably over the weight limit; not that it’s anything unusual, as even the lightest of the turbo cars are

thought to be something like 20 kg over the minimum. Thruxton is also notoriously hard on tyres and the additional weight of the LPG car, combined with what’s thought to be the highest torque levels in the BTCC, didn’t bode well. Both cars succumbed to tyre issues in race one – quite spectacularly in Tom Chilton’s case – and they continued to experience troubles throughout the day. The final race did, however, see them finish seventh and eighth, recording the first ever BTCC points for LPG cars. The powerplant itself performed well. Indeed perhaps too well: the cars’ speed trap times raised a few eyebrows amongst rival teams, even though their lap times were midfield. The pace of the Focus at Rockingham, where Tom Chilton broke the lap record to secure the first pole position for an LPG car, further underlined the package’s potential. Mountain predicts the team will be regulars up at the front in the near future. He better hope the powerplant’s not too good, of course. Otherwise you can be sure chief scrutineer Peter Riches will be knocking on his door with a nice new air restrictor. RT

May 2010

www.racetechmag.com

51


Indy 500.qxd:Racetech.qxd

52

30/4/10

01:47

Page 1

www.racetechmag.com

INDY 500 THE RACE’S IMPACT

THE GREATEST SPECTACLE IN RACING ABOVE Classic Indy 500 action at the start of the 2009 race (Photo: Dan Helrigel/IMS)

Tom Weisenbach, executive director of the Indiana Motorsports Association, explains why the Indy 500 is so special to the US racing industry

W

HAT IS the first thing you think of when I say “Indianapolis”? No matter where in the world you are, if you say Indianapolis most people respond “Indy 500”. The Indianapolis 500 is still the largest, single-day spectator sporting event in the world and is known as the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” – and if you have ever attended Indy you would agree, it is an awesome event! However, interest and coverage of the Indianapolis 500 reaches way beyond just the state of Indiana. This year’s event will be televised in 213 countries with an audience reach of 292 million households, while the IMS Radio Network will be on thousands of stations worldwide including the US Armed Forces Network. The racing industry in Indiana, though, is much more than just the 500. The Indiana Motorsports Association has a directory of over 1,200 companies in the state of Indiana that are directly involved in the motorsports industry. It shows that 80 per cent of the IndyCar teams have shops in Indianapolis while other motorsport-related businesses include manufacturers, suppliers and 49 other race tracks. In fact, half of them host an event in the week of the 500 to cater to the race

52

www.racetechmag.com

May 2010

fans visiting Indianapolis who are looking for something to do in the evening. Mark Rosentraub, former professor and associate dean at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University at Indianapolis, authored an annual economic impact study of the racing events at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the 500 a few years ago. It showed that the event itself has nearly a $350 million impact each year, which is more or less doubled when the whole year is taken into account. The study, though, only focused on the spending of out-of-town guests and does not include the spending of the local residents, who make up approximately one third of the event’s spectators.

Building on the city and state’s love affair with motorsport is the new International Motorsports Industry Show (www.imisindy.com), the inaugural event taking place last December. This year it has been expanded from two days to three (December 1-3) and it will double in size. Over 500 hardcore motorsports parts companies from around the world will be exhibiting their latest technology and designs. With so many of the IndyCar teams based in Indy you can count on them attending the show to see what they might be able to find that will help them get to Victory Lane at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Hope to see you there with a couple of hundred RT thousand of your closest friends!

LEFT The pre-race atmosphere is electric (Photo: Chris Jones/IMS)


Adverts 115 main section.qxd:Racetech.qxd

30/4/10

17:31

Page 5



 







 'Ž

FASTER INTERNATIONAL DKdKZ^WKZd^/Eh^dZz 

SHOW

ϮϬϭϬ



WƌĞͲƌĞŐŝƐƚĞƌƚŽĚĂLJƚŽĂƩĞŶĚƚŚĞϮϬϭϬ/ŶƚĞƌŶĂƟŽŶĂů DŽƚŽƌƐƉŽƌƚƐ/ŶĚƵƐƚƌLJ^ŚŽǁ͘KƉĞŶƚŽĂůůŚĂƌĚĐŽƌĞ ƌĂĐŝŶŐŝŶĚƵƐƚƌLJsuppliersĂŶĚracingteams͕  ŝŶĐůƵĚŝŶŐcrewsĂŶĚdrivers͘ >ŽŐŽŶƚŽ͗   IMIS-INDY.comĂŶĚũŽŝŶƵƐŽŶ     

ĞĐĞŵďĞƌϭͲϯ͕ϮϬϭϬ   ͘ —’’‘”–‡†„›ǣ

/D/^DĞĂŶƐƵƐŝŶĞƐƐ͕ ĞĐĂƵƐĞ


Indy 500.qxd:Racetech.qxd

54

30/4/10

01:47

Page 3

www.racetechmag.com

INDY 500 WINNING THE BIG RACE

THE SECRETS OF INDY SUCCESS When everybody has the same technical package, what gives teams the extra edge it takes to win the Indy 500? William Kimberley finds out

O

VER THE last few years the Indy 500 has lost some of its glamour due in part to the IRL becoming a closed series. While there is much to be said for standardisation as it reduces the costs of competing, it comes at the expense of variety, innovation and thinking up outside of the box solutions. Looking back over the 98 years that the race has been run, those events that stand out tend to be the ones that either had a close finish or featured cars that redefined the racing car. The advancement of technology, sometimes successful and other times not, is the advantage of having an open formula. The argument for having a closed formula is that it ensures a level playing field so that the driver for an underfunded team has as much of a chance of winning as one from a wealthy one, which means that it comes down to driver skill – or does it? Over the last 10 years, from when the race was more open with a variety of engine and chassis suppliers through to the present time with the closed series, records show that Penske has won its five times, Andretti Green and Chip Ganassi twice each and Rahal Letterman once. It goes without saying that they all had great drivers but is there more to it than meets the eye? The answer, says Mike Hull, a key member of Chip Ganassi Racing as its managing director, is process, people, resource and refinement, to which can be added experience and focus according to Tom Anderson, senior vice president of Andretti Autosport. “It’s very much a daily process that is driven by priority and that is how we approach everything that we do,” says Hull. “On the first day back to work after the Indy 500 we sit down and talk as a group about how to improve ourselves for the next race. We look at what was good for us and what could be improved in all areas. We look at ourselves with open eyes and try

54

www.racetechmag.com

May 2010

to make ourselves better so that we can be ready for the next event.” People, though, and not just the drivers, are key says Hull who is charged with organising the process and keeping the large team focused. “I think that in order to be successful at Indy what you need is an integrated group of people who are dedicated to the process of being ready to race the race with the goal of winning. Anything less than that is truly disappointing.” “You also need the correct amount of time to prepare, the proper amount of funding or sponsorship, enough experience or talent in

all departments from the drivers, crew chief, engineering right on down to the pit crew,” says Anderson who joined the team last December bringing with him 40 years of experience. This includes being co-owner and managing director of Fernandez Racing from 2001 to 2009 and before that the managing director of Chip Ganassi Racing from 1990 to 2000 when he helped lead the team to four consecutive CART championships between 1996 and 1999. The team also claimed a win in the 2000 Indianapolis 500. “The next thing is that you have got to have the chemistry with everyone getting along

ABOVE Helio Castroneves leads the pack. The fit and finish of the car is crucial as teams seek to gain an edge by the reduction of friction wherever possible (Photos: Indianapolis Motor Speedway)


Indy 500.qxd:Racetech.qxd

30/4/10

01:47

Page 4

www.racetechmag.com

INDY 500 55

and pulling on the rope together. If you have all of that and a bit of racing luck, you are going to have a really good month of May.” “What we have done as a team over the years at Chip Ganassi Racing,” says Hull, “is tried to provide equal entries, equal resource, equal manpower, equal engineering and equal everything to two equally talented race drivers. If you look at our driver pairings over the years that’s how we’ve approached it whether it’s the current partnership of Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti, Jimmy Vasser and Tony Stewart or Vasser and Juan-Pablo Montoya. We absolutely run the two cars as one and we share the information that we gather from both cars on a practice or qualifying day or even in the race itself. We also train religiously with the guys who go over the wall to have really good pit stops – it’s a combination of all those things. It comes down to a team effort from start to finish.” “Managing this is also one of the key points, one of the attributes of which is being a fulltime juggler,” says Anderson. “This is because you don’t have the luxury to think about everything with decisions needing to be made quickly, so this is where the experience comes

ABOVE Vitor Meira’s car catches fire at a pit stop in last year’s race. The quick reactions of the pit stop crews play a crucial role in the outcome of a race that is often littered with caution periods

The creation of frictionless racing is what we are trying to achieve from an engineering point of view’ in – the more you have been to a place like Indy, the more you understand the pressure that it creates and the more you can cope with that environment, the more likely you are to make better decisions. “In Indy, unlike some other races, a huge amount is put into the preparation before the race rather than in the race itself. Once upon a time it used to be three weeks of preparation at Indy, then it was down to two weeks and now it’s down to one, so it’s going to be a real interesting month of May this year. Understanding the race track and understanding how the car relates to it and the weather conditions, which can be variable at this time of year, is extremely important.” Both Hull and Anderson agree that the closed formula has altered the way they work and prepare for the race compared to earlier times when the race was more open. “I think that any open formula was down to ‘big bites’,” says Hull, “and typically in a big bite situation when the box was a great deal larger, it wasn’t necessary to refine the small details of the racecar. You could rely on the ability of the guy driving the car and the guys going over the wall that looked after it for the pit stops. Other factors included things like

Subscribe +44 (0) 208 446 2100

Cosworth possibly giving you 50 more horsepower or maybe your tyres were more durable than your competitors’ tyres, or it could be that the Eagle chassis was better than the March one. At Indianapolis over the years you created an edge with the technology from various supporting vendor groups and then on top of that were the engine companies that would help with testing and additional engineering support. “These days we do the same thing but we zero in microscopically with our product – it’s a totally different way to race in terms of that today. We examine the fit and finish of the car with the bodywork where every little fastener is in the airstream, how the suspension is oriented to the airstream, how the driver sits in the cockpit and so on – it’s all about nailing everything down in minute detail these days. We refer to it as the creation of frictionless racing, which is what we are trying to achieve from an engineering point of view. If you reduce friction, in a way you create horsepower.” To reinforce how the game has changed since 2003, Hull refers to the time when Ganassi Racing switched from CART to the Indy Racing League. The year was, he says, a

May 2010

www.racetechmag.com

55


Indy 500.qxd:Racetech.qxd

56

30/4/10

01:48

Page 5

www.racetechmag.com

INDY 500 WINNING THE BIG RACE BELOW Al Unser Jr edges out Scott Goodyear by 0.043 seconds at the finish of the 1992 Indy 500. With such small margins separating the cars of the modern era, painstaking attention to detail in race preparation can make the difference between victory and defeat

jolt for the team. “When we left the CART championship at the end of 2002 to join IRL on a full-time basis we had our eyes opened. We got beat up pretty good and although we won the championship with Scott Dixon that year, the people we were racing against were just so much better than we were in terms of the details on the racecar – and we’d won championships. “There was a steep learning curve in what it

ABOVE Juan-Pablo Montoya (centre) broke ranks with the CART series to race and win the Indy 500 for Ganassi in 2000. Such is the microscopic attention to detail demanded by the tight regulations today that a new team would be unable to come in and win the big race

56

www.racetechmag.com

May 2010

took to be really good on ovals. It was a great educational experience for all of us and made us all try to be better in terms of refinement with our product and over time I think that’s where we’ve been. If you walk up and down the grid at any IndyCar race now, you are going to see some well turned out racecars from end to end on the grid.” “There was a time when a boxed stock car from the manufacturer could win the race,” says Anderson, “but those days are gone. There are things on the car that were not even thought of when it was designed in 2003. “There’s now a tremendous amount of variation in suspension geometry, gearbox design and fitting and many other things that in most racing circles would be considered trivial and therefore not worth bothering about. Unfortunately, though, trivial has become reality in the series and you will get beat by it every week unless you catch on to it, but that is what it takes to win the Indy 500. “The race has become a situation where I would bet a considerable amount of money that no new team and driver could come in and cherry pick this race. There was a time when that could be done, such as when Montoya won in 2000, but that’s not going to happen any more. “If you are changing chassis every year you are going for larger pieces but because the rulebook has contained us in certain areas it’s opened doors on others – if there’s no gas on the stove, you’ve got to find another way to fry the egg.”

THE ‘BIG BITES’ So what were the “big bites” to which Hull was referring? The arrival in 1963 of the Lotus-Ford type 29, the lightweight rearengined car that revolutionised racing at the Brickyard, is often rightfully highlighted as an example. Although it finished second due to yellow flag conditions negating its advantage of not having to stop so frequently for fuel as the front-engined Offenhauser-powered cars, everyone that day could see that the writing was on the wall for the Indy roadster. Within two years, when a rear-engined Lotus did win with Graham Hill at the wheel, the rearengine revolution was complete. However, while this is the most popular example of innovation at Indy, the event has always been the breeding ground for pushing the boundaries since the very beginning. For example, the fourth running of the race in 1914, just before the outbreak of World War I, saw some ground-breaking technology that was to revolutionise the race engine in the US. Again, the influence was European, but this time it was from France. An historical moment was the 1912 French Grand Prix which was won by Georges Boillot in a 7600 cc Peugeot, a small engine in comparison with the 14-litre cars it was racing against. However, the real point of interest was that it was the first engine to have twin cams plus four valves per cylinder in a hemispherical combustion chamber, a revolutionary concept at the time. As Griffith Borgeson remarks in his book The Classic Twin-Cam Engine, it marked the “manifest obsolescence of the ponderous


Adverts 114 main section.qxd:Racetech.qxd

27/3/10

13:23

Page 8


Indy 500.qxd:Racetech.qxd

58

30/4/10

01:48

Page 7

www.racetechmag.com

INDY 500 WINNING THE BIG RACE

absorbers, low-pressure tyres and exotic fuels. However, in something that resonates today, the principal manufacturers one by one withdrew from racing because of their inability to compete successfully against the engine specialists, particularly Harry Miller, the Duesenberg brothers and Louis Chevrolet’s Frontenac specials. Then there was the fourcylinder Offenhauser developed from a marine unit that came second in the 1930 race that was the basis of this company’s racing engine for the next 35 years. INGENUITY ABOVE & BELOW The turbine cars represented one of the greatest technology leaps in the race’s history. Parnelli Jones came so close to winning the 1967 event with the STP-Granatelli car completely turned its back on the entry, denying Arthur Duray, who had borrowed the car from chocolate-fortune heir Jacques

approach to racing car design”. The following year this engine came to Indianapolis. Following some persuasion by a representative of Carl Fisher, the Speedway creator, co-owner and financial genius, who had sent an emissary to Europe in a quest to recruit men and machines to race in the Indy 500, Peugeot sent Jules Goux and Paul Zuccarelli, the Jenson Buttons and Lewis Hamiltons of their day, to race the L76 Peugeots. The result was a victory for the Frenchman who finished over 13 minutes ahead of his nearest rival. While his average speed of 75.93 mph was not a new record, he was the first winner of the 500 to go the entire distance without the aid of a relief driver. The following year, Peugeot again sent a two-car works team with a pair of 1913 GP Delages being their biggest threat. However, there was also a private entry for another Peugeot, another twin-cam engine car but of only 3.0-litre capacity. This greatly worried the French car company as it was concerned that it would damage its image and would look absurd in a race for cars up to 450 cubic inches (7347 cc). It therefore

58

www.racetechmag.com

May 2010

Meunier who had purchased it from Peugeot for his daily transport, any support. When the car arrived at the Speedway all it had was a set of plugs and a few hand tools to serve as equipment and spares. In the event the race was won by René Thomas in a Delage at an average speed of 82.47 mph. In contrast, the speed of the “Baby Peugeot”, the darling of the huge crowd, with half the displacement, was 80.99 mph. As for the works Peugeots, Boillot crashed on the 141st lap and Goux finished fourth. While the teams returned home, they left

There were also the one-off attempts to break the mould during this period. Miller, whose engines won every Indianapolis race from 1930-1938 – although he had sold the business that bore his name in 1930 in disgust at the rule change that allowed production engines of up to 366 ci (6 litres) – produced a V16 and two four-wheel drive V8s in this period, but they were not a success. Inspired by the Auto Unions, another revolutionary jump was in 1938 with the rear-mounted Miller Gulf special whose 2950 cc six-cylinder engine inclined at 45 degrees drove all four wheels via a four-speed gearbox. Four cars were built, running at Indy in 1939, 1940 and 1941, but they never completed a race. A few years later the Novi V8 featured four overhead cams, a centrifugal blower and was credited with 600 bhp. Then there was

Over the years you created an edge with the technology from various supporting vendor groups’ the cars behind so that they were examined in great detail by the engine builders of their day. While not exactly copied, the design influences lived on for more than 60 years, the influence on the Miller/Offenhauser era in particular being very apparent. The regulations governing the Indy 500 did a great deal to inspire the rapid development of American racing equipment in the 1920s. As displacement was cut from 300 ci (4916 cc) to 183 ci (2999 cc) and then to 91.5 ci (1499 cc) it saw the advent of highcompression engines, superchargers, fourwheel hydraulic brakes, hydraulic shock

the six-wheeled Pat Clancy special and the front and rear-powered Twin Coach in which the driver sat astride the superchargers between two Miller 90 ci four-cylinder Offenhauser midget engines that were shoehorned into the chassis. However, none of these were winners but it was not for want of trying and the opportunity to have a go due to the open nature of the regulations. Perhaps the greatest technology leap, though, was the turbine car. While it is the Pratt & Whitney-powered STP car that almost won the race in 1967 but for a five cent


Adverts 115 main section.qxd:Racetech.qxd

30/4/10

17:32

Page 6


Indy 500.qxd:Racetech.qxd

60

30/4/10

01:48

www.racetechmag.com

INDY 500 WINNING THE BIG RACE

gearbox failing with only 10 miles left to run, it was not the first such car at the Speedway. In 1955 an ancient Kurtis roadster sported a Boeing 502 turbine for tyre tests although it never raced and in 1962 Dan Gurney was behind the wheel of the “Trackburner”, another Boeing turbine car. Unfortunately his qualifying speed of 145 mph was 1 mph too slow to meet the required speed to qualify. Undaunted by the failure at the last hurdle in the 1967 race, STP boss Andy Granatelli reached an agreement with Colin Chapman of Lotus to fund the development of the Lotus-Pratt & Whitney type 56. However, the project was blighted for a number of reasons. Firstly, in order to meet the new regulations concerning turbines at Indy, two of the three axial compressor stages preceding the main centrifugal compressor were removed, similar in effect to reducing a piston engine’s compression from around 6.3:1 to only 4.9:1 so the power output fell back to a 430 bhp baseline. TURBINES LOSE OUT Secondly, the Drake-Offenhauser engines were now developing between 600-700 bhp. However, the killer blow for the project was the death of Mike Spence testing the car at the Speedway just a few weeks before the race. Following the death of Jimmy Clark the month before in a Formula Two race in Germany, it rocked Chapman to his very core. He was quoted as saying at the time: “I am filled with grief at the loss of my long-time friend and associate Jimmy Clark, and the additional loss, just one month later to the day, of Mike Spence. As an understandable result I want nothing more to do with the 1968 Indianapolis race.” In the event all three cars failed to finish but once again defeat was snatched from the jaws of victory when the turbine on Leonard’s car shut itself down while in the lead with just nine laps left to run. Technological advantage or not, perhaps the most stylish way to win the Indy 500 was demonstrated by a Frenchman (of course) in 1913. Works Peugeot driver Jules Goux informed the pits during a pit stop that there was to be a bottle of chilled white wine waiting for him the next time he pitted. After some protestation by the team manager, Goux’s will prevailed. At the next pit stop he was greeted with a bucket filled with ice and six pints of champagne. He went on to win the race. RT

60

Page 9

www.racetechmag.com

May 2010

The more you have been to a place like Indy, the more you understand the pressure that it creates’

ABOVE & RIGHT The race has a history of innovation. Billy DeVore drove the six-wheel Pat Clancy Special to sixth place in 1948 (above). The rear-engined Lotus 29, driven by Dan Gurney (pictured right, car 93) and Jim Clark, didn’t win in 1963 but it did signal the beginning of the end for the traditional Indy roadster BELOW Winning in style: Jules Goux at speed in 1913. The champagne must have done wonders for his bravery!


Adverts 115 main section.qxd:Racetech.qxd

30/4/10

17:32

Page 7

BINDERS Race Tech is an invaluable reference work: keep your issues to hand in our stylish binders. These are both smart and strong and will ensure that each and every copy of the magazine stays exactly as when you first received it. Each binder holds 12 issues, providing a secure and efficient way of storing the magazine as a collectors item and as the best source of information upon racing technology. Prices: (Incl p&p) Uk only: £7.50 Europe: £9.50 Rest of the World £11.00

Tel: +44 (0) 208 446 2100 Fax: +44 (0) 208 446 2191


Indy 500.qxd:Racetech.qxd

62

30/4/10

01:48

Page 11

www.racetechmag.com

INDY 500 THE FUTURE

FRESH START WILL STOKE “MAY FEVER” Chris Paulsen argues that the future of the Indy 500 relies on technological innovation

I

T’S SPRINGTIME in Indianapolis and that always sparks the “May fever” in all of us who love the Indy 500. After all, Indy is still the biggest race in the world and the largest single-day sporting event in terms of attendance. Although it’s seen many changes over the last 15 years, this iconic event soldiers on because of its rich history over the past 100 years. It thrives on the good decisions and survives the not-sogood ones. There is truly a very mystical presence at this grand old race track. Indianapolis is the undisputed “Capitol of Auto Racing” and several statistics prove this statement. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the sole reason why this claim can be made. The economic impact to the local economy approaches one billion dollars from the three events held at IMS: the Indy 500; the Brickyard 400; and the MotoGP race. It’s the economic equivalent of three NFL Superbowls each year. Indiana is a state built on manufacturing

and with the IMS as the nucleus, both city and state enjoy a very strong racing industry with more than 1,700 racingrelated businesses. The state capital, which boasts state-of-the-art composite, machine and metal fabrication facilities and the ARC wind tunnel and shaker rig, is home to NHRA, ALMS, Grand-Am and the majority of the IndyCar Racing League teams while Sprint cars, Late Model and midgets number in their thousands in the state. The Indy 500 and IndyCar racing has a huge effect on the local racing industry and economy with many businesses relying on the series for their primary source of income. The race itself is like a magnet, attracting racing colleagues and fans from around the world, giving all of us in the business an extended time to work with teams and other vendors. As the series grows with the excitement of a new chassis and engine formula, as proposed for 2012, the industry will grow and thrive with it.

ABOVE If the race’s aura is to be maintained, technical innovation needs to be reintroduced. This is DeltaWing’s proposed blueprint for the future

62

www.racetechmag.com

May 2010

While IRL’s original decision to become a spec series was made for sensible financial reasons it led to an erosion of its fan base over time due to the fact that by spurning innovation, it was denying an element that was very much part of its DNA. However, there are signs that things are about to change. In Randy Bernard, the new CEO, it has a very dynamic person who may not necessarily have a racing background but who does have both a tremendous work ethic and a willingness to consult with experienced racers, listen, and then act. Only time will tell whether he will be successful but most of us have a good feeling about his leadership. The desire to introduce new regulations for both the chassis and engine for 2012 is very positive, to which various manufacturers have responded. Existing chassis supplier Dallara has already submitted proposals, as have Lola from the UK and Californian company Swift Engineering. It has also attracted two new entrants into the ring – DeltaWing, as reported in the March issue of Race Tech, and BAT Engineering. Seeing all the various chassis builders


Indy 500.qxd:Racetech.qxd

30/4/10

01:49

Page 12

www.racetechmag.com

INDY 500 63

A serious change needs to take place in terms of rejuvenating innovation and becoming relevant to today’s automotive world’

race being run at 230 mph and completed using 50 gallons of fuel. DeltaWing has also started a move to build the entire chassis in Indiana, reaching out to the state government and creating a plan where funding will be in place for companies that will build their chassis in Indiana. After all, the resources are plentiful in Indy to do this. Dallara, Lola and BAT have all jumped on this bandwagon and committed to manufacture their chassis in the state while Swift is currently manufacturing in California which still keeps the revenue in the US. However, there will be plenty of money spent internationally with companies like Xtrac and Alcon still likely to play a major role as suppliers. Along with Dallara, they also have facilities in the US. BACK ON TOP

ABOVE & BELOW The rich history of the Speedway is the key to the Indy 500’s near-mythical status. Contrast the start of the 2009 race (above, photo: Jim Haines) with the drivers’ preparation for one of the first races at Indianapolis, in 1909 (Photos: Indianapolis Motor Speedway)

submit new designs is very exciting. We also need competition among engines from the automotive manufacturers. This will bring money into the sport and create excitement for the fans. Looking at what may happen in regards to the new rules package for 2012 has all of us in the industry on the edge of our seat. The one common agreement is that a

Subscribe +44 (0) 208 446 2100

serious change needs to take place in terms of rejuvenating innovation and becoming relevant to the trends in today’s automotive world. The DeltaWing concept certainly addresses these points. Its low drag concept equates to high speeds being achieved with a very low horsepower requirement, which in turn leads to much better fuel economy. Imagine a 500-mile

The excitement building around 2012 and the new car and engine package is long overdue and very welcome but we all are anxiously awaiting the direction from the new leadership. The industry is very supportive of Bernard and giving him the backing he needs to be the new leader but he must perform and make the right decisions that put this series back on top to the same level of success it saw in the early to mid-‘90s. It is time to bring innovation back into IndyCar and put it on top. Something new and exciting like the DeltaWing concept would certainly do just that. With the prospects of IndyCar racing returning back to the cutting edge again, it has to be said that this year’s race is looking very strong and healthy, perhaps the best it has been since the IRL/CART split 15 years ago. Qualifying has been revitalised with pole position being decided by a new ‘shoot-out’ format for the top fastest cars while several cars will be bumped during qualifying. There are a number of drivers who have to be considered potential winners, including three times Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves, Penske team-mate Will Power who has had two wins from three starts this season, Chip Ganassi Racing drivers Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon, both of whom have won the race, and Justin Wilson. The race also has a reputation for throwing up surprise winners and this year looks no exception. RT

May 2010

www.racetechmag.com

63


Special Report.qxd:Racetech.qxd

64

30/4/10

01:51

Page 1

www.racetechmag.com

SPECIAL REPORT COATINGS

BELOW Sulzer Metco’s SUMEBore process, which can be applied to cast iron, has found popularity in the NASCAR ranks

MOTORSPORT’S ‘GOLD RUSH’ An ever-increasing number of applications are being found for sophisticated surface coatings in motorsport. Chris Pickering reports

F

OR A COUPLE of thousand years before modern science mankind became rather obsessed with the subject of alchemy. Some of the greatest thinkers of the day became bogged down in the ultimately fruitless task of trying to turn base metals into gold (although some genuinely useful discoveries did also come out of it). The actual task of turning one elemental material into another, though, turned out to be impossible – unless of course you happen to have a nuclear reactor to hand, but even Formula One budgets may struggle to accommodate this at the moment. So, it seems we need another way of making

64

www.racetechmag.com

May 2010

the surface of one material behave like another. Fortunately just such a technique exists, and you won’t need to don a pointy hat or a wizard’s cloak. The answer, of course, is to coat the relevant surface with a material of the desired property, be it thermal insulation, wear-resistance or low-friction. There really is little more to the principle of coating, but the array of different materials and methods is both bewildering and often extremely sophisticated. New applications are being found all the time, particularly now there is an increasing emphasis on efficiency, and the field’s importance in motorsport is constantly growing. This month in Special

Report we catch up with some of the companies leading the charge. CALICO Our rundown of the industry begins with Calico Technologies, based in Denver, North Carolina. The company supplies extensively to the motorsport industry with applications ranging from dry lubricants and thermal barriers to ultra-hard diamond-like carbon (DLC) coatings. Vice president of R&D Bala Kailasshankar gives us the lowdown: “Friction and thermal management continue to drive coating and surface morphology developments, but these days people are also


Special Report.qxd:Racetech.qxd

30/4/10

01:51

Page 2

www.racetechmag.com

SPECIAL REPORT 65

putting an increasing emphasis on reducing contact pitting fatigue and longevity of parts is also being looked at with greater attention.” Kailasshankar and his colleagues are seeing an increasing number of applications for thin vacuum coatings like diamond-like carbon, which combine greatly reduced friction properties with high wear resistance. “The thicker DLC coatings designed for longer life (those greater than 5 µm) have the inherent problem of a

coefficient to the substrate is the biggest challenge for thermal barrier coatings.” It’s not simply a question of applying a coating, either. “Surface morphology and coatings go hand-in-hand for reduced frictional losses,” he says. “Micro finishing methods producing finishes better than 0.025 µm Ra have been used for critical parts like valves. More such processes can be used for other high contact stress parts to reduce contact pitting.”

Friction and thermal management continue to drive coating and surface morphology developments’ higher quantum of residual stresses (in the order of 2 to 3 GPa), which leads to reduced adhesion,” he explains. The various solutions looked at to overcome this problem include deposition of thin metal interlayers to produce a continuous change in thermal expansion coefficient, which helps to reduce the stress in the films. Other techniques include surface implantation, chemical interlayer gradients, variation of self bias voltage and use of surface thermal treatments. Meanwhile, different deposition parameters and machinery configurations are also being investigated in the search for faster deposition rates. That’s not the only change. “Atmospheric coatings of higher thicknesses using chalcogenic solid lubricant layered compounds are increasingly used in combination,” says Kailasshankar. The compositions use finer particle sizes (in the order of 1 µm or less) and bonding compositions with higher operating temperatures are being looked at for close-toleranced parts exhibiting high localised heat. Thermal management coatings are considered as part of a material-coating pair. More refractory materials like nickel alloys, precipitation hardenable stainless steels and ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) will be candidate materials for thermal management systems. “CMCs have a distinct advantage on the basis of strength to weight ratio,” comments Kailasshankar. “Air entrapped porous coating with matching thermal expansion

Subscribe +44 (0) 208 446 2100

SULZER METCO Swiss surface finishing specialist Sulzer Metco is perhaps best known for its SUMEBore process. The process, which is used widely in motorsport and suitable for any type of engine, is used to treat cylinder bores in several distinct stages. Firstly, the machined bores (supplied with ca. 250 μm oversize in diameter to allow for the thickness of the coating) are cleaned to remove any oil or grease. Next they are subjected to a rotary grit blaster – in a stage known as activating the surface – which creates a rough finish that the coating can adhere to. This is necessary because there is no metallurgical bond

ABOVE A stream of powder is fed into a jet of plasma during the SUMEBore coating process

between the substrate and the coating; it is purely a mechanical adhesion that therefore requires a large surface area. The activation can also be achieved with a high-pressure water jet or a special spindling process. Next a cleaning process is used to remove any residue before the coating is finally applied. This is done by feeding a stream of powder (typically a mixture of around 70% low alloyed carbon steel and 30% molybdenum) into a jet of plasma, which is fired by a rotating torch. The block remains stationary while the torch rotates within it, coating the inside of the bore, where the mixture promptly flattens, cools and solidifies. The process can be applied sequentially to bores at opposite ends of the cylinder block to prevent thermal distortion (for example, cylinder one followed by cylinder eight and so on), which is particularly useful for aluminium engines. “On some Formula One blocks, which are very thin-walled, the material heats up very quickly so we also use forced cooling during the coating application,” explains Dr Ernst, the company’s head of automotive venture. “This is obviously more critical with aluminium blocks than it is with cast iron, which allows higher block temperatures to occur without the risk of deteriorating the mechanical properties.” Once the full coating thickness is applied to all cylinders the surface is then honed to a mirror finish using diamond stones, before finally being checked with non-destructive testing. One of the benefits of using powder as a feedstock is that it opens up a huge number of material options. Many plasma spray processes work by feeding a wire stream into the plasma, Dr Ernst explains. Ultimately, this limits the coating materials to those which can be built into the structure of a wire and it can also impose handling restrictions (some, for example, can’t be wound onto a spool). The SUMEBore approach, however, works with practically anything that’s supplied as a powder and capable of being melted, from pure metal, to metal matrix composites right through to full ceramics, such as TiO2 or Cr2O3, to name only a few. “Anything you want to use, we can do it,” quips Dr Ernst. Any combination of powders can be introduced to achieve the desired effects. One example is the addition of molybdenum, which is added in 30 to 50 per cent concentrations to reduce scuffing and friction, and is applied to both iron and

May 2010

www.racetechmag.com

65


Special Report.qxd:Racetech.qxd

66

30/4/10

01:51

Page 3

www.racetechmag.com

SPECIAL REPORT COATINGS

aluminium blocks. In order to increase bore hardness and reduce wear, non-abrasive ceramic particles are added, typically up to 35 per cent by mass. Meanwhile as much as 30 per cent chrome can be added to reduce corrosion problems, something which has proved particularly popular with manufacturers using alternative fuels. Whatever the coating material, the process itself is also claimed to have an inherent advantage. The spray process inevitably leads to a degree of porosity in the finished coating, with around two to three per cent of the volume taken up by microscopic voids. When the bore is honed some of these pores (typically 10 to 20 micrometers in diameter) are exposed, leaving pockets on the surface for the oil to enter. “We believe this structure leads to inherently low friction and reduced oil consumption,” notes Dr Ernst. The overall process is extremely adaptable and can also be handled in various locations. Sulzer Metco offers the service at both its Swiss and US facilities and it can be tailored to just about any material type or block configuration. It also has an arrangement with Capricorn Automotive (as featured in this article), which can provide specialist honing facilities as well as shipping from treatment in Switzerland. Meanwhile, the company’s preferred partner for honing services in the US is SUNNEN.

ABOVE & BELOW Capricorn’s nickel ceramic cylinder bore coating is applied through an electrolytic process

CAPRICORN Capricorn Automotive’s UK division built its name around cylinder bore honing and finishing. As a result its engineers know a thing or two about the use of coating techniques on cylinder bores. One of the services offered by the company is nickel ceramic coating. It’s an electrolytic process that has been widely used as a cylinder bore coating since the 1970s. Initially it was developed to allow rotary engine rotors to work directly against the aluminium housing, but these days the applications are far more universal. The coatings are applied using an electrolytic nickel solution which has silicon carbide suspended within it. The composition is typically around 10 per cent silicon carbide and the particle size is sub 10 microns. According to Capricorn the use of an electrolytic process (as opposed to electroless coating, performed without an electric current) means the parts can be processed

66

www.racetechmag.com

May 2010

We diamond hone the hard nickel ceramic surface to give a typical finished coating thickness of 0.070-0.090 mm’ to the same standard much more quickly. The thickness of the coating depends on the length of time the part is treated and the current applied, but both can be tailored to the customer’s requirements. “The process typically takes approximately one to two hours from start to finish with various pre-treatments being required depending on the material being coated,” explains Capricorn Automotive’s managing director Martin Keswick. “Once parts have been coated we diamond hone the hard nickel ceramic surface to give a typical finished coating thickness of between

0.070-0.090 mm.” Capricorn uses nickel ceramic as a bore surface coating on its range of aluminium and steel liners. What’s more, it also uses the material as a direct bore coating on aluminium engine blocks. “We’ve developed our own specially formulated pre-treatment process and apply the coating under very strict controls,” says Keswick. “This ensures that plating solutions are maintained to optimum standards.” The nickel ceramic coating has a minimum hardness value of 500 Hv, he explains, which gives good wear resistance and low


Adverts 115 main section.qxd:Racetech.qxd

30/4/10

17:32

Page 8


Special Report.qxd:Racetech.qxd

68

30/4/10

Page 5

www.racetechmag.com

SPECIAL REPORT COATINGS

friction characteristics. It remains an aluminium-only process, however: nickel ceramic is not applied to cast iron engine blocks as the impurities in iron can result in poor adhesion of the coating to the surface. “Being able to deliver high-quality parts to strict tolerances with a relatively short lead time is a crucial benefit when working in an industry like motorsport,” Keswick concludes. “Using electrolytic nickel ceramic coatings can be a major advantage because of this.” PRECOTE The idea of coatings in motorsport may tend to conjure up images of hard substances like DLCs, but look a little further and you’ll notice a whole field of coating technology that’s been going for decades. The idea of applying coatings to threaded fasteners is by no means a new one – indeed our next company has been doing it for decades – but it is an area of huge potential. Munich-based omniTECHNIK Mikroverkapselungs GmbH is perhaps better known by its Precote brand name. The company designs and produces preapplicable reactive and non-reactive coatings for fasteners, designed to improve functions such as sealing, bonding, chemical locking and anti-galling. First up is Precote 85, a high-strength preapplied thread locking coating. Its reactive ingredients use the company’s patented micro encapsulation technology and are

BELOW The Precote range is designed to improve functions such as sealing, bonding, chemical locking and anti-galling

68

01:51

www.racetechmag.com

May 2010

integrated into a binder-like resin for application to screw threads. It dries to a solvent-free non-tacky coating, explains Axel Hertneck, the company’s head of sales and application technology. Upon assembly into a mating thread there is an immediate sealing effect. The screwing action causes the micro capsules in the coating to shear, thus releasing the reactive components and initiating the polymerisation. “Because of its excellent and constant thread friction values Precote 85 is especially useful in high tensile applications where torque/tension control is an essential part of the assembly process,” Hertneck claims. “It also has excellent temperature resistance, retaining substantial disassembly torque values at up to 170°C and it’s fully compliant with all major standards and automotive specifications.” High-temperature applications can prove a particular challenge to thread coating companies. The materials traditionally used in high-temperature threaded applications are often associated with problems such as galling, seizing and high friction. These features are difficult enough to overcome during the initial assembly, but after heat the ageing phenomenon is accentuated yet further. “It can become a real problem for servicing, often culminating in threadstripping fastener rupture,” notes Hertneck. The company’s response was Precote 709,

a pre-applied anti-seize film for threaded assemblies used in high-temperature applications. It’s said to have excellent friction values (0.09/0.13) as well as an inherent lubricant effect, while also operating at temperatures of up to 850°C. It can be applied either to a specific portion of a thread using automatic equipment such as the firm’s patented CS unit, or it can be applied as a dip–spin coating. “This method is particularly useful for nuts or hollow parts,” explains Hertneck, “and it also allows for easy application under the heads or flanges of fasteners.” ZIRCOTEC

ABOVE An illustration of the applications of Zircotec coatings in a GT1 car 2010 has had a busy start for coatings specialist Zircotec. The Oxfordshire, UKbased firm is in the process of moving to a new, larger facility in Abingdon, in part to cope with an expanding range of coatings. The new centre will house three spray booths including a robotised sprayer for higher volume applications. “We are now supplying half of the F1 grid,” says sales director Peter Whyman. Regulation changes have seen demand increase for thermal management solutions in 2010 and not just for exhausts. Whyman cites the refuelling ban as a key reason. “We understand there is 10 per cent more energy going through the braking system this year, yet brake disc thickness remains at 28 mm,” he explains. “The teams use coatings to manage the higher temperatures in the ducting and brake components and we have been able to assist them in optimising packaging which helps weight distribution.” The refuelling ban has led to the larger tanks, and Zircotec claims to have a solution here too. “With around 235 litres, tank sizes have grown, making packaging more


Adverts 111 main section.qxd:Racetech.qxd

24/12/09

13:42

Page 17

FORMULA 1 2008/2009 BY GIORGIO PIOLA ! W

NE

T

HE 2008/2009 Formula One season has been one of the hardest fought of recent years. The

author looks closely at the various phases of development carried out by all the teams during the season. This book has now become a literary classic devoted to the fascinating world of Formula One. The book is available from This book is available from Racecaar Graphic Ltd at ÂŁ25.00 + P&P, â‚Ź33.00+ P&P, US$39.00 + P&P. Send your order to: Racecar Graphic Ltd, 841 High Road, London N12 8PT, UK Tel: +44 (0)20 8446 2100, Fax +44 (0)20 8446 2191, or email info@racetechmag.com We take Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Switch and Delta.

www.racetechmag.com


Special Report.qxd:Racetech.qxd

70

30/4/10

01:51

Page 7

www.racetechmag.com

SPECIAL REPORT COATINGS

challenging,” says Whyman. “Our ZircoFlex foil, just 0.25 mm thick, is easily applied to fuel bladders, protecting them from heat sources.” Away from thermal management, Zircotec is also actively developing its anti-abrasion and anti-wear coatings. The company previewed some samples at the Autosport Show earlier this year, including stainless steel, tungsten and molybdenum coating. The latter provides a thin hard-wearing surface that can be applied to composites to reduce abrasion and increase service life. Whyman is coy on where the F1 teams are using Zircotec’s technology but confirms that a GT team is assessing it for front splitters. “The GT application is driven by an opportunity to reduce costs,” he explains. Meanwhile, other metallic coatings from the

surface of a component. The part is placed in a vibrating bowl, containing a chemical solution and high density ceramic particles which are used to control its exposure. The solution softens the top layer until the rubbing action of the particles removes it. This process is then repeated to create an extremely smooth finish, before a second fluid is added to neutralise the initial solution and polish the surface of the part. “Applying REM’s revolutionary ISF Process to motorsport components results in faster, more efficient vehicles that win races as well as parts that last considerably longer than standard OEM components,” claims Justin Michaud, REM’s director of operations. “It produces a smooth, microtextured surface that can be applied to a

a ‘one-stop service’ from surface preparation (in-house superfinishing and tribofinishing) to coating application and traceability. The coating itself is applied in several stages using a plasma-assisted chemical vapour deposition (PACVD) procedure in an evacuated chamber. Typically an adhesion layer – something designed to bond well to the substrate material – is applied first, before a middle ‘transition’ layer, and then finally the functional carbon layer. The atomic structure of this carbon top layer could best be described as halfway between diamond and graphite, hence the tag ‘diamond-like carbon’. Late last year Bekaert launched the Cavidur HT and the Cavidur D DLC coatings for the American market. Cavidur HT is designed as an alternative to chromium nitride coatings for high temperature applications, such as exhaust valves. Cavidur D, meanwhile, is pitched as a more affordable version of the firm’s existing Cavidur N coating, and uses the same three-layer structure. Remaining Stateside, the company is also planning the installation of a microfinishing machine in its North American facility, which will allow it to offer pre-coating treatments for components such as camshafts. RT RIGHT A valve coated by materials specialist Bekaert

ABOVE A differential gear cluster treated in REM’s isotropic super finishing process

70

company include a reflective aluminium surface that can be applied to composites where radiant heat is a problem. Its surface can be highly polished after spraying and offers a durable finish that can be applied to intricate surfaces.

variety of motorsports components from transmission gears and camshafts to clutch hardware and tappets.” The claimed benefits include extended component life, reduced friction and lower operating temperatures.

REM SURFACE ENGINEERING

BEKAERT

Although not strictly a coating company, REM Surface Engineering is the inventor of what it calls isotropic super finishing, otherwise known as ISF. This physical process is claimed to greatly reduce the surface wear on treated components, with similar end results to some coatings. It works by removing the microscopic peaks and troughs that might otherwise lead to stress concentrations on the

Diamond-like carbon (DLC) coatings have become a familiar ingredient in racing drivetrains. These extremely hard, low-friction materials typically have a polished black appearance and can be found in applications such as camshaft running surfaces and piston rings. One company that’s become known for its range of DLC coatings is Belgian materials specialist Bekaert. The company delivers what it refers to as

www.racetechmag.com

May 2010


Adverts 102a.qxd:Racetech.qxd

27/3/09

13:48

Page 6

CARROLL SMITH'S BOOKS PREPARE TO WIN £15.00 Plus Postage and Packaging

TUNE TO WIN £15.00 Plus Postage and Packaging

ENGINEER TO WIN £20.00 Plus Postage and Packaging

NUTS, BOLT & FASTENERS £18.00 Plus Postage and Packaging

DRIVE TO WIN £20.00 Plus Postage and Packaging

Telephone: +44 (0)208 446 2100 or email: info@racetechmag.com

www.racetechmag.com


RCTCH Back Issues28-02-2010.qxd:RCTCH Back Issues24-5-05.qxd

28/2/10

11:07

Page 1

BACK ISSUES ISSUE 111

ISSUE 110

ISSUE 109

ISSUE 103

ISSUE 104

ISSUE 105

ISSUE 106

ISSUE 107

ISSUE 108

ISSUE 102

ISSUE 101

ISSUE 100

ISSUE 99

ISSUE 98

ISSUE 97

ISSUE 96

ISSUE 95

ISSUE 94

ISSUE 93

ISSUE 92

ISSUE 91

ISSUE 90

ISSUE 89

ISSUE 88

ISSUE 87

ISSUE 86

ISSUE 85

ISSUE 84

ISSUE 83

ISSUE 82

ISSUE 81

ISSUE 80

ISSUE 79

ISSUE 78

ISSUE 77

ISSUE 76

ISSUE 75

ISSUE 74

ISSUE 73

ISSUE 72

ISSUE 71

ISSUE 70

ISSUE 69

ISSUE 68

ISSUE 67

ISSUE 66

ISSUE 65

ISSUE 64

ISSUE 63

ISSUE 62

ISSUE 61

ISSUE 58

ISSUE 57

RACE TECH ISSUE 56 TECHNICAL

RACE TECH ISSUE 55 FERRARI’S

RACE TECH

ISSUE 60

ISSUE 59

TECHNOLOGY, BUSINESS AND MECHANICS

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2004 NO. 56 UK £4.50 USA $7.95 EUROPE

6.75

KNOCKOUT HOW BAR-HONDA FLOORED ITS BIG RIVALS IN 2004

www.racetechmag.com

ISSUE 112

www.racetechmag.com

ISSUE 113

TECHNOLOGY, BUSINESS AND MECHANICS

AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2004 NO. 55 UK £3.95 USA $7.95 EUROPE

WHY FERRARI LEADS THE RACE TO UNDERSTAND CAR DYNAMICS IN F1

A COOLING REVOLUTION

INDY SPECIAL ON THE EDGE AT 222 MPH! ENGINEERING BUDDY RICE TO POLE POSITION

www.racetechmag.com

6.30

TRANSIENT SUCCESS!

FORMULA SAE SPECIAL HI -TECH FOR THE MASSES

REVEALED THE TECHNOLOGY THAT COULD CHANGE RACING CAR DESIGN


Racetech MEDIA 2010 (definitive).qxd:SECTION 1(2-82) RET 010.qxd

30/4/10

21:31

Page 6

12 Issues for the price of 10! 12 (one year)

24 (two years) Back Issues

UK

£ 49.50

£ 99.00

£5.95 + p&p

USA

$ 127.50

$ 255.00

$12.00 + p&p

EUROPE

E 82.00

E 164.00

E 8.90 + p&p

REST OF WORLD £ 80.00

£ 160.00

£5.95 + p&p

INSTITUTIONS

£ 190.60

£5.95 + p&p

£ 94.80

RACE TECH RACE TECH magazine is the only independent, technology led motorsport magazine that focuses on every aspect of racing car engineering. Totally international in its outlook, it covers everything that can be found competing on the track from Formula One to the Clubman’s single-seaters, from NASCAR to the Silver Crown cars and from sports racing cars to the weekend hillclimb specials. Topics covered include Engine Components, Aerodynamics, Brake Technology, CADCAM, CFD and simulation software, Coatings, Composites,

Student discount of 10%

Subscribe online @ www.racetechmag.com or faxback this form on +44 (0) 208 446 2191

Connectors, Cooling Systems, Control Systems, Data Acquisition, Drivetrain, Chassis and Transmission Dynos, Electronics, Fabrication, Fluid Systems, Gauges and Instrument Panels, Ignition Systems, Lubricants, Machine Tools, Materials, Powertrain, Radiators, Safety Equipment, Simulation, Suspension Systems, Testing, Track equipment, Transmissions, Tyres, Water Pumps and Wind Tunnels. If you want to reach those parts of the industry that no other publication can, then look no further than RACE TECH.

Payment by cheque/bankers draft/money order in Pound Sterling to Racecar Graphic Ltd; please indicate which is enclosed in the Card No. Box

Card Number

Valid From Expiry Date

Name: Job Title:

Security Code (Found on the signature strip)

Subscription Address:

Switch Issue Number Amount

Telephone

£

US$

Cardholders signature

Fax: e-mail: Racecar Graphic are leading publishers of motor racing books and periodicals, and organisers of specialist workshops for the industry. Racecar Graphic publish the monthly Race Tech magazine. For further information please contact Racecar Graphic Limited e-mail: info@racetechmag.com 841 High Road, London, N12 8PT, UK, Tel +44 (0) 208 446 2100 Fax +44 (0) 208 446 2191 E-mail: info@racetechmag.com. Website: www.racetechmag.com

RACE TECH


Practical Racer-F750.qxd:Racetech.qxd

74

30/4/10

01:55

Page 1

www.racetechmag.com

PRACTICAL RACER 750FORMULA BUILD PROJECT

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION! Front wishbones are on the agenda as Graham Templeman and Rod Hill embark on their T5 750Formula build programme

T

HIS WAS all supposed to be quite straightforward. After the big ‘we’re building another racing car’ announcement, it seemed like a good idea to do something that involved cutting metal and sticking it back together again. Nothing too demanding in terms of research or design, just quality time spent in the workshop. That was until we realised that we would need to buy some tube and that all the suppliers seem to insist on a minimum order charge. So it made sense to place an order for the material for the whole chassis while we were at it and that involved some measuring up so that we knew how much and what sizes to buy. It took a few hours to commit the front part of the frame to CAD. Now we know that there are 45 individual tubes in the front with a total length of about 25 metres (82 feet) and if we make it out of mainly 22 mm square, electrical resistance welded (ERW) mild steel tube with a wall thickness of 1.22 mm, the front part will weigh 19.6 kg (43 lbs). SQUARE TUBE vs ROUND TUBE SIZE 20 20 20 22 22 22

mm mm mm mm mm mm

x x x x x x

1.22 mm 1.5 mm 2 mm 1.22 mm 1.5 mm 2 mm

ROUND TUBE Weight Index 13.2 kg 100 16.9 kg 128 21.9 kg 166 15.2 kg 100 18.7 kg 123 24.4 kg 160

SQUARE TUBE Weight Index 17.4 kg 131 21.5 kg 162 27.9 kg 211 19.6 kg 148 24.2 kg 183 31.6 kg 239

The table shows the effect of different sizes and sections of tube. It is self-evident that the round tube will weigh less than square, but it is interesting to see the weight penalty quantified. The heaviest option, 2 mm wall, 22 mm square tube would weigh 2.4 times as much as the lightest 20 mm round tube with 1.22 mm wall thickness. Opting for square over round brings a weight penalty of around 30% size for

74

www.racetechmag.com

May 2010

size. On the other hand, square sections are stiffer since more of the material is further from the centre line. It would take a detailed analysis to work out the strengths of a frame constructed from the various options and to evaluate the strength to weight payoffs, but since our objective is to get it built we will be influenced by the following factors. One is that the existing chassis is adequately stiff and not significantly heavier than its competitors. The other factor is that the current chassis was built under the old regulations that demanded the use of two two-inch square tube chassis rails and so the frame is based on two carlength pieces of this size. The rules have now changed so these need not be included. That leads us to changing the lower chassis rails which gets in the way of our initial aspiration of copying the old chassis tube for tube. So since the tube lengths are changing, so could the section and thickness. The original was constructed from mainly 19 mm (3/4-inch) square with 1.6 mm (the old British 16 gauge) wall thickness. The intention with the new frame is to increase the size to 22 mm and reduce the wall thickness to 1.22 mm (18 gauge in real money). But, since experience shows that, in order to avoid cracks, tubes that have loads fed in to them need to be of thicker gauge than those that don’t, these will be 22 mm by 1.5 mm. Going back to our 45-tube list and using 1.22 and 1.5 mm wall thickness where appropriate, gives us a predicted weight of 22 kg. Round tube was never a serious option because the extra complication in cutting and shaping even the simplest joint would compromise the build time. This was an interesting diversion that was necessary in order to be able to order the steel for the wishbones. But, as always, there was a problem arising from our intention to use some form of aerodynamic tube. The options were: • • •

Proper aero tube from an aircraft component supplier such as Aircraft Spruce. Elliptical oval tube offered by most UK steel stock holders. Flat oval tube which is readily available from most suppliers.


Practical Racer-F750.qxd:Racetech.qxd

30/4/10

01:55

Page 2

www.racetechmag.com

PRACTICAL RACER 75

Aircraft tubing fell out of the running when one website mentioned a price of ‘34 per foot’. Whether that was dollars or pounds was not even considered. Elliptical oval would have been great – according to my airfoil analysis program it offered an almost identical level of drag to the proper aero stuff. The drawback was that more companies listed the stuff than sold it. A suitable bulk order would have got us what we wanted and an awful lot left over to sell on to anyone interested. That left flat oval which is readily available and used on a wide range of professionally built cars. Before the decision could be made, Rod had taken matters into his own hands and had decided to make his own aero tubing. This was not a total surprise since the T4 featured flat oval tube that had been converted from round tube by the simple expedient of flattening it over a die in a small hydraulic press. Before you complain about the crudeness of the process and the risks involved in

LEFT The tool used to convert round tube to elliptical showing the die (top left) and the end stop and thrust bearing that allow the nut to pull it through the round tube

overstressing the material, bear in mind that these wishbones have done 12 races per season for 12 years and enjoyed their fair share of contact and grass cutting without a single failure. Now he wanted to try a more sophisticated technique – this time the round tube was to be drawn over a mandrel. The scheme went something like this: take a short length of steel, give it an elliptical cross section and pull it

through the tube using a length of threaded bar and a nut. The results were spectacular. After a bit of experimentation which showed up the need for a thrust bearing under the draw nut and the need for lashings of grease on the die and the thread, we managed to create a very fair imitation of the elliptical oval that the suppliers would not supply and in a size that we wanted and that was not listed. It is a sign of a successful experiment BELOW The finished components – representing about four man-days of work

Subscribe +44 (0) 208 446 2100

May 2010

www.racetechmag.com

75


Practical Racer-F750.qxd:Racetech.qxd

76

30/4/10

01:55

Page 3

www.racetechmag.com

PRACTICAL RACER 750FORMULA BUILD PROJECT

by gently reheating to about 300 degrees C. This is best done in a tray of sand on the kitchen cooker when your significant other is significantly otherwise engaged. Put enough sand to cover the part on to a small tin tray and put it on the heat. The sand is to ensure the heat is applied

ABOVE & BELOW The wishbone jig with the bushes already bolted in (above). The markings for the upper wishbone can also be seen. Below, the tubes are marked out and cut and filed carefully to shape

that the initial test rig is used to complete the process without the need to build proper production equipment. Rod started with a mild steel die cobbled up from some strips of scrap steel welded together and if this worked had intended to make the proper die from a piece of carbon steel. The results were so good that in the end the proper steel tooling was never made. The plan had been to use an old file to provide cheap, high carbon steel. This process involves finding a suitable file, softening it by heating it to a bright cherry red and leaving it to cool very slowly. Oxy acetylene provides the heat and the cooling should be done away from any draughts. Grandfather used to do this by putting the file in the kitchen fire after dinner so that it got red hot and leaving it to cool in the ashes overnight. Once softened it can be filed to shape to create the die and adapted to allow the threaded bar to be welded on. Re-hardening involves reheating to a bright red and cooling rapidly in a bucket of water or used engine oil. If you use the oil-cooling method, do it outside and be prepared to deal with a small flash fire. The tool is now dead hard and would chip as soon as it was put to work. So the next step is to temper the metal

76

www.racetechmag.com

May 2010

blue. At the light straw (low temperature) end of the scale the process results in a very sharp but brittle tool (use it for scribers); brown will make cutting tools and by the time the deeper colours have been reached, you have softened the tool enough to be used as a metal cutting

Tempering the metal is best done in a tray of sand on the kitchen cooker when your significant other is significantly otherwise engaged’ slowly and evenly but it obscures your view of what is going on. You rely on the oxidisation phenomenon that sends motor cycle exhaust pipes blue so you will need to uncover a part of the die to let the air in and allow you to judge when the colour has reached a nice rich blue. Then remove the heat and wait for it to cool. This will have tempered the metal so that when used, it will not shatter. The various colours that appear indicate the temperature and the temper. The metal goes through various shades from light straw through browns and deep purple to

chisel or a spring. As things turned out, high carbon steel was not needed and the mild steel tooling did the job. More sensible people would go out and buy tube that suits their aspirations and budget. In fact this whole do-it-yourself aero tube should probably carry the now traditional warning of ‘Don’t try this at home, children’. Also by now you should be beginning to realise the primary objective of ‘getting the thing built’ is modified somewhat whenever there is the chance to spend an afternoon playing with the toys! Once we have the tube, we need some

ABOVE Fitting the tube to the threaded bush. A good fit is essential for a successful weld


Bernoulli ad ISSUE 08.qxd:SECTION 1(2-82) RET 010.qxd

31/1/10

21:18

Page 1

Subscribe online at www.racetechmag.com Bernoulli is a quarterly journal that explores in unprecedented depth the theory and practice of road and race car aerodynamics. Its incisive content includes road and race car aero design and development studies and insights into wind tunnel design and operation, the use of CFD and on-track aero testing techniques. Clearly, Bernoulli is essential reading for all involved in the operation of wind tunnels, wind tunnel developers and suppliers of rolling roads, instrumentation and flow visualisation technology. It is equally vital for model makers and testing service providers and for suppliers of CFD software and design and manufacturing software. Above all, this unique publication is essential reading for everyone involved in optimising the performance of road and race cars, from design right through to the actual competitive events.

Special Offer! 8 Issues for the price of 7 Bernoulli

4 Issues (1 Year)

8 Issues (2 Years)

UK USA Europe Rest of world Institutions

£40.00 $88.00 57.00 £60.00 £78.00

£70.00 $154.00 99.75 £105.00 £142.00

BACK ISSUES

£12.00

The science of flying on the ground

Student Discount of 10% on above prices

Racecar Graphic are leading publishers of motor racing books and periodicals, and organisers of specialist workshops for the industry. Racecar Graphic publish the monthly Race Tech magazine. For further information please contact Racecar Graphic Limited e-mail: info@racetechmag.com 841 High Road, London, N12 8PT, UK, Tel +44 (0) 208 446 2100 Fax +44 (0) 208 446 2191 E-mail: info@racetechmag.com. Website: www.racetechmag.com

RACE TECH


Practical Racer-F750.qxd:Racetech.qxd

78

30/4/10

01:55

Page 5

www.racetechmag.com

PRACTICAL RACER 750FORMULA BUILD PROJECT

LEFT The aero tube had to be reshaped to accept the cylindrical bush. This was done with a series of tapered drifts

hardware to enable it to carry our choice of bearings. We are using rod-end bearings all round because they are a simple, effective way of articulating the suspension. The alternative would be to use nylon bushes at the inboard end, but this would mean that the bores of these bushes would need to be absolutely in line with each other or they would bind up and add unwanted stiction into the movement. At the outer end, a spherical joint is a much more satisfactory method but needs a specially machined housing. The photo shows the hardware that we

ABOVE The finished components are fitted to the jig and tack welded. Note the packing to raise them to the right height and the weights to keep them in place

78

www.racetechmag.com

May 2010

Opting for square tube over round brings a weight penalty of around 30% size for size’ made. It is firmly rooted in 1980s Formula Ford technology but an easy afternoon’s work on the lathe. Simple threaded bushes (eight of them) provide the location for the rod ends at the inboard end of the wishbones. The chosen size has a 3/8 bore with a 3/8

UNF thread. As with all the components used on the front suspension, this ensures interchangeability of parts. A new build would probably be well advised to use 10 mm bearings. The sizing is generous, evidenced by the fact that the original bearings have served their 12 years and are still perfectly OK. It is likely that 5/16-inch (8 mm) joints could have been used, but this is a case where a decent margin of safety costs very little extra cash or weight. At the outer end, things are more complex, although they do not need to be. For the top outboard joint (7/16 bore and 7/16 UNF shank) there is a threaded bush but with a concentric plain hole. The rod-end joint is screwed into the bush and a sleeve nut slides into the plain hole to act as a locknut for the rod-end joint. This limits the adjustment to a halfturn of the rod-end at a time but this is OK since the bottom variant provides for the fine adjustment. The bottom arrangement is similar. The rod-end joint is bigger (1/2 bore, 1/2 UNF thread) to reflect the extra loads seen by the lower wishbone in general and the outer end in


Practical Racer-F750.qxd:Racetech.qxd

30/4/10

01:55

Page 6

www.racetechmag.com

PRACTICAL RACER 79

particular but the main bush has no thread in it. The rod-end is held and adjusted by an outer lock nut and the threaded sleevenut. These enable fine adjustment of the joint and the camber. Not quite in the modern mode of a stack of machined shims, but more appropriate to the accuracy with which we will are able to fabricate. If you don’t have access to a lathe, some suppliers will provide threaded bushes sized for the rod-end and to fit into nominal tubing sizes. So you can buy for instance a bush that takes an M10 thread and fits into 25 mm (1 inch) tube. A friend in the UK uses an ebay trader (McGill Motorsport) who also sells round housings complete with a circlip housing for spherical bearings. A more upmarket solution is to buy ready-machined housings with tabs designed to fit into aero tubing. Amongst the UK hillclimbing fraternity, Nick Skidmore’s name gets mentioned frequently as a suitable supplier. The actual construction takes place using a simple jig made up of a solid base (a thick piece of kitchen worktop in our case) and three pieces of angle iron. These are fitted to the base to provide mounting points for the wishbone fittings. A jig is not essential but it makes life easier and speeds up the process of making replacements should they ever be needed. The diagram should enable you to make your own jig if you decide to do so. The distances shown in the table are between the centres of the locating holes in the pieces of angle iron. The line BX is perpendicular to AC.

ABOVE After tacking, the wishbone is removed from the jig and the welding completed

Dimension AB AC BC AX

Top 420 446 342 158

Wishbone mm mm mm mm

Bottom Wishbone 430 mm 496 mm 454 mm 231 mm

A careful look at the photographs should explain more than my words can. The jig will need to be modified if you decide to use something other than rod-end bearings so if you do decide to plough your own furrow, you would be well advised to wait until the next instalment in case you need to reconsider in the light of the upright design. Next time we will look in more detail at the kinematics of the RT suspension and the manufacture of the uprights.

Subscribe +44 (0) 208 446 2100

ABOVE The wishbone is then returned to the jig so that the pushrod tabs can be fitted. The square bar is bolted between the tabs to locate them in the right position

May 2010

www.racetechmag.com

79


RED 115.qxd:Racetech.qxd

80

30/4/10

13:50

Page 1

www.racetechmag.com

RED RACE EQUIPMENT DIGEST

Edited by Chris Pickering

only unit then enable logging later if desired. The screen layout is configurable via MoTeC’s SDL3 Dash Manager software, which offers separate pages for practice, warm-up and race sessions so drivers can choose the most relevant parameters to display during each instance. Data analysis, meanwhile, is provided by MoTeC’s i2 Standard analysis software.

EVOLUTION OF THE SPECIES

MoTeC HAS unveiled a new evolution of its Sport Dash Logger. The SDL3 is a fully programmable display, controller and data logger aimed at serious amateur racers as well as the more affordable end of the professional market. It features a flexible

architecture that allows users to configure it to their requirements. Those with considerable data requirements can opt for maximum memory from the outset, while teams with no immediate need for data logging can purchase the dash as a display-

The SDL3 features no less than two independent CAN buses. These not only allow the integral logger to pick up CAN data signals, but also let the SDL3 communicate with other MoTeC accessories such as ECUs, beacons and power distribution modules. The two buses feature independently selectable baud rates, catering for installations where devices communicate at different speeds. This means that if data needs to be exchanged between MoTeC devices at one speed and third party systems at another, for example, the SDL3 can act as a central hub. It also helps to spread the load when the CAN bus demands exceed the available bandwidth of a single bus. Over 300 channels can be derived from a mixture of analogue and digital inputs at up to 500Hz, as well as RS232 and CAN data channels. The unit also has the provision for up to 48 userdefined warning alarms and features an Ethernet connection for rapid downloads. RT

LC7 PROMISES IMPROVED COLD WEATHER PERFORMANCE EVER WONDERED how drag racers get such traction for the incredible sprint times they record? The answer lies partly with the traction compounds used to coat the road surface, and one such product is VP Racing Fuels’ Lane Choice 7 (LC7). The latest compound in the LC line is intended to provide a universal traction compound for all conditions. As well as maintaining performance in hot conditions LC7 has been formulated specifically to improve upon the existing compound’s cold weather performance.

80

www.racetechmag.com

May 2010

“I found that a couple of tracks were mixing our LC6 product with another compound to get the required adhesion – they liked how LC6 worked in the heat but they were worried about it in the cold,” explains Jason Rueckert, director of motorsport, VP Racing Fuels. After consulting with the company’s chemists the decision was taken to remove some of the resin and add some more adhesive. The result is what has become known as LC7. It replaces LC6 Cold and is expected to take over from LC6 in due course. RT


MOTOTECH MEDIA.qxd:SECTION 1(2-82) RET 010.qxd

29/1/10

10:57

Page 1

Two-wheel techniques and technology

Subscription Rates 20% off When you subscribe for 2 years

6 (one year) 12 (two years) Back Issues UK

£ 24.00

£ 38.40 (20%)

USA

$ 70.00

$ 112.00 (20%) $10.00 + p&p

EUROPE

€55.00

€88.00 (20%)

€7.75 + p&p

REST OF WORLD £ 36.00

£ 57.60 (20%)

£4.95 + p&p

INSTITUTIONS

£ 76.80 (20%)

£4.95 + p&p

£ 48.00

£4.95 + p&p

Student discount of 10%

Subscribe online @ www.racetechmag.com or faxback this form on +44 (0) 208 446 2191

Moto Tech is a brand new bi-monthly journal that explores in unprecedented depth the technology in high-performance road and racing bikes. It is a magazine written for riders, engineers, manufacturers, suppliers, mechanics, team managers and enthusiasts who demand a more in depth insight into the workings of the motorbike – in fact, all who seek knowledge of the art and science of motorbike technology. The days when a rider did not need to understand the workings of his bike are long gone – nowadays the control and the engineering of the machine are inextricably linked. Blending technology and techniques ensures that Moto Tech will therefore be essential reading for everyone who wants more out of their biking experience.

Payment by cheque/bankers draft/money order in Pound Sterling to Racecar Graphic Ltd; please indicate which is enclosed in the Card No. Box

Card Number

Valid From Expiry Date

Name: Job Title:

Security Code (Found on the signature strip)

Subscription Address:

Switch Issue Number Amount

Telephone

£

US$

Cardholders signature

Fax: e-mail: Racecar Graphic are leading publishers of motor racing books and periodicals, and organisers of specialist workshops for the industry. Racecar Graphic publish the monthly Race Tech magazine. For further information please contact Racecar Graphic Limited e-mail: info@racetechmag.com 841 High Road, London, N12 8PT, UK, Tel +44 (0) 208 446 2100 Fax +44 (0) 208 446 2191 E-mail: info@racetechmag.com. Website: www.racetechmag.com

RACE TECH


RED 115.qxd:Racetech.qxd

82

30/4/10

13:50

Page 3

www.racetechmag.com

RED RACE EQUIPMENT DIGEST

NEW SENSOR BREAKS COVER NOT SO long ago we featured a sneak preview of Penny+Giles’ new NRH280DP contactless rotary position sensor. Well it seems the finished product is now upon us. As per the prototypes it uses Hall Effect technology (like many position sensors) but removes the magnet from the sensor altogether and places it externally. This means there can be an air gap of up to 7mm between the two and they can be up to 2mm off-centre with no contacting parts to wear out. In practical terms it means you could, for example, embed the magnet in a gearbox shaft and position the sensor on the outside of a (non-magnetic) casing. Designed for use in extreme conditions, the NRH280DP is sealed to IP69K and boasts an operational temperature range extending from -40 to +140°C. It’s already found use in Formula One, as well as applications as diverse as the tip control on dumper trucks and the 4-wheel steering system on road sweeping vehicles. The design allows engineers to configure a wide selection of parameters including measurement range and direction. This also allows the two channels to be configured individually so, for example, the sensor can

be configured so that one signal can be used in a control function while the other is used for position monitoring or display purposes. Similarly, its two outputs can be used for error checking. To ease configuration, NRH280DP is available with analogue (0.5 to 4.5Vdc) or digital (PWM) signal outputs as standard,

but it can also be factory programmed to offer 0.1 to 4.9Vdc output range, matching the equivalent signals from a potentiometer. It also features electromagnetic immunity to 100V/m and has a maximum output signal noise of less than 1mV. This, claims the company, means that no additional signal filtering is required on the output signal. RT

AUTO-BLIP ON THE RADAR ELECTRONIC GEAR shift specialist ProShift has recently unveiled an accelerator pedal mounted auto-blip system. The unit physically activates the car’s accelerator pedal with a solenoid to replicate traditional heel’n’toeing. And, while this may sound like an unconventional approach in the era of fly-by-wire throttles,

82

www.racetechmag.com

May 2010

it’s not alone; there are a variety of autoblip systems out there already. The existing auto-blip systems tend to work on a vacuum system however; using a diaphragm powered by the depression generated in the inlet manifold to activate the throttle valve directly. Pro-Shift argues that these systems only offer a limited

throttle opening and aren’t suitable for engines with high idle speeds or those using turbocharging. The company also claims that the need to mount vacuum systems in the harsh environment of the engine bay also creates packaging issues and makes them prone to failure. Instead Pro-Shift’s system mounts in front of the pedal box and its solenoid activation allows for 16mm of travel even before it goes through the leverage of the pedal assembly. The company’s PS3 paddleshift system does support conventional fly-by-wire throttle blipping, but the auto-blip system is pitched as an alternative that doesn’t rely on a compatible engine management system. It’s thought to be the first time an auto-blip system has been designed to operate directly onto the throttle pedal and Pro-Shift has high hopes for the design, which it is currently RT in the process of patenting.


Adverts 115 main section.qxd:Racetech.qxd

30/4/10

17:32

Page 9


Adverts 112 main section.qxd:Racetech.qxd

29/1/10

14:49

Page 12


RACE TECH Issue 115