Engineering

Caterham introduce revised Superlight R300 racer

Caterham

Caterham has introduced an updated version of its Superlight R300 racer. The revised machine boasts performance increases and a reduction in running costs.

The Superlight R300 is the top rung of the Seven racing ladder, and the 2.0-litre, 175bhp vehicles will now be equipped with a six-speed sequential gearbox, instead of the existing manual unit. The new Sadev gearbox utilises flat shifting electronics which allow clutchless up-shifts, making for faster, more precise gear changes.

The new version of the R300 racer has undergone further performance enhancements, including a switch to Avon’s ZZR tyre – in place of the Avon CR500 – which is longer-lasting and offers improved grip levels. Tyre use remains limited, with just five sets for the season, which, coupled to a more robust transmission, keeps running costs low. Read the rest of this entry »

Motorsport Industry Association announces line-up for Low Carbon Racing Conference

Drayson Racing B12 69/EV

The Motorsport Industry Association (MIA) has announced a world-class line-up of panellists and vehicles for its Low Carbon Racing Conference, which will take place, for the eighth year running, before the Autosport International Show – on January 8th. The event is billed as the world’s leading conference on high performance low carbon technologies, and has always attracted many of motorsport’s leading engineers and influencers, both as speakers and to the delegate floor.

The central theme for 2014’s conference is alternative energy powertrains on race tracks and roads across the globe, and the recognition that government bodies, such as the UK Automotive Council, have identified closer engagement between the motorsport and automotive industries as key to success in the global auto industry. Read the rest of this entry »

Mark Webber makes Porsche LMP1 test debut

Mark Webber Porsche

Mark Webber has tested Porsche’s new LMP1 racer for the first time at the Algarve race circuit near Portimão, Portugal. The Red Bull Racing F1 team gave the Australian the green light to conduct these initial tests despite Webber still being under contract with them. From January 1st 2014 Webber officially joins the Porsche factory team as a works LMP1 driver competing in the FIA World Endurance Championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Speaking about his initial tests with Porsche, Mark commented; “My first day in this fascinating project was an intense experience for me. I would like to thank Red Bull Racing for giving me the chance to join the project so early. This is a major and important step for us all. It allows me to integrate with the team quicker and to contribute to further developing the LMP1 race car. We have a long way to go and it involves a lot of hard work. I have no misconceptions about this.”

On the schedule for the final test for 2013 in Portugal were primarily suspension and tyre developments with partner Michelin. Previously, the Porsche LMP1 squad had worked on the development of the new race car on circuits at Magny-Cours, Monza and Paul Ricard, as well as on the Eurospeedway Lausitz. Head of Porsche LMP1, Fritz Enzinger, commented; Read the rest of this entry »

Audi tests next-generation R18 e-tron quattro

Audi R18 e-tron quattro

Audi has revealed that it is currently testing the successor to the World Endurance Championship and Le Mans winning R18 e-tron quattro. Tests of the new LMP1 sports car, which has been kept under wraps up to now, begin at Sebring in Florida today.

Audi say they have developed a fundamentally new Le Mans prototype that corresponds to the new technical regulations for 2014 onwards. The development started in 2012, with the roll-out taking place this autumn. Starting today, the next-generation Audi R18 e-tron quattro is being tested on the race track where many new Audi Le Mans prototypes have been extensively tested and made their race debuts, Sebring.

“We’ve reached a crucial stage in this project,” explains Head of Audi Motorsport, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. Read the rest of this entry »

Honda previews 2014 WTCC Civic

Honda 2014 WTCC Civic

Honda have been at the drawing board and released this first visual impression of its 2014 World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) challenger. The car reflects all the new technical regulations for the WTCC which will come into force for 2014.

The Honda Civic WTCC render shows aggressive wheel arch extensions, larger diameter wheels, improved aero package and an extended rear spoiler. Add all this to increased engine power and Honda has high hopes that the 2014 WTCC racer will be able to retain Honda’s Manufacturer World Championship crown and enable the drivers to challenge for the WTCC title.

Two works cars will be run by JAS Motorsport for Gabriele Tarquini and Tiago Monteiro, with further Civics to be entered by private outfits Zengo Motorsport and Proteam Racing for Hungary’s Norbert Michelisz and Moroccan Mehdi Bennani respectively.

The announcement follows the recent unveiling of the new 2014 British Touring Car Championship Civic Tourer (estate car) racer, can’t help but feel BTCC fans are getting the rough end of the stick on this deal.

Strakka Racing and Dome to develop new LMP2 contender

Strakka DOME S103

LMP1 competitors, Strakka Racing, have announced a new long-term sportscar partnership with race car manufacturer Dome. The two parties will work together to develop, bring to market and race a brand new ‘cost-capped’ LMP2 coupe prototype endurance car called the Strakka Dome S103.

The first Strakka Dome S103, which will be powered by a Nissan VK45 4.5-litre V8 LMP2 petrol engine, will contest the entire FIA World Endurance Championship next year, pending approval.

Utilising Dome’s 50% wind tunnel, CFD expertise and lightweight technology, the Strakka DOME S103 aims to be one of the most aerodynamically and technologically advanced LMP2 cars on the grid. Read the rest of this entry »

Formula E electric racer completes first test

Formula E

Formula E’s new fully-electric race car, the Spark-Renault SRT_01E, has completed a successful test debut at the La Ferté Gaucher circuit near Choisy-le-Roi, France.

Unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, the new single-seater was driven by Lucas di Grassi, who will be doing all the early test and development work. The electric car completed around 40 laps over two days, with the initial task being to check all systems were functioning correctly. For the test the car was fitted with a 50kw battery, which is a quarter of the maximum 200kw power (270bhp equivalent) the final car will produce.

“It is a great feeling to be driving the Formula E car for the first time,” said Di Grassi. “I can assure all the drivers will have a lot of fun with this car – even with just a quarter of the power it has quite a lot of grip and the electric motor produces huge torque.” Read the rest of this entry »

Nissan’s ZEOD RC debuts at Fuji

Nissan ZEOD RC

Nissan’s ZEOD RC electric prototype racer had its on track debut in Japan last weekend with Michael Krumm at the wheel of the car that will race at next year’s Le Mans 24 Hours.

The car was unveiled at Nismo headquarters in Yokohama on Thursday and performed three demonstration runs at Fuji Speedway in conjunction with the Japanese round of the FIA World Endurance Championship.

The Nissan ZEOD RC will complete an entire 8.5 mile lap of Le Mans next year on pure electric power at speeds in excess of 186 mph. When running on its internal combustion engine, the ZEOD RC will recharge its battery using regenerative braking.

The car now heads back to the UK this week to continue its testing and development program. The Nissan ZEOD RC will occupy ‘Garage 56’ at Le Mans next year – an entry reserved for cars showcasing new and innovative technology previously not seen at the French endurance classic. Nissan will use the ZEOD RC programme to develop technologies for its planned future LMP1 campaign.

“This has been a fantastic opportunity for everyone involved to bring the Nissan ZEOD RC to Japan to present the car at Nismo and then show the car at Fuji Speedway for the fans,” said Nissan Motorsports Director, Darren Cox Read the rest of this entry »