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bodywork. Last year we changed to the big front tyre, so we did an update on that to fit into the arch, but there was more that we needed to do so we have developed that concept further. We ended up following this trend and are seeing some improvements from the shapes. It’s a really interesting area of aerodynamic development. It has evolved twice from just being a bit convex to being really quite convex now.’


ENGINE CHANGES Under the bodywork there have been some other major changes. This has seen the big engines of LMP1 up to 2011 outlawed, and smaller capacity units mandated for the 2012 season. The engine changes actually came in for the 2011 season, but teams were permitted to run under 2010 regulations for some time. Indeed, some teams were even granted dispensation to run the larger engines at Sebring in 2012. As most of these older cars were developed around engines such as the 5.5-litre Judd GV V10, many have had to be modified to accept smaller units like the 3.4-litre Judd DB V8. The Dome S102, for example, is typical, having a spacer plate installed to carry the smaller powerplant. But use of these smaller motors do give up some packaging opportunities for other systems.


ELECTRIC AVENUE More significant for the 2012 season is the full-scale arrival of hybrids. Toyota, Peugeot Sport, Audi and Lola all undertook


significant engineering exercises to install energy recovery systems into their cars and, interestingly, all opted for different solutions. The regulations allow for a fairly wide range of system layouts and teams have to decide on what they think is the best solution. Toyota, with its experience of production hybrids, finally opted for a rear-wheel drive layout using a Denso electric motor, after also testing a four-wheel drive layout with a different Aisin SW motor. ‘We decided to run the motor


generator unit in the gearbox, so we went for a rear-drive system because with a front [-drive] system you get a weight penalty and particularly an aerodynamic penalty,’ explains Pascal Vasselon, technical director at TMG. ‘You have to pay for a front system because you have to cool it, and also the driveshafts are running through a crucial aerodynamic area.’ Audi, meanwhile, took a


different approach altogether, utilising the Williams Hybrid Power electro-magnetic flywheel system, first developed as a Formula 1 KERS, but then further developed for use in endurance racing with Porsche. Now an evolution of this has been developed for the R18 LMP1. It seems rather fitting that a diesel electro-magnetic hybrid racecar should have a direct link to a system currently being trialled on a London bus! Audi opted to drive the front


wheels of the R18 directly, contradicting the thinking of the


Toyota and Peugeot’s engineers. ‘We had to make the car much lighter weight than the previous car because of the weight of the hybrid system, with a big saving coming at the rear with a carbon fibre gearbox casing,’ contests Reinke. ‘The weight distribution is right


though, and that’s why we went for a front axle-driven philosophy. Where we have put the motor at the front is exactly where we put the ballast anyway on the non-hybrid car. We are even using the same mounting points for the ballast as we do with the electric motor.’


Audi utilises lips both upsteam and downstream of the holes to prevent the dirty air from impacting other flow structures across the car


The location of hybrid system components is a contentious issue, with Audi opting to mount the motor at the front of its R18, but everyone else opting for rear-mounted systems


July 2012 • www.racecar-engineering.com 11


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