Ex-F1 engineer, Nicolas Perrin shared some very interesting technological details about the challenge of Le Mans, with more to come during the weekend and next week.
Here are some of the things you have to consider when designing your very own Le Mans P1 car - from the official Perrinn myTeam newsletter [note: these are all answers to questions members asked, which you, too, are free to do so]:
- The drag/downforce target for the car is based on laptime simulation around Le Mans. I will explain this in more details next week.
- For tire data, I have used my experience from previous years in F1, Le Mans to come up with a good grip model for our simulations.
- The loads for suspension stress analysis come also from simulation, what we call dynamic simulation. We use real recorded driver input (steering, brake, accelerator) for that simulation.
- All mechanical components are designed to be lightest possible but with a safety factor on stress under maximum load of about 2.
- We don't have pull rod suspension system on the car simply because it was not possible to fit dampers, anti roll bar and springs on the lower part of the chassis at the front and of the bell housing at the rear. It would make the suspension system too difficult to package.
- The suspension members are not aero profile because the concept is to make sure there is no significant air speed around them (we shroud them at the front and they are under the engine cover at the rear) - so there is no significant losses there I can assure.
- There is no real gain to have from working more on the rear mirror shape - their size is regulated. They are only a tiny fraction of the total drag of the car.
- We don't use the exhaust gases for downforce purposes. I know Audi it doing it this year at Le Mans but I already know the regulation for next year will change to make sure it is completely forbidden, so no need to look into this.
- We are not allowed to close the wheels spokes + we need these holes to evacuate the hot air from the brakes.
- CFD results are not symmetrical as we run the car in 0.5deg yaw for numerical stability reasons - don't forget the car never sees a pure straight flow of air on the track.
From my next interview with Nicolas, you will get to know more about:
- test drivers' input in racing car development
- use of simulators in car development and driver training
- how mainstream simulation games affect racing and engineering
- choice of engine for Le Mans
- engineering checklist for a 24-hour race as far as development is concerned
...and many more. You are free to ask Nicolas anything you want, he will host a Q&A next week and throughout the race, as long as you are a member. If you are interested in technology, or just want to participate in something really cool, sign up for a Perrinn myTeam membership.