09
Feb
09

Miscellaneous Monday motorsports mumblings, vol. 6

An Adrian Newey-designed Formula One car serves impressively well to brighen up a Monday morning.  Ladies and gentlemen, the Red Bull RB5:

rbr5_hifront3_4

I’m getting used to the asymmetry between the huge front wings and narrow noses, and the narrow rear wings and large engine covers and sidepods on these cars.  They’re starting to look elegant and insectile to me, and the old cars are starting to look squat and cluttered.

In any case, the front wing looks to have a roughly McLaren-ish profile on the fixed elements and the same layout as the Ferrari wing.  The needle nose sure lets a lot of air under the car at that point, and probably generates negligible downforce itself (unlike, say, the Renault or the BMW-Sauber).  Of course, that huge front wing probably generates all the downforce they’ll need, so the nose design can be optimized to feed air to the diffuser.

Speaking of mid-body aerodynamics: those side fences look a lot like Ferrari’s “mirror mounts” without the mirrors, and the RB5′s barge boards are more imposing than any I’ve seen on the other cars, but we’re assured by F1 Technical that they’re within the regulations.  Compared to the Williams especially, the rear suspension linkage looks cluttered, which can’t be a good thing if you’re trying to drive clean air under the lower wing element.  Maybe they have a really efficient diffuser to do that for them.

The only problem with Red Bull Racing’s livery is that it reminds me of how awesome Scuderia Toro Rosso’s livery looks.  I can’t wait to see the STR4.

(Alas for the RB5, its inaugural test session ended with a busted gearbox.)

——

On the subject of Formula One launches, go ahead and try to tell me this isn’t cool:

Team principals are Ken Anderson and Peter Windsor of pit-lane commentary fame.  They’re to be based out of Charlotte NC, where Anderson owns a wind tunnel and aero development group.

(Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a 2011 USGP at Road Atlanta?  It’ll never happen, but I can dream….)

——

For my next segue, I remind the reader that Road Atlanta hosts the Petit Le Mans, and therefore ought to be able to cope with Formula One cars and speeds.  The Petit Le Mans is a qualifier for the grand Le Mans, and Peugeot have just confirmed that they’ll be contesting that race.

Peugeot have confirmed that they’ll be at Sebring in March, at Spa in May, and at Le Mans in June.  We’re left wondering about their other commitments — and also about the fate of their diesel hybrid, which isn’t mentioned in the car and driver list.

——

On a different topic, we note with interest this proposed series from Japan:

The rules for the new series are fascinating.  No limits on the chassis except for a standard monocoque; no limits on the bodywork except for dimensional upper bounds; and no limits on the engine except for a 20mm restrictor.  It kind of reminds me of the old Group C regulations, where engines were limited by fuel consumption rather than displacement.  This could be really, really cool.

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