16
Feb
09

Miscellaneous Monday motorsports mumblings, vol. 7

Let’s kick off with the Audi R15 TDI.

Audi R15 TDI (copyright Audi Motorsport)(Copyright Audi Motorsport; image link goes to high-res original)

It’s the year of the visually heavy nose, both in Formula One and in sports car racing.  I’m not sure I’d call that set of panels on the front of the R15 attractive, but they sure are interesting.  We’ll get to see the R15 in action against Peugeot’s 908s and Acura’s new ARX-02a LMP1s at Sebring in just under five weeks, which I expect to be full of awesome.

There’s a lot of speculative analysis of the R15 and its aero over at Mulsanne’s Corner.  The most obvious feature of interest — besides that huge nose bodywork — is the “swan-neck” wing mount, which the R15 shares with the Acura.  I guess airflow under the wing is much more important than airflow over it, which seems to make sense but which I’ve never seen noted anywhere else.  Another thing that stands out to me is Mulsanne’s Corner’s hypothesis of adjustable front “wing” elements (those Michelin-badged bits just inboard of the front headlights).  I would’ve thought that sort of thing to be banned.

Speaking of air management under the rear wing, creative nose geometry, and general prototype-y goodness, the R15 reminds me very strongly of the storied and ill-fated Allard J2X.  Here’s hoping that the R15 does better.

——

I managed to almost completely miss the Daytona 500, but from what I gather the race was red-flagged and eventually halted with 48 laps to go due to rain.  This caught me somewhat by surprise when I first heard of it, but I suppose that making an effective rain tire that can nonetheless stand up to flat-out superspeedway racing for fifty or more laps at a time is a rather difficult problem.  (Still, if Bridgestone can put together rain tires for Monza, why can’t Goodyear put together rain tires for Daytona?)

Ah well.  Since no-one’s really turning right until March, I might as well see if I can’t develop a keener interest in the circle-track folks.  If any of you have pointers to “NASCAR for Nerds” cheat-sheets, I’d be happy to see ’em in the comments.

——

Over in the Formula One world, rumours abound over the Honda F1 team’s potential acquisition and reentry into the sport:

I’ll believe it when I see it.

——

And sticking with Formula One: the Beeb has a video of the proposed 2010 British GP layout for Donington Park.  Particularly interesting is that it’s a video taken from the motorsports sim rFactor — they’ve been promising to release the track to the public for at least a month now, and I’m starting to get annoyed.  In any case, here’s the link:

(Hat tip: VirtualR)


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