LOLA TECH TEAM TALK
1. What have Lola been concentrating on with regards to the B12/60 LMP1 car?The Lola design and engineering team have been looking at overall efficiency improvements to the aerodynamic surfaces of both the LMP1 and LMP2 Lola designs. The initial CFD and wind tunnel studies took place last autumn in Lolas on-site 50% scale facility in Huntingdon, UK.
Visually the cars will look very different, particularly the front bodywork which is 100% new. The front splitter, diffuser and light cluster have benefitted from an intensive CFD and wind tunnel development and Lola have implemented additional aerodynamic elements to the front section to improve the downforce levels of the design. Other aspects of the 2012 bodywork have also been refined for this season.
Different composite solutions have been used by Lola in order to reduce the weight on some aspects of the bodywork of the car Lola composites and FEA engineers have been working hard on new solutions to optimise these new concepts and to ensure that we have more scope in terms of transferring weight in the overall package.
Lola have also developed changes to the front suspension geometry in an effort to compliment the new aero updates to the front bodywork section.
2. What impact have the new regulations had on the developments?The main changes for both LMP1 and LMP2 classes was the implementation of larger fins on the rear bodywork and holes in the wheel arches. These were both safety orientated changes to further reduce the likelihood of the cars overturning when they spin. The fins height and length are set so the main challenge for the designers was to see what the best solution is for incorporating the airbox at the top of the chassis. Lola found an efficient and unique solution to minimise drag at the top of the chassis using its advanced CFD capability.
3. What new technology will there be on the Lola LMP car?For the last few years Lola have had a permanent 'cell' of engineers working on future technologies including advanced composites, alternative fuelled/powered cars and new aerodynamic solutions. Lola have partnered with the likes of Multimatic, BAE Systems and Cosworth on the recently unveiled all-electric LMP car, which is scheduled to run very shortly. The Lola design team will continue to evaluate most of these innovations with an eye on incorporating them in to future LMP models, should the regulation allow.
4. When will the Lola LMP1 customer teams run the new look car?Dyson Racing will run one car at the Sebring 12 Hours and potentially a second car during the ALMS season. Rebellion Racing will run the 2012 aero package from the FIA World Endurance Championship at Spa onwards. Both Dyson and Rebellion have two cars entered at the Le Mans 24 Hours in June.
Photos Lola Cars International.
The Dyson Lola B12/60LMP1 coupe powered by Mazda was fastest petrol LMP on Tuesday afternoon.
Chris Dyson powers the Lola-Mazda through turn 17 at Sebring on Tuesday afternoon.