LMP2 chassis constructors named ahead of standardization in 2017

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The FIA, ACO and IMSA have announced the four constructors that will be building LMP2 chassis for across their respective series and races as of 2017.

In a bid to curb costs within LMP2 racing, it was confirmed back in June that only four constructors would be able to build chassis for the class in the FIA World Endurance Championship (including 24 Hours of Le Mans), European Le Mans Series, Asian Le Mans Series and the Tudor United SportsCar Championship as of 2017.

On Thursday, it was confirmed that Dallara, Onroak Automotive, Oreca and Riley Tech/Multimatic have won the tender ahead of the regulation change.

“The Automobile Club de l’Ouest is proud of the work that’s been done on the future LMP2 category regulations, which has resulted in the selection of four prestigious chassis constructors: Dallara, Onroak Automotive, Oreca and Riley Tech/Multimatic,” ACO president Pierre Fillon said.

“Our priority is to supply the teams and drivers entered in this category with the best options and solutions to race in endurance on a long-term basis.

“Thanks to the decisions taken jointly by the ACO, IMSA and the FIA we have managed to bring together a high-quality pool of constructors which reinforces the interest in the series and its glowing future prospects.”

The ACO and FIA will jointly announce which manufacturer has won the tender to supply engines for its championships’ LMP2 classes in September.

In the Tudor Championship, engine supply will not be limited to just one manufacturer, and all chassis will have manufacturer-specific styling elements.

“The Dallara, Onroak Automotive, Oreca and Riley Tech/Multimatic teams now will join the technical working group jointly managed by the ACO, the FIA and IMSA to define the final details of the regulations,” a joint statement from the three bodies reads.

“One of the main objectives of this working group is to optimise all of the parameters to ensure the most economically viable set of rules for the teams.

“The final set of provisions of the LMP2 regulations will be adopted by the World Motor Sport Council in December of this year, and the timetable will respect the following five stages:

  • 1st January 2016: validation of the safety structures/monocoque;
  • 1st April 2016: validation of the bodywork and the mechanical components;
  • 1st June 2016: validation of the crash test;
  • 1st September 2016: presentation of the draft homologation sheet;
  • From 1 – 15 December 2016: inspection and final validation of the car

“The cars must be homologated by, and available for use in January 2017 for the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the first race at which the new TUDOR Championship Prototype / LMP2 category regulations will be applied.”

NHRA: Dodge/Mopar to unveil new Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car today in Denver

Photos/video courtesy Dodge/Mopar
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If you’re a fan of NHRA Funny Car racing and Dodge/Mopar, you may notice something different at this weekend’s Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in suburban Denver, Colorado.

Two-time (2011 and 2014) NHRA Funny Car champ Matt Hagan – who has won the last two NHRA national events in the last four weeks – will be piloting a newly-designed 2019 Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, a 10,000-horsepower Funny Car that makes its debut today at Dodge/Mopar’s premier NHRA national event.

The new Charger SRT Hellcat succeeds the former Mopar Dodge Charger R/T, which had been in use since 2015.

“We improved on the body design,” Hagan said of the new Charger Hellcat. “It was already a great design, a great body. But now, we’re going to have a little more downforce, a little more traction on these racetracks and it will be a huge performance advantage.”

The new Hellcat includes a number of innovations, including a new front splitter to increase downforce. Just like its predecessor, the R/T, the Hellcat will go head-to-head with Chevrolet’s Camaro in the NHRA Funny Car ranks.

“We will be able to press harder with more downforce on the nose, which translates into huge amounts of downforce on the run,” Hagan said.

According to a media release, the new Hellcat features major design changes in three key areas: the front end, bodysides and burst panel placement:

* “At the front, the shape of the nose has been tweaked and a new splitter (photo), built of carbon fiber and Kevlar like the rest of the Funny Car body, has been added. The splitter substantially mimics the look and shape of the production vehicle’s splitter while generating greater downforce to help plant the Funny Car to the track.

* “Bodyside scallops have been redesigned to more closely identify with the production Hellcat while also enhancing on-track function and performance. The deeper character lines provide greater visual ties to the street version of the Hellcat, while also helping to mitigate the “body burn” common on all Funny Cars due to the close positioning of the exhaust headers.

* “The location of the burst panel on the hood has also been reworked. The panel is now centered over the top of the engine to more efficiently release energy and pressure in the event of engine issues, a common occurrence in race cars that are pushed to the razor’s edge of performance.”

Since the R/T was first introduced into the Don Schumacher Racing corps, it has gone on to 50 wins, 42 runner-up finishes and 40 No. 1 qualifiers in NHRA national events and one NHRA Funny Car World Championship (Ron Capps, 2016).

The new Charger SRT Hellcat, which can exceed 330-plus mph and covers 1,000 feet in under four seconds, is the drag strip version of the supercharged, 707-horsepower production Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, the quickest, fastest and most powerful sedan in the world.

While Hagan will drive the first Hellcat, his other three Dodge-powered DSR teammates – Capps, Jack Beckman and Tommy Johnson Jr. – will soon take delivery of their own versions of the car over the remaining 11 races of the 2018 season.

One day after winning two weeks ago at Norwalk, Ohio, Hagan and crew chief Dickie Venables put the new Hellcat through its paces with several test runs. The results were so strong that it was decided to debut the car at Denver and run all qualifying and elimination rounds with it.

“We made four good, solid runs in testing at Norwalk,” said Hagan. “We put the body through a lot of different things and were really, really pleased with it.

“I really think it’s going to translate over to performance on the race track, and hopefully more win lights in the future.”

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