GM opens new Powertrain Performance and Racing Center

Photo: Team Chevy
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General Motors has opened a new one-stop shop for all its performance and racing components for all its diverse racing engine programs.

The full release is below:

General Motors today opened the doors to the all-new GM Powertrain Performance and Racing Center – a state-of-the-art facility designed to enhance the development processes for the company’s diverse racing engine programs.

The new, 111,420-square-foot facility is connected to GM’s Global Powertrain Engineering Center and is part of a $200-million investment at the Pontiac, Mich., campus. It relocates the Racing center from Wixom, Mich. to the Pontiac Powertrain Campus, bringing together under one roof an additional team of nearly 100 engine builders, engineers and other support staff. The Performance and Racing team is responsible for developing engines for NASCAR, NHRA, IndyCar, IMSA and other racing series.

It also leverages the resources at the Global Powertrain Engineering Center, enabling faster and more integrated technology transfer between GM’s racing experience and production-vehicle powertrains.

“We race to win and learn,” said Dan Nicholson, vice president, General Motors Global Powertrain. “This new facility offers unprecedented opportunities to connect our racing engineers and powertrain engineers, integrating their knowledge to give our racers an edge on the track and our customers better vehicles on the road.”

Tasked with complete racing engine design and validation, the Performance and Racing Center’s capabilities include:

  • Design release
  • Full CNC machining
  • Engine build
  • Electronics and telematics
  • Dyno validation
  • Calibration

“Chevrolet earned six manufacturer and five driver championships in 2015, and we are carrying that momentum into 2016,” said Jim Campbell, GM U.S. vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “This new center is a valuable tool in developing powertrains with the right combination of performance, durability and efficiency to help our drivers and teams win races and championships.”

The racing engines under responsibility at the new center include:

  • NASCAR “R07” – a unique 358-cubic-inch V-8 engine designed and developed exclusively for NASCAR Sprint Cup racing
  • IndyCar 2.2L Twin-Turbo V-6 – a technical marvel that uses a pair of high-boost-producing turbochargers to help extract about 700 horsepower from the small-displacement, direct-injected V-6
  • NHRA COPO Camaro V-8 engines – racers competing with a new 2016 COPO Camaro in NHRA’s Stock and Super Stock eliminator classes can select from supercharged and naturally aspirated LS- and LT-family engines
  • Corvette Racing 5.5L V-8 – Based on the production LT engine family, the naturally aspirated and all-aluminum 5.5L V-8 engine is used by the Corvette Racing C7.R team
  • Cadillac ATSV.R Twin Turbo – A racing engine based on the production model’s 3.6L twin-turbo engine.

Additionally, the high-performance crate engines and crate powertrain systems offered by Chevrolet Performance are developed at the new facility.

Clean-sheet design

A clean-sheet design of the new facility incorporates the latest engine-assembly, engine-testing and calibration equipment. The connected layouts of the engine assembly and testing areas are designed to enhance workflow, making it easier for the eight dedicated performance and racing engine builders to retrieve parts, build engines and move them to the dyno cells. Collectively, they bring 150 years of engine-building experience.

“The process development possibilities with the new center are exciting,” said Dan Nicholson. “We’ve merged the best engineers and engine builders in the business with one of the industry’s most advanced powertrain development facilities.”

Facility highlights include: 

Engine assembly – There are 10 all-new engine build bays – eight in the Engine Build room and two in the prep area to facilitate quicker transfer to dyno testing and other validation areas. Each 120-square-foot bay has an air drop for powered tools and access to an overhead crane for easy loading on the build stands. Builders also use specialized tools such as programmable torque wrenches to help ensure consistency with the engines. Additional specialty tools at their disposal include a Cam Doctor for precise camshaft evaluations and a ROMER Arm coordinate measuring machine.

Machining – Engineers and builders also have access to over 30 machining tools, offering complete machining capability for cylinder blocks, cylinder heads, fuel rails and engine components, comparable to the racing industry’s best racing shops. The equipment roster includes nine CNC machines that can transform designs right into new components – including a new Hurco five-axis machine. The staff also has access to a 3D printer for constructing new or modified components, as well as laser scanners to help ensure the powertrain parts meet the high degree of dimensional accuracy demanded for the rigors of racing.

Engine testing – There are four state of the art AVL engine dynamometer cells dedicated to the Performance and Racing Center:

  • Two gas-powered engine dynos
  • A gas-powered driveline dyno
  • A new electric driveline dyno.

The engine dynos are similar to those used to develop GM’s production engines, but rated for the high output of racing engines. The gas and electric driveline dynos are firsts for GM Powertrain’s campus and are used to test axle differentials for NASCAR and IndyCar. The drive input capability for each is more than 1,000 hp and approximately 560 lb-ft of torque, while the drive output capability is approximately 885 hp and 2,500 lb-ft of torque.

Calibration – An electronics lab is used for the design, assembly and calibration of custom control systems that drive most of the racing and performance engines. Engineers are also able to make calibration changes in the dyno cells. In fact, the dynos can use telemetry data from the race cars’ control systems to replay an engine’s entire race, which can help with development of new engines and calibration changes for existing ones.

Interactive lobby and meeting space

In addition to its technical development areas, the new Performance and Racing Center also features an airy, modern and connected lobby that celebrates GM’s motorsports legacy, as well as a conference center that accommodates up to 125 people. It can be reserved by racing teams, component suppliers and even enthusiast clubs and organizations seeking a meeting location under the checkered flags of GM’s racing programs.

“Louis Chevrolet established GM’s racing legacy more than a century ago and every win since then has helped us design and build better vehicles,” said Campbell. “With the new Powertrain Performance and Racing Center, we will advance that legacy with greater competitiveness on the track and stronger technology transfer to production vehicles.”

IMSA Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta: How to watch, start times, schedule, entry list

AUTO: NOV 13 IMSA - Motul Petit Le Mans
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Start times, TV schedule: The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will conclude the 2022 season this weekend with the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta, which also will mark the end of the line for the DPi class.

The premier Daytona Prototype international category, which started in 2017, will be replaced by the new Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class with its LMDh cars that will establish a bridge to Le Mans.

For the third time in four years, an Acura will be crowned the champion in DPi as the No. 10 of Wayne Taylor Racing holds a 19-point edge over the No. 60 of Meyer Shank Racing.

Last year, WTR’s No. 10 entered the season finale with a 19-point lead but lost the title to the No. 31 Cadillac of Action Express.

Full-time WTR drivers Filipe Albuquerque and Ricky Taylor (who will be joined by Brendon Hartley in the No. 10 this weekend) have a series-leading four victories this season. The MSR duo of Tom Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves this weekend) won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and have five runner-up finishes this year.

Championship scenarios in the other four categories:

GTD Pro: Points leaders Matt Campbell and Mathieu Jaminet will clinch the title by starting in their No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.

–GTD: There are 140 points separating the top four teams with Roman De Angelis and the No. 27 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3 leading by 45 points.

–LMP2: John Farano is first in the driver standings by 33 points over Dwight Merriman and Ryan Dalziel. In the team standings, the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports leads by 19 points over the No. 8 Tower Motorsport (Farano’s team).

–LMP3: No. 54 CORE autosport drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun lead by 83 points over the No. 74 Riley Motorsports of Gar Robinson.

With the 10-hour race requiring an extra driver, several stars from other racing series have been added. In addition to Castroneves, Scott Dixon and Ryan Hunter-Reay will serve as third drivers in Chip Ganassi Racing’s pair of Cadillacs.

Jimmie Johnson also will be making his last DPi start in the No. 48 Ally Cadillac with Mike Rockenfeller and Kamui Kobayashi. Petit Le Mans could mark the last start in an IMSA prototype for Johnson, who has said limited inventory likely will keep him out of the GTP category in the Rolex 24 next year.

Here are the start times, starting lineup, schedule and TV info for the IMSA Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta (all times are ET):


Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta start times, schedule, TV info

When: Saturday, 12:10 p.m. ET

Race distance: Ten hours on the 12-turn, 2.54-mile road course

TV: Noon-3 p.m., NBC; 3-10:30 p.m., USA Network. Peacock, the NBC Sports App,and NBCSports.com will have streaming coverage of the event from flag to flag beginning at noon. Leigh Diffey and Dave Burns are the play by play announcers with analysts Calvin Fish, Townsend Bell, James Hinchcliffe and Brian Till. The pit reporters are Kevin Lee, Hannah Newhouse, Dillon Welch and Matt Yocum.

IMSA.com live TV qualifying stream: Friday, 3:35 p.m. ET.

IMSA Radio: All sessions are live on IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com; SiriusXM live race coverage will begin Saturday at noon (XM 207, Internet/App 992).

Forecast: According to Wunderground.com, it’s expected to be 63 degrees with an 85% chance of rain at the green flag.

Entry list: Click here to see the 48-car field for the IMSA Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta


Daily schedule IMSA Petit Le Mans

Here’s a rundown of the Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia:

Wednesday, Sept. 28

9:30 a.m.: Mazda MX-5 practice

10:25 a.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup

12:30 p.m.: Prototype Challenge practice

1:15 p.m.: Mazda MX-5 practcice

2 p.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup practice

3:30 p.m.: Michelin Challenge practice

Thursday, Sept. 29

8 a.m.: Prototype Challenge practice

9 a.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup qualifying

9:50 a.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

11:40 a.m.: Prototype Challenge qualifying

12:10 p.m.: Michelin Challenge practice

1:50 p.m.: Mazda MX-5, Race 1

2:55 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

5 p.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup, Race 1

6 p.m.: Michelin Challenge qualifying

7:30 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

Friday, Sept. 30

8 a.m.: Prototype Challenge race

9:50 a.m.: Mazda MX-5, Race 2

10:55 a.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup, Race 2

1:10 p.m.: IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race

3:40 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship qualifying

Saturday, Oct. 1

9:15 a.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

12:10 p.m.: Petit Le Mans