Author Archives: Jack Watson

Formula 1’s 5 Most Iconic Aerodynamic Designs

For decades now, Formula 1 has been entrenched in a war of aerodynamic development. The smallest winglet or strake in just the right position can completely change the balance and behaviour of a modern F1 car. This has escalated such that we now have regulations in place to physically restrict wind tunnel and CFD time allowed.

Aerodynamics may be at the forefront of F1 discussion these days but in truth, it’s always been playing on the engineer’s mind. Here are 5 of the biggest steps taken in F1’s quest for aerodynamic supremacy.

Streamlining

Streamlining to reduce drag gave early Formula 1 cars, such as this Maserati 250F, their distinct shape

It’s easy to look back on the early days of F1 as just putting the most powerful engine in the lightest frame possible. While there was some truth in that, there was always another common goal: make it as tightly packaged as possible. Vacuuming the metalwork around the chassis gave early single-seaters their distinctive cigar shape, reducing the effect of aerodynamic drag as they pushed through the air. However, newcomer to the sport, Mercedes-Benz, was about to exploit a surprising loophole. You see, while it may seem alien today, F1 cars never had to be open-wheelers.

The German team made their mark in 1954 with their straight-8 powered Silver Arrow, the W196. This fearsome challenger would go on to claim the titles in ’54 and ’55 with the help of its “Type Monza” bodywork. This was a trick taken from their pre-war days; going toe-to-toe with the fearsome 16 cylinder Auto Unions at tracks like the insane AVUS autobahn circuit. Specialised streamliner bodywork encased the racer, enclosing the wheels in the name of top speed.

The enclosed body of the low drag W196 cars gave them the look of a contemporary endurance racers. (Wikimedia Commons)

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This bodywork was only fitted at the very high speed circuits: Reims, Silverstone and, of course, Monza. While the bumpy Silverstone airfield circuit proved to be unsuitable for the aluminium cloak, the remaining events allowed it to shine. The ultra-high average speeds made possible by the cut in drag completely eliminated the weight penalty. This was partnered to a chassis and engine designed to a blank cheque, with drivers including Juan Manuel Fangio, Sir Stirling Moss and Karl Kling behind the wheel.

The indomitable crew hit a 75% win rate across it 2-year tenure. The unique bodies didn’t last long, however. The disaster at the 1955 24 Hours of Le Mans drove Mercedes out of motorsport entirely, taking their striking streamliners with them. It would take more than 3 decades for them to return to factory-backed competition.

Aerofoils

The early emergence of load-generating aerodynamics, seen here on the Lotus 49B at Zandvoort. (Wikimedia Commons)

In the following years, the mid-engine revolution gripped Formula 1. The success of the “garagistes” brought a new focus on low-weight and agility. Whilst introducing the DFV to the sport in 1967 had made Lotus arguably the team to beat, they had lost their exclusive right to the powerplant come the season’s end. Their engine advantage gone, the ever inventive Colin Chapman decided to experiment with inverted aerofoils, and introduced them on the updated 49B at the 1968 Monaco Grand Prix.

Lotus were not the first ever to use wings on a race car. That honour goes to Michael May’s Porsche 550 Spyder entered into the 1956 Nürburgring 1000km. Aerofoils were then popularised by multiple Chaparral Can-Am and endurance racers. Lotus were the first to introduce them to Grand Prix cars, though, adding a small pair of winglets to the nosecone partnered with a heavily sculpted cowling on the rear deck.

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The inevitable one-upmanship soon followed, as Ferrari and Brabham brought full width wings to Spa. Lotus responded by mounting their counterpart directly to the rear suspension uprights. They even introduced a variant at Mexico featuring active aerodynamics: the driver controlling the pitch of the wing via a 4th pedal, reducing its angle of attack and improving top speed. In a way, this was a precursor to the DRS system we see today.

This 1969 McLaren M7C shows how out of hand the race for downforce was getting. (Wikimedia Commons)

This all came to a head during the following season’s Spanish round. High wings now featured on both the front and rear suspension throughout the grid. However, the rough Montjuïc circuit exposed flaws in the design, as both Lotus cars suffered catastrophic failures when the wings folded and collapsed under the weight of their own downforce. This was the final straw, as many teams had previously suffered failure of the slender wing supports or the suspension components they mounted to. A total revision of the rules introduced wings to their modern form: comparatively low, mounted to the sprung chassis only.

Side-mounted Radiators

Despite continued updates with various aerodynamic addendum, it was clear the Lotus 49 had reached its limit after 3 years of service. This was exaggerated by Lotus losing a year plunging down the dead end that was the four-wheel-drive 63. Their eventual replacement would more than make up for it though, if not being the immediate groundbreaker its predecessor had been.

Lotus 72 (left) at the 1970 Dutch Grand Prix, its debut year. You can clearly see how the lack of a front mounted radiator allowed a much narrower front end compared to its contemporaries. (Wikimedia Commons)

Moving the radiators to the side of the car seems an almost inconsequential change to bring up. In reality, this is probably the most significant change on this list. With nothing left to package, the nose of the 72 could adopt the trademark wedge shape, improving the efficiency of the front winglets while also reducing drag. The considerable mass of the cooling system being moved to the middle of the car had similar benefits to the mid-engine concept as a whole, just on a smaller scale.

Debuting at Round 2 of the season, the car didn’t find immediate success, as its radical anti-squat and anti-dive suspension needed considerable refinement. Drivers also complained of the steering lacking feel, a byproduct of there being minimal vehicle weight on the front tyres. These complaints soon stopped when the drivers saw just what this car was capable of. Jochen Rindt was able to make the most of his steed, taking 4 straight wins on the way to his infamous posthumous title. Emerson Fittipaldi would secure the cars final win for its debut year at his home Grand Prix.

Later evolution of the 72, here in E specification, complete with ram-induction high airbox. (Wikimedia Commons)

Lotus had quite rightly stuck to their guns by continuing development of their new car, but it would shock most competitors with just how long they would do so. The car, upgraded to “D” specification in 1972, would bring Lotus a second constructors title since it’s introduction, with the aforementioned Fittipaldi taking his first F1 driver’s title. Lotus still weren’t done with this car though, eventually retiring it in “F” spec at the close of the 1975 season.

Ground Effect

Probably the most famous aero development in Formula 1, and once again we turn to Lotus for it’s introduction. The ground effect phenomenon was something of an accidental discovery. The team at the time were looking to use upward ejected heat from the radiators to produce downforce.

However, repeated usage of the wind tunnel model caused its sidepods to sag down, with the equipment registering a lower pressure between the deformed panel and the road surface. This was drastically improved when a side panel was put in place to prevent the low pressure flow escaping.

READ MORE: SPOTLIGHT ON A LEGEND: THE COSWORTH DFV

The curved underside of the sidepod acted the same way as a conventional wing, accelerating the airflow to reduce its pressure and suck the car to the ground. But being much larger than a conventional wing, it produced much more downforce, yet with a lower drag penalty.

This design was introduced on Lotus’ now famous 78, debuting at the 1977 season. It could have been readied sooner, but Chapman withheld the design to prevent his competitors being able to design a counterpart during the off-season. Further improving the new car’s performance was the addition of spring loaded rubber skirts. These were forced into the tarmac to seal the area under the sidepod, performing the same role as endplates on a wing and keeping the low pressure air from escaping.

While the car was doubtless a quantum leap forward aerodynamically, it was by no means perfect. The downforce generated by the ground effect was biased too far forward, meaning a large rear wing was required for aerodynamic balance and negating the low drag advantage of the new technology. Experimental Cosworth engines produced to fight the drag of the wing also proved unreliable. On its day though, the car was almost untouchable.

READ MORE: SPOTLIGHT ON A LEGEND: WHAT HAPPENED TO THE FORD DFV AFTER F1?

The car would evolve into the 79 for the following season, with the venturi tunnels now exiting between the rear wheels, rather than ahead of them. This stabilised the aerodynamics, making the large rear wing obsolete and allowing the engine to return to a more conservative state of tune. With the car refined, Mario Andretti would take his Driver’s crown, with Lotus unsurprisingly dominating the constructors championship.

The ultimate evolution of Lotus’s concept, complete with the sliding skirts that helped it produce downforce so effectively. (Wikimedia Commons)

High Nose

The success of the ground effect design would eventually lead to its own downfall. Skirts were banned to reduce speeds, particularly with the takeoff of turbocharging. As a countermeasure, teams took to running the cars with hugely stiff springs to keep ride height as low as possible, battering the drivers. For 1983, FISA called time on the design, regulating all cars to feature a flat floor.

While the shaped profiles were outlawed, the floor is still an exploitable area aerodynamically. Simply having a low ride height creates a similar effect to ground effect cars, but to a lesser degree. Any gain here would also be aided by much improved diffuser designs, as these had become increasingly intricate and effective.

Tyrrell unveiled their new 019 chassis, with its highly distinctive nose at the 1990 San Marino Grand Prix. The nosecone was elevated far above the track surface, with individual front wings reaching back down, leaving a clear tunnel to the floor. They had found the nosecone itself was causing more harm that good. Any air hitting the nose of the car would be deflected up towards the sidepods and rear wing, taking airflow away from the top surface of the front wings.

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There had been tentative experiments with high nose concepts the previous year as teams placed the front wing under the nosecone, then raised the entire assembly. However they stopped short of raising the bulkhead, as that was too much weight to elevate, which would harm the centre of gravity.

It didn’t take long for other teams to realise the aerodynamic potential of the raised nose. (Wikimedia Commons)

Tyrrell had discovered that the aerodynamic benefit of their design neutralised the CoG penalty, but reliability woes prevented them from capitalising on their advantage. The car excelled at low speed circuits, with rising star Jean Alesi taking podiums at Monaco and Phoenix. 1991 saw many of the grid follow the 019’s wheel tracks with their own variations on the concept, as it became clear that Tyrrell had been onto something. The concept is now inseparable from open wheel racers, and has even found its way into the design of closed cockpit endurance racers.

And that’s a wrap for Part 2! Be sure to check back soon for Part 3 where the chassis’ themselves will take centre stage!

Spotlight on a Legend: What Happened to the Ford DFV after Formula 1?

As you may have read already, the DFV had more than a staring role in the history of Formula 1. A reputation like that though, attracts attention and many others believed they had the perfect use for the V8 in other forms of motorsport. These are their stories.

Endurance Aspirations

Right from its initial release to the public, the DFV seemed like the ideal solution for many constructors needing an engine for their sportscars. The top class for endurance racing at the time was Group 6, occupying the prototype endurance racers. Meanwhile, limited-production sports and GT cars were housed in Group 4. By the time the DFV appeared, a 3L engine size limit had been written into the Group 6 rulebook. It appeared the timing couldn’t be better.

Ford Europe took it upon themselves to lead the way in this new class. The rules restructuring had rendered their monstrous 7 litre Mk.II and Mk.IV GT40s obsolete. Meanwhile, the 4.9L Mk.I version was still suitable for Group 4 GT racing duties, now in privateer hands. This led their Ford America counterpart to withdraw from the sport, crucially taking their financial clout with them.

The new regulations were designed to phase out the popular big-banger prototypes (Wikimedia Commons)

READ MORE: SPOTLIGHT ON A LEGEND: THE COSWORTH DFV

Collaborating with Alan Mann Racing, the European team produced the beautiful P68 prototype. This coupe was designed to fully exploit the Group 6 rules. The chassis and suspension closely echoed Grand Prix car designs whilst the aluminium body’s low 0.27 drag coefficient allowed a top speed approaching 220mph. All with the DFV placed at its heart. While initial tests raised some concerns its first race suggested it could be a race winner, qualifying 2nd and leading at times before retiring with driveshaft failure.

Ford’s gorgeous new prototype seemed to have potential early on (Wikimedia Commons)

The Cold Hard Truth

The pretty prototype certainly had potential, but it hid a nasty secret. The slippery body caused chronic instability issues, producing far more downforce on the front axle than the rear. This was fine on compact, low-speed British circuits but terrifying on the high-speed tracks in Europe.

The team stuck at it for 1969, even developing hydraulically-controlled active wings for a spider variant. But the FIA’s ban on high-mount aerofoils soon put pay to that idea. All the while, reliability issues hammered the car. In fact, the P68 failed to finish every event it entered.

Ford took extreme measures to make their new car co-operate (Primotipo)

Ford weren’t alone in trying their luck with the DFV. In fact, most produced much more competent competitors. However, Ford’s high-profile reliability issues, thanks to rushed development and funding restrictions, had hidden the DFV’s own unsuitability. Most issues were caused by it’s flat-plane crank. It allowed much faster engine responses at the cost of greater vibrations. In a long distance race, this escalated such that the V8 often shook itself apart.

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Other issues presented themselves too. Running the Cosworth in a closed body prototype of course meant less air passed over the engine. This wasn’t a problem in a conventional sense, water cooling with radiators managed combustion chamber temperatures as usual. Instead, smaller mechanical components in the top of the engine started to overheat during longer races. The timing gear was particularly vulnerable.

Being designed for single-seater usage, the engine heads were expected to be exposed (Wikimedia Commons)

In a formula car, the engine would be exposed, allowing passing airflow to offer secondary cooling. The shorter sprint races also reduced heat build up in the first place. For endurance, low drag bodies took priority, trapping heat and weakening smaller high speed components, leading to near-inevitable failure.

Fortune Favours the Brave

1975 marked a turning point for the engine’s track record, and at greatest event in endurance racing; the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Due to the ongoing effects of the 1973 Oil Crisis, a minimum fuel stint length of 20 laps was introduced to bring some focus to fuel economy. The front running Alfa Romeo and Renault-Alpine teams knew their cars couldn’t meet this at a reasonable pace and withdrew, while 1974 winners Matra, with nothing left to prove left sportscars for Formula 1.

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This was an opportunity for smaller teams like JWA. Famous for their 1968/9 wins in the Gulf liveried GT40s, they had since become a constructor in their own right with their Mirage prototypes. Given the unique nature of this year’s race JWA prepped their new GR8 for it specifically, focussing on a low drag but highly stable design propelled by the DFV.

Their biggest rivals would be Ligier. Realising they would not be able to homologate their JS2 for the GT classes, they went all out for an overall win, replacing the usual Maserati V6 with a race-ready Cosworth V8 too. For the sake of fuel efficiency, both entries detuned their V8s, dropping the rev limit to 8400 rpm and power down to approximately 380 bhp.

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The Gulf Mirages took first blood, converting their 1-2 start from qualifying into a race lead. The Ligiers had to settle for 3rd and 5th, split by a Joest run Porsche 908. The #10 Mirage of Vern Schuppan and Jean-Pierre Jaussaud led the sister #11 car of Jacky Ickx and Derek Bell initially, untill swapping at the first pitstops. From there they pulled away, both putting a 3 lap lead on the 3rd placed Ligier by 9pm. At half distance, 2 of the 3 Ligiers entered had retired, while the #10 Mirage had lost 5 laps to a gearbox change, dropping it to 3rd behind the remaining JS2, the #5 of Jean Louis Lafosse and Guy Chassuell.

From here, things remained fairly static until late race drama. The leading #11 Mirage had 2 unscheduled stops to remedy gearbox and electrical issues resepectively. This cut their advantage to under 2 laps with just 2 hours remaining. The surviving Ligier was ordered to run flat out to the chequered flag, reliability be damned. As the clock struck 4pm though, they hadn’t done enough. The #11 Mirage of Bell and Ickx took victory by a single lap to the Ligier, while the sister Mirage kept 3rd. A remarkable podium sweep for Cosworth.

The #11 crew would take the 1975 spoils (SuperCars.net)

The sprinter would again succeed at Circuit de la Sarthe under similar circumstances in 1980. Impending rule changes blunted the competition, while torrential race during the early hours dulled the pace. Local hero Jean Rendeau would ultimately succeed, winning a race long game of cat-and-mouse against the much faster Porsche 908/80 of Ickx and Joest in a car of his own design and construction.

Home at Last

As ground effect Group C cars became the premier prototype class, the Cosworth remained popular as it had in F1. However, greater effort was made to make the engine suitable for the role. Known as the DFL, 2 versions were produced. A 3.9L unit catered for the most powerful C1 class, whilst a destroked 3.3L version was aimed at C2. This was the entry point for Group C with reduced costs and stricter fuel allowances on the smaller capacity engines to benefit privateer entries.

Ultimately, the 3.9L DFL still suffered it’s F1 routes, and overall success in the World Sportscar Championship would forever pass it by. Despite the redesign, the flat-plane crankshaft had to be maintained, bringing the familiar high-speed vibrations and concurrent reliability woes with it. Ford had once again tried to lead the way, but their C100 suffered all manner of reliability issues, much akin to its P68 predecessor.

Ford’s factory sportscar efforts continued to struggle in the Group C era (Wikimedia Commons)

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The C2 class was a different story. As mentioned earlier, fuel restrictions were enforced throughout the field; the cars limited to 330 litres for a 1000km race. This allowed teams to run 3.3L DFL engines understressed, especially compared to competitors using smaller turbocharged units, as was often the case.

With time, it became the darling of the category. Courage, Eccurie Eccosse and especially Spice found much success, taking 5 Le Mans class wins and 4 class championships between them. The 3.3 DFL was a faithful powerplant right up to C2’s disillusion in the early 90’s. This marked the slow end for the category as a whole, as it was torn apart from within. But that’s a story for another time.

Spice would be the most successful of C2 competitors (Wikimedia Commons)

The American Dream

It’s no real surprise our staring hero made a home in the States, but it did so under much more controversial circumstances. By 1975, turbocharging dominated Indycar racing, but time was finally catching up with their venerable Offenhauser engines. The unlimited boost pressure teams subjected their engines to was becoming too much too often for the big 4 cylinder, leaving many to search elsewhere for a more reliable option. One such team was Parnelli.

They had working knowledge of the Cosworth DFV through F1, competing with their VPJ4. So, they decided to prepare an experimental version for Indycar duty. After a thorough re-engineering, including a drop in capacity to 2.65 litres, the Cosworth Turbo was ready for the final round of the 1975 USAC season, taking 5th on debut. Buoyed by this strong result, the team committed to a full season the following year with the new engine.

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The project gained momentum and performance throughout 1976, with Parnelli scoring wins at Pocono, Milwaukee and Phoenix to secure 4th in the championship.  All this by a totally independent outfit with no support from Cosworth. Keith Duckworth (the “worth” in Cosworth) was famously against turbocharging and thought the whole project folly. It was a pointless endeavour chasing the 850bhp+ needed for Indycar with an engine only initially designed to produce 500bhp.

But the results didn’t lie. In fact the project had become so successful, Parnelli planned to become a distributor of Cosworth engines for Indycar, inviting Duckworth to Pocono for discussions. Seeing the performance of the Parnelli-Cosworth first hand, Duckworth instead poached 2 of the project’s lead engineers. This brought the design back in-house to Cosworth, allowing them to continue development themselves and cut Parnelli out of the equation.

The turbocharged Cosworth DFX remained popular long into the CART era (Wikimedia Commons)

Big backing only enhanced the engine’s potential, now known as the DFX. It became the next must-have powerplant for Indycar, with Penske, Mclaren and the Lightnings of Fletcher Racing joining Parnelli in Cosworth power for 1977. That year marked the first of 12 straight championship titles for the turbocharged V8, while 10 consecutive Indianapolis 500 wins would follow from 1978 onwards.

So there you have it. How one little engine went on to make its mark all across the globe. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed this jaunt through the archives!

Spotlight on a Legend: The Cosworth DFV

It’s hard to get your head round just how much of an impact the Cosworth DFV has had on Formula 1. Without it though, an entire decade’s worth of wins and championships in the sport will have played out very differently.

Many teams even owe their entire existence to this engine, including Tyrrell and Minardi (the precursors to Mercedes and AlphaTauri respectively), as well as McLaren and Williams.

The Origin Story

In 1966, the FIA increased engine capacity from 1.5L to 3L. Introduced at very short notice, most teams were stuck making do with hastily bored and stroked versions of their existing 1500cc engines. Lotus was one such team; both their BRM and Coventry Climax 2L V8s were underpowered, and the experimental BRM 3L H16 engine barely worked at all. Meanwhile, Jack Brabham and his Brabham-Repco BT20 took both titles that year.

Lotus however, had a plan. Through the supremely successful campaigning of the Ford-Lotus Cortinas in touring car racing, they had acquired Ford factory support for the Formula 1 team, giving them some sway over the American giant’s motorsport decisions. Using this, they convinced Ford Europe to collaborate with Cosworth on a brand new F1 engine for the 1967 season.

The Lotus 49 was the first F1 car to use the DFV

The DFV had pace fresh out the box. Comfortably surpassing the Repco engine for performance, it won on debut at Zandvoort with Jim Clark behind the wheel. Clark took a further three wins at the British, American and Mexican rounds of the championship. But it wasn’t enough.

Lotus was infamous for building fast but fragile cars, something Clark’s team mate Graham Hill came to learn the hard way. Of the nine rounds Hill entered, seven would end in retirement. This ultimately blunted their performance allowing Denny Hulme to take the title, another for Brabham.

READ MORE: FORMULA 1’S 5 MOST ICONIC ENGINES EVER

Despite this, Lotus had shown their hand. The whole grid knew of their engine’s potential and it was only a matter of time until it was fully exploited. Ford knew this too, and became concerned about bad publicity. It could all too easily be spun that they were only successful because they were competing against inferior machinery. Intent to avoid this, Ford decided to openly market the engine through Cosworth, with Colin Chapman reluctantly agreeing.

What became available

Ford Europe had placed huge investment into the DFV’s development. They made a conscious decision not to rush it into service for the first year of the 3L formula. Instead, Cosworth were given the time they needed to properly develop the engine before their assault on the ’67 season. This went as far as developing the FVA, an Inline-4 variant and essentially a single bank of the F1 V8, for Formula 2.

Lessons learned campaigning the F2 spec FVA were directly applied to it’s DFV big brother

The availability of the DFV was a massive turning point for the sport. This was a lightweight, powerful and reliable engine (most of Lotus’ DNFs in ’67 were failures of their own gearbox and suspension), that anyone with aspirations of glory could just go out and buy. As well as this, the DFV was cheap, even by the standards of the day. For the equivalent of £130,000 today, you could by an F1 engine that easily had the capability to win races.

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The design also lent itself to being mounted as a stressed member. This meant that the engine could be bolted directly to the back of a monocoque chassis, then mount the rear suspension directly to the gearbox. The result: a lighter yet stiffer car compared to a conventional tubular frame.

Glory and Ground Effect

In 1968, five teams chose the Cosworth, the next year, 13. You can see a trend developing here. It was all the proof anyone needed that the DFV was the engine to have. This early demand meant that later entries to the sport had even easier access, since both engine and parts supply were even more readily-available.

McLaren’s beautiful 1968 M7A was another car to make full use of the DFV

This escalated to the point that during the 1970s, new entries could almost consider producing an F1 “kit car”. Buy a DFV, pair it to a Hewland FG400 gearbox, then bolt the whole affair into an aluminium chassis with the DFV a fully-stressed member. March, Matra and Wolf among many others found success in this method, all taking wins in their debut seasons as constructors.

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The introduction of ground effect aerodynamics in the late 70s only reinforced the Cosworth V8’s popularity in the F1 paddock. Its small size and comparatively acute 90° bank angle was a godsend for aerodynamicists at the time. This kept it out the way of the venturi tunnels that now swept under the bodies of the cars, maximising the downforce they created.

Prioritizing the sculpted sidepods of ground effect cars like the Lotus 79 kept the DFV in favour

The engine’s closest rivals were the Ferrari and Alfa Romeo Flat-12s, whose wide and low design seriously compromised the underbody aerodynamics. This led Brabham to develop their infamous BT46B Fan Car, in a desperate attempt to claw back downforce.

Turbo Troubles

As the eighties rolled in, Cosworth’s near monopoly on the sport began to waver. Renault had shown the way forward in 1977, and turbocharging was gaining traction. By 1982, they were joined by Brabham-BMW, Toleman-Hart and Ferrari in the hunt for turbocharged torque.

These teams had a slight power advantage, this increasing at high altitude tracks. They could also increase boost pressure at will, allowing for blisteringly fast qualifying runs or to ease overtaking.

The 1977 Renault was the first turbocharged Formula 1 car and marked the beginning of the end for the DFV in F1

Cosworth’s retaliation was the DFY, a new variant of the DFV with a revised aspect ratio and updated valvetrain. Well-funded privateers such as McLaren and Williams also modified their V8s independently, producing lightened pistons and conrods. The result for either was around 520bhp. Still down on a turbo car, but the lighter weight and lower fuel loads required for the V8 countered this.

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In 1982, for the first time in years, the Cosworth had proper competition. Ultimately, reliability woes blunted the boosted challenge. The turbo cars were much harder on gearboxes and brakes. The turbochargers themselves were also highly suspect. Keke Rosberg’s Williams-Cosworth took the drivers crown, but it was Ferrari that secured the constructors honours.

In 1982, the turbo cars often led away, but struggled to last the distance

The following year would see Honda, Porsche and Alfa Romeo present turbo offerings. Piquet would take the driver’s crown with his Brabham-BMW, whilst Ferrari secured a second constructors title. The 16-year-old Cossie had one last victory in it, Michele Alboreto taking victory at Detroit in his Tyrrell. But it was clear the writing was on the wall.

1985 was the original DFV’s final race. Martin Brundle’s Tyrrell marked its swansong at the Austrian Grand Prix. Such had been the improvement of the turbocharged engines, the FIA decided to make them mandatory for the 1986 season onwards. The DFV and its DFY sibling were retired at last.

Life After Death

As it turned out, the DFV’s retirement wouldn’t last long. 1000bhp was child’s play during qualifying, but coming from such a small capacity engine in cars weighing no more than 500kg was a disaster in waiting, all at costs that made even the decadent world of F1 shudder. 3.5L naturally aspirated cars were reintroduced in 1987, with turbos banned outright in 1989.

This marked an unexpected return for the 20-year-old engine. Cosworth modified the DFY for reintroduction, increasing capacity to the 3.5L limit and modernising where necessary. Compared to what would come later, the new DFZ was incredibly basic, but that was just the point. It was a cheap option for cash-strapped teams to get through the end of the turbo era, while Ford and Cosworth worked on a clean sheet design.

Cars like Benetton’s B188 continued the DFV’s legacy on

Now, that should be the end of it, but as you may have worked out, this V8 has a habit of sticking around. Since 1987, Benetton represented Ford’s factory presence in F1, and knew the DFZ’s modest updates wouldn’t cut it. Using the engine’s basic architecture as a base, the team produced their own engine specifically for the new formula.

The new DFR debuted in 1988. With 620bhp available, it was easily the most powerful N/A car in the field, 30bhp more than the DFZ. Unfortunately, McLaren-Honda’s whitewash of the season put pay to any championship aspirations. 3rd overall was still a valiant effort, with Nannini and Boutsen reaching the podium seven times.

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The DFR was made available to interested customers the following year, replacing the DFZ altogether. However, no one could repeat it’s previous success. Benetton again led the Cosworth charge, but could only manage 4th in the constructors.

Age had finally caught up to the DF- series. While race proven, no amount of improvements could keep up with the new breed of engines. The lack of a pneumatic valvetrain was its biggest problem, preventing it from reaching the ever increasing engine speeds of its rivals. It finally retired in 1991, 24 years on from the original’s introduction, as Ford and Cosworth focused on their new HB engine.

So there you have it. I don’t think a single engine has done more for Formula 1. But that’s not all. The DFV became rather well travelled throughout it’s 25 year career. Keep an eye out for our follow-up article, where I will show you just how far reaching this little V8’s aspirations were.

Formula 1’s 5 Most Iconic Engines ever

In this four part series, we will bring you the most significant and historic developments that F1 has ever seen in its over 70 year history. Today, we’ll be kicking off with the five most iconic engines in the history of the sport, including one that the Mercedes, McLaren, AlphaTauri and Williams teams owe their existence:

Cosworth DFV (1968-1985)

Key specs: 3.0L V8, 408bhp @ 9,000rpm (1968) to 510bhp @ 11,200rpm (1983)

The Cosworth DFV is probably the definitive F1 engine. It was born out of an exclusive deal between Lotus, Ford and Cosworth. However, Ford grew worried of bad press due to the pace advantage they held over their competitors. So, they decided to sell the engine to customer teams through Cosworth from 1969 onwards.

What became available was a small, power-dense and relatively cheap engine, about £140k in today’s money for a front running F1 engine. It could also be mounted as a stressed member, reducing overall car weight and improving chassis stiffness. Of course, more and more teams took to using it for their Formula 1 ambitions.

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It continued to be the engine to have for teams up and down the paddock until turbocharging became commonplace in the early 80s. It may have been lightweight and, by now, phenomenally reliable, but it simply couldn’t compete with the monstrous power available through forced induction. Its final race was the 1985 Austrian Grand Prix.

All in all, the DFV managed 155 wins from 267 entries, a 58% win ratio across its 18 year lifespan. Updated DFY, DFZ and DFR versions saw it remain in service until 1991. It also saw success at Le Mans taking 2 overall wins, 10 consecutive Indy 500 victories, and gave those previously mentioned teams their starts in F1.

Renault EF1 (1977-1983)

Key specs: 1.5L Turbocharged V6, 510bhp @ 11,000rpm (1977) to 700bhp @ 11,000rpm (1983)

The 1970s saw the introduction of turbocharging with the installation of the EF1 engine into Renault’s RS01 chassis. Forced induction wasn’t new in Grand Prix racing; supercharging had been commonplace during the pre-war years, right up to the beginnings of the world championship in the 1950s.

This was however, the first use of turbocharging in Formula 1. The engine’s exhaust gas spins the compressor via a co-axial turbine, instead of a belt to the crankshaft, as in supercharging. This produces less “drain” (known as parasitic loss) on the energy produced by combustion in the piston, making the system more efficient.

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Modern F1 had allowed forced induction since 1966. However, as engine performance had developed over time, most manufacturers didn’t see the point. They believed it to be too heavy and complex for something as light as an F1 car. Besides, regulations required that the engine would have to be half the size of a naturally aspirated counterpart. So, this would negate any performance benefit anyway.

In terms of pace, Renault’s effort immediately disproved the naysayers, matching the venerable DFV for power out the box. Where they suffered badly was reliability. The RS01 acquired the name “The Turbo Teapot”; it was all too often seen steaming trackside thanks to issues with overheating and turbo longevity.

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Renault persevered however. They replaced the single turbo configuration with a pair of smaller units, one fed by each bank of the V6. This worked far better for the small capacity engine. The smaller turbines needed less exhaust gas to spin them up to working speed, reducing the turbo-lag that had plagued the drivers. Later developments brought a water injection system to increase the density of the intake air, as well as a pneumatic valvetrain, allowing the engine to reach a higher rev ceiling.

It took time, but eventually the EF1 proved itself, taking its first win, the first of any turbocharged F1 engine, in 1979. While Renault never took a championship during its first F1 stint, they did show the way forward in terms of engine design.

Turbos became the norm right up until their eventual ban in 1989. At their peak, its rumoured that 1400bhp was possible from qualifying spec turbo engines, still only displacing 1.5 litres.

Renault RS1-RS9B (1989-1997)

Key specs: 3.5-3.0L V10, 650bhp @ 13,300rpm (1989) to 760bhp @ 16,000rpm (1997)

This is a slightly vaguer entry to this list, since it covers a wider range of developments from a single platform. However, this engine series is too successful to ignore and marked Renault’s return to the sport since withdrawing at the close of the 1986 season.

They chose a V10 design to power the Williams FW12C, who had exclusive access to the new RS1 engine. One note of the V10’s design was a pneumatic valvetrain; a first on such an engine configuration, and a revival of the technology that Renault had debuted on their “EF15 Type B” turbocharged V6 in 1986.

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This system replaces the camshafts at the top of the engine. Instead, pressurised air acts on small piston connected to the valve stem to open and close it. This allows the engine to reach a much higher rev ceiling. By about 12,000rpm, conventional valvetrains start to reach their limits.

The camshaft spins so fast that the valve following it can come away from the cam lobe as it turns from opening to closing. This is called valve float, which can allow contact between the piston and valve, causing catastrophic failure. The pneumatic system can change valve direction much faster, eliminating any float.

READ MORE: F1 2021 REGULATION CHANGES: EXPLAINED

Renault’s engine was strong from the outset; slightly behind the mighty Honda, but comfortably ahead of the other offerings throughout the field. By 1992, their work paid off and the V10, now in RS4 form propelled Mansell and his all-conquering FW14B to glory.

In 1995, the FIA reduced engine capacity to 3.0L. Such was the strength of their engine package, Renault left the V10 largely unchanged. The only significant update to the RS7 was a reduction in piston stroke (how far up and down the piston travels) to meet the new lower capacity. This also marked the end of Williams’ exclusive usage, as Benetton took up a Renault supply deal.

READ MORE: 2022 IMSA SPORTSCAR REGULATION CHANGES EXPLAINED

This arrangement remained until the eventual withdrawal of Renault from F1 for the second time at the close of the 1997 season. As it turned out, the 1992 success was only just the beginning. The result was 6 straight titles between Williams and Benetton (’92-’97). In the 3.0L formula, Renault engines also managed a 74% win rate.

BMW P84/5 (2004-2005)

Key Specs: 3.0L V10, 950hp @ 19,000rpm (2005)

BMW were no strangers to powerful engines when they returned to F1 with Williams in 2000. During the turbo era, their 4 cylinders were often the most powerful in the field. The Brabhams and Benettons had that suspected 1400bhp I mentioned earlier at their disposal for 1986. For their return though, a naturally aspirated 3 litre V10 engine was mandatory.

Their initial design was quite conservative, with many improvements possible covering power output, weight and centre of gravity. However, an aggressive development strategy throughout the 2001 season closed the gap significantly to their competitors.

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Unfortunately, this came at the expense of torrid reliability throughout the following season. With persistence however, the main characteristics of the engine were finalised by 2003. The concept could be refined, and BMW began to hit their stride.

With the 2004 P84, BMW became the first engine supplier to break the 19,000rpm barrier. They were also the most powerful, eclipsing even Ferrari during their most dominant era. This performance culminated during pre-qualifying for the 2004 Italian Grand Prix, as Juan Pablo Montoya guided his Williams FW36 around Monza.

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With the V10 shrieking behind him, he set the fastest ever lap seen in Formula 1 history. A time of 1.19.525 meant an average speed of 162.950mph, a record that would not be surpassed until 2018, also at Monza.

Improvements in production processes allowed for much more precise castings of both the engine block and cylinder heads. This meant that engineers could work to much finer tolerances, reducing the engine’s weight. For its final season, the P84/5 weighed in at 84kg, 11kg less than the V8 engines that would replace it in 2006.

READ MORE: 2021 LE MANS HYPERCAR REGULATIONS EXPLAINED

It’s worth remembering that this development work took place when the FIA took its first (all be it small) steps to extend engine life. In 2004, engines had to last a whole weekend. This was doubled in 2005, aiming to reduce both engine output and development costs. A far cry from today’s reliability requirements, but it was a start.

The power output was only a temporary issue. BMW once again produced a class leading engine, producing 950bhp with a 20,000rpm rev ceiling. At Monza that year, Montoya was back in the record books. This time hitting 232.523mph, the highest speed ever seen by an F1 car.

Mercedes-AMG PU106A Hybrid (2014)

Key Specs: 1.6L Turbocharged V6, 700bhp+215bhp MGU-K output (approximate)

Any F1 fan of late knows the dominance that Mercedes-AMG has displayed from 2014. Since the introduction of the turbocharged V6 hybrid power units, Mercedes engines have won 103 of the 138 races they have started. That’s a 75% success rate across 7 years, and still counting! And this was the engine that started it all.

One of the biggest advantages Mercedes had with their new hybrid engine was their chosen design for the turbocharger, which they continue to use. It was certainly the most talked about at the time. A conventional turbo will have the compressor and turbine bolted together to make a very compact assembly. They are then normally placed near the exhaust side of an engine to improve responsiveness.

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Mercedes have taken a different approach. The compressor and turbine still share an axle as necessary, but are split from each other. The turbine is at the rear of the engine and compressor at the front. This “split turbocharger” is placed in between the banks of the V6. This reduces the overall size of the engine. The split design of the turbo also presents the perfect place to put the MGU-H motor-generator.

There are other benefits. The compressor and intake side of the engine are closer together compared to conventional turbocharging. This gives the air less time to heat up, so smaller intercoolers can be used. This reduces both weight and drag in the sidepods.

This attention to detail, and focus on interlinking benefits, should give you some idea of how the Silver Arrows have come to dominate the sport, with this power unit in particular taking every pole position of the 2014 season.

So that’s it for Part 1! Be sure to check in for Part 2 where we will be shining a light on the standout aero tech that has been seen over the years.

F1 2021 Regulation changes: explained

With the F1 season wrapping up last weekend, the teams will have been flat out behind the scenes to maximise the performance to be gained ahead of 2021. These may not be the new breed of cars that had initially been hoped for, but that doesn’t make them any less significant, from a technical or sporting perspective.

So, with that in mind, let’s see what we can expect from Formula 1 in 2021!

Technical changes

There are 4 changes regarding the cars themselves for 2021. The eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed teams testing full 2021 spec aerodynamic packages in order to gather early data. There is now a triangular exclusion zone in place, forcing the floor of an F1 car to now taper in at the rear, towards the inner edges of the rear wheels.

A smaller size means there’s less surface area for the floor to work the air passing under the car, leading to a reduction in downforce.

A second change to this area is a banning of the complex array of holes and slots that have adorned the edges of the floor in recent years. These manipulate the air passing through them in such a way that they seal up the floor.

This is similar to how the endplates of a conventional wing keeps the slower moving air on top of it separated from the faster moving air passing underneath. Without these, the airflows can mix, reducing the difference in air pressure across the floor, therefore cutting downforce loads again.

READ MORE: 2022 IMSA SPORTSCAR REGULATION CHANGES EXPLAINED

A similar change has been targeted with the diffuser the strakes. These are the vertical fences hanging underneath the rear of the car and they have been shortened. This has a similar effect to the floor changes, preventing the diffuser sealing its faster flowing air against the road surface as effectively, therefore reducing its ability to produce downforce.

The final aerodynamic change is much more direct. The rear brake ducts are allowed to have small aerofoils in their construction, allowing a small amount of downforce to be applied directly to the rear wheels, rather than being dampened by acting on the car’s suspension. From next year, any of these winglets in the lower half of the duct will have to be shortened by 40mm, reducing their effectiveness.

Why have the FIA made these changes?

The reason for the FIA chasing the downforce cut is due to the tyres. Pirelli will be using the same design of tyre for a third consecutive year, meaning that concerns were raised over the aerodynamic loads they would be able to withstand, as F1 naturally evolves. The changes are estimated to reduce downforce by 10%. However, the engineers will already be clawing back some of that deficit.

READ MORE: 2021 LE MANS HYPERCAR REGULATIONS EXPLAINED

Lastly, the cars will be slightly heavier, with minimum weights increasing to 749kg, whilst the power unit specifically increases to 150kg. The aim here is to prevent a spending war, as manufactures chase research and development in to highly exotic, and therefore expensive, lightweight materials.

Sporting Regulations

The 2021 season will see the introduction of a long-awaited cost cap to the sport. The base figure for this year will be $145m for teams to spend on most areas of their infrastructure, based on a 21-race calendar, with adjustments made depending on the final number of races set at the start of the season.

A cost cap will potentially allow for other teams to challenge for wins and podiums more regularly

Measures have also been put in place to prevent the copying that has been seen this year. Racing Point’s 2020 entry having used a near direct replica of Mercedes’ W10 from the previous year. From now on, teams will be limited to conventional photos and video to get an insight into a competitor’s design, rather than the use of 3D photography and scanning. The design process itself will also be much more strictly monitored by the FIA.

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The changes to wind tunnel time allowances will also be in place during the off-season. The lower a team has finished in the constructors table, the greater amount of time they will be able to spend on aerodynamic research and validation. Likewise, a slight penalty is applied to the most successful teams, with 5th place being used as the datum point.

All this means that 5th place in the constructor’s championship, in this case Renault, will have an unchanged wind tunnel allowance compared to the regulated maximum. Meanwhile, champions Mercedes will be restricted to 90% of the allowance, whilst last-place finishing Williams will have 112.5%.

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Finally, in a bid to restrict car development to reduce the season’s cost on teams, a token system is being introduced. These act as an allowance on what can and cannot be developed on the car and will be used up weather a change is made to a component for performance, or not.

A team this will adversely affect more than others in the short term is McLaren. Since they are changing engine supplier, from Renault to Mercedes, the changes they will need to make to their chassis and gearbox will use these tokens up. This will mean they have highly limited options for vehicle development.

2021 Le Mans Hypercar Regulations explained

Last weekend saw the end of an era. The #7 Toyota TS050 of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobyashi and José Maria Lopez took the final win, and the championship, in the Hybrid LMP1 era of the WEC.

These rolling laboratories have produced some of the most technologically impressive cars in motorsport history. They’ve also produced epic on-track battling to boot, but rising costs have decimated their appeal to manufacturers.

This issue had been known for some time, so since 2018, the replacement to the class, now known as Le Mans Hypercar, has been in development with a single key goal: Get the manufactures back to sportscar racing.

The Story So Far

The Le Mans Hypercar (LMH) regulations have had quite a turbulent development since they were announced to replace LMP1 in 2018.

Pressure from manufacturers led the regulations to be adapted to allow racing versions of road legal hypercars, echoing the fire-breathing GT1 cars of the late 1990s.

BEST OF BOTH WORLDS: The IMSA merger was confirmed this year

An announcement at the 24 Hours of Daytona in January saw a small, but incredibly significant change, as convergence with the IMSA Sportscar Championship in America was confirmed.

This will see both power and weight reduced, as well as aerodynamic efficiency restrictions to be put in place to mimic those of the newly announced LMDh regulations.

READ MORE: 2022 IMSA Sportscar Regulations Explained

Then, as if development hadn’t been difficult enough, the global situation made delays to any programs that were underway inevitable.

Therefore, the decision was taken to push back the introduction of the class to 2021, allowing constructors more time to develop their vehicles, after lockdown restrictions were eased.

Chassis and Body

As stated previously, a manufacture wanting to enter the LMH formula has 2 options for constructing a car. As would normally be done for this style of car, bespoke racing prototypes can be produced from a “clean sheet” design, only focussing on the regulations of the racing series.

Alternatively, they can derive a racing version from a road-legal hypercar. There could be some performance differences available by taking this option, particularly in the hybrid system. However, this means that at least 20 road going versions must be produced.

Regardless of the option chosen, these cars will be dimensionally very similar to the LMDh vehicles they will eventually compete alongside in 2022. They will have a total length and width of 5m and 2m respectively, with a 3.15m wheelbase.

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All cars will have a minimum weight of 1030kg, regardless whether or not they are using a hybrid system (more on that shortly). Meanwhile, a Balance Of Performance (BOP) formula similar to what is already used in GTE will be applied to all cars in the class. So, up to 50kg of ballast can be added to that at the ACO’s behest.

In terms of aerodynamics, cockpits will be much wider that we are currently used to for an endurance racing prototype. This will bring the aerodynamic performance around the driver to a comparable level between to 2 types of car design, causing them both to look much closer to a conventional 2-seater supercar. Overall aerodynamic performance will also be closely regulated.

Finally active aerodynamics, which were initially to be included as they are so commonly used on road-legal supercars, have now been banned due to cost concerns.

Engine and Hybrid Systems

The headline stat here is a maximum power of 500kW (670bhp). This has been reduced from an initial limit of 585kW (795bhp) in order to allow convergence with the incoming LMDh regulations, as used by IMSA.

Compared to the outgoing LMP1 regulations, there have been significant changes as well. Diesel powered engines are now banned otherwise, engine design is free. This includes the option of using a Wankel rotary engine now being possible.

Hybrid systems meanwhile, are optional, with a maximum output of 200kW (268bhp) and All Wheel Drive allowed. Only the front axle can be powered in a prototype design but, if the manufacturer is producing a production-based vehicle, then the hybrid system has to be identical to the car it is based on.

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Cars choosing to use hybrid technology will be subject to a “deployment threshold”. When on slick tyres, the hybrid motors cannot drive the car until it has reached a speed of 120kph (75mph). When on either intermediate or full wet weather tyres, this increases to between 140kph to 160kph (86mph-100mph).

This, in theory, should reduce the advantage the hybrid cars will have over non-hybrids, especially when leaving slow corners. However, it is yet to be seen if this will have an effect on how the different style of cars can get past the slower LMP2 and GTE traffic during a race.

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As Toyota as proven this season, that is how they gained their advantage over their privateer competition, rather than raw lap pace.

Competitors

Currently, there are 4 entries confirmed to the LMH regulations. Toyota and ByKolles will be joined by first time World Endurance Championship competitors Glickenhaus. While Peugeot will return to the championship in 2022 after an 11-year absence.

NEW KID ON THE BLOCK: Glickenhaus will make their series debut next year

Aston Martin had initially been planning to enter the series with a car based on their Valkyrie hypercar. However, this operation was postponed soon after convergence was announced and planned to evaluate its options regarding a return to endurance racing.

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With the brand now looking to make a full scale assault on Formula 1, it seems unlikely this project will get back under way.

Performance

All these changes will slow the cars down significantly when compared to the old LMP1 cars. The FIA and ACO had targeted a lap time of 3:30 around Le Mans, more than 15 seconds slower than the current qualifying lap record.

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The trade off for this is that the regulations have been changed to mainly cut costs, meaning that there is renewed manufacturer interest. This is then coupled with the incoming convergence plans, which should only serve to increase competition in the premier class of endurance racing.

2022 IMSA Sportscar Regulation Changes Explained

This week sees the finale of the 2020 IMSA Sportscar Championship get underway with the 12 Hours of Sebring. It also sees the beginning of the end of the DPi cars, the current top class in IMSA competition.

Changes for 2022

Image credit: IMSA.com

Both Mazda and Cadillac are scaling down their factory-backed entries, whilst Acura will be withdrawing altogether, allowing its pair of ARX-05s to be campaigned in private hands.

We’re going to be rounding everything we know of their, now finalised, replacement for 2022: the Le Mans Daytona hybrids, or LMDh.

READ MORE: THE PROBLEM WITH WRC COVERAGE

As the name suggests, there have been 2 key areas on change within the regulations. A hybrid aspect has been introduced to reinforce relevance to current road car technology.

Also, the ruleset has been developed in tandem with the ACO, leading to the long awaited convergence of top-flight prototypes between the American IMSA and global WEC series.

Chassis

As with the outgoing regulations, the existing chassis theory will be maintained for LMDh. All cars in the class will be based on a new generation 2023 spec LMP2 “spine”; this being the complete car, minus any of the powertrain or bodywork components.

PRODIGY: The new LMDh’s will be based upon a future LMP2 car

These will be constructed by the one of the 4 mandated manufacturers set by the FIA (Multimatic, Oreca, Dallara and Ligier). All will share common dimensions of 5.1m length by 2m width with a wheelbase of 3.15m.

Minimum vehicle weight is set at 1030kg, while a downforce to drag ratio of 4:1 has been specified. This simply means that for every 4 kilos of downforce being produced by the aerodynamics, they must produce 1 kilo of drag as a result.

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This will prevent huge budgets being poured into aero development, keeping costs down and racing close. Further to this, all cars will also share a control floor design.

One key draw of the DPi class was the ability for surface bodywork to be changed in order to better reflect a manufacturer’s design language. This will continue with the new class, theoretically allowing teams to fully differentiate themselves from each other even if using the same base chassis.

Powertrain

The total maximum power output of the cars is capped at 500kW (670bhp), a portion of which is provided via a hybrid system.

In a further measure to prevent cost spiralling out of control, as is often still too easy with this technology, the entire hybrid portion of the powertrain is standardised across all entries.

Bosch supply a 50kW motor, and its associated controller, that is integrated directly into an XTrac gearbox, meaning that these cars will exclusively be rear wheel drive.

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Meanwhile, Williams Advanced Engineering provide the battery and power electronics.

As for the engine itself, the format is expected to remain similar to what we see already with the DPi cars. Manufacturers will provide their own branded engine, limited to a maximum output of 630bhp.

Costs and Interest

While the total cost of a complete rolling car, minus it’s engine, is still estimated at €1,000,000 there are some fixed costs that interested parties in the series are able to consider.

The “spine” of the vehicle, as provided by the chassis constructors, is cost-capped at €345,000 while the entire hybrid system is expected to cost a maximum of €300,000.

Although there are no confirmed entries in the class so far, IMSA is quoted as being in contact with “over a dozen” manufacturers interested in the class since convergence was announced in January, with many already working directly with one of the chassis constructors.

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Included in that dozen are Cadillac, Mazda, Acura and Nissan, who would be returning from the current regulations. Meanwhile, BMW, Ferrari, Lexus and more have also been mooted, many of whom already have a strong presence in the IMSA championship via its GT classes.

Mission Motorsport Race of Remembrance 2020

With the Remembrance weekend less than a month away, Mission Motorsport should be gearing up for their annual endurance race to descend onto the Anglesey Circuit.

Unfortunately, as with many other events this year, that’s not possible. This lead to the difficult decision to cancel the race.

This wasn’t going to stop these incredible people coming up with an alternative strategy. But first, a little backstory:

Who are Mission Motorsport?

Founded in 2012, Mission Motorsport is a charity dedicated to providing continued support to those impacted by military operations and engagements, through motorsport, as well as the wider automotive industry itself.

A key reason for choosing motorsport as the charity’s outlet is that, unlike most other sports, it allows both disabled and able bodied participants to compete on a level playing field.

Vehicles can be adapted, rather than adjusting the sport itself. Since its creation, this charity has been able to secure thousands of jobs for veterans, as well as providing vital rehabilitation for countless more.

As stated previously, a large portion of events are motorsport based, with the premier event being the Race of Remembrance. This event sees 50 teams come together to take part in a 12 hour endurance race around the Anglesey Circuit over the course of the Remembrance Weekend.

This includes the race being paused on Sunday morning, allowing the competitors to come together to remember the fallen.

#YourRoR

As we know, the pandemic has made it impossible to hold events on the scale of the Race of Remembrance (RoR) safely. However, that hasn’t stopped both contributors and beneficiaries finding their own ways to rekindle the spirit of the event, which has led to the launch of the #YourRoR campaign.

This has seen a whole host of events be devised by supporters to both commemorate the weekend, and raise some much needed funds.

One such event takes to sim racing, hosting an online race to honour RoR 2020. This will see 16 drivers take to Project Cars 2, to compete in a 6 hour endurance race at the Circuit de la Sarthe in GTE cars.

As per tradition, the racers will come together in the pitlane at half distance to mark the occasion with Mission Motorsports’ livestreamed Remembrance ceremony and a minutes silence, after which, the race will resume to its conclusion.

If you are able to donate, you can do so by visiting this website.

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