The Team Steps Up a Gear
A successful team does not need the quickest of drivers over 1 lap but a team of drivers who can lap consistently at the pace required throughout the race. To help the drivers achieve this goal, it is essential that they are given a car that can lap consistently at the pace required which is about 90% of the cars potential lap time.
To achieve the car needs to have a good suspension (AST), a good set-up (MSW), an engine that has a smooth power and torque curves (K-MOD) and a gearbox that has the correct ratios for the circuit. Having the correct ratios means that car is always in the lower end powerband when exiting a corner.
This results in the cars engine not being overly stressed through high revs (and cooler water and oil temperatures) but will still pull cleanly out of the corner giving good speed on the next section of the track. The gearbox also needs to be ultra reliable as a driver will make approximately 23 gear changes per lap and a total of 13,340 gear changes in the race. When you add in the practice and qualifying session the gearbox will be subjected to close to 16,000 gear changes.
To help achieve this goal, the team relies heavily on the experience of the team technical consultant, Jeff Owen (aka Kiwi) and his company Special Projects Motorsport. Based upon the track layout, engine power and torque curves and the drivers experience, Jeff has selected a set of gear ratios that will enable the drivers and the car to be achieve the target lap times and to last not only the race but also the practice and qualifying sessions.
Jeff and Special Projects have been supplying the team gear sets for a couple of seasons and for the 2016 Dubai 24hr race are building a complete gearbox from an empty casing. The new gearbox has arrived in the last few days and will be run in the Dubai Autodrome NGK 300km race that the team have entered.
In addition, Jeff will be with the team at the Dubai 24hr race to help provide his invaluable technical support.