eRacing Magazine Vol 2. Issue 9 - Page 50

In this current era of endurance racing prototypes, you are having to set aside a small fortune for a year-long program, and that’s just for the basics. The LMP1 and P2 classes are now well-established motor racing formats with the likes of Audi, Porsche, Strakka and Oreca spending vast amounts in R&D as well as running costs and car care.

So, what if you can’t afford this? The answer lies in LMP3, the third tier from the

FIA ELMS championship, with WEC to soon follow in its wake. LMP3 is currently running in its inaugural season, and while Ginetta are the only current constructor, Adess and Ligier have come into play with new chassis which are being tried as tested as we speak. LMP3 is now the entry-level to high-performance sports car racing, where constructors and drivers are tested at the beginning of their careers paths.

Ginetta, who were the first to get onto the scene with their 2015 Ginetta LMP3 car, has served up an ultra-aerodynamic body with lots of preferences from its elder siblings in P1 and P2 classes. The concept puts LMP3 at the forefront for innovative engineering - on a budget.

With the ACO and FIA cost cap of £195,000 (per annum) development will be tight for the competing teams, which is why a lot of effort has gone into the cars chassis, aero

and engines.

The Ginetta has used countless hours of CFD aerodynamic testing to test the cars capabilities through the substance of air, the car now has a figure of 1067kg of downforce while running at 150mph, this figure has been mostly generated with the front of the car aero.

The first contact patch with the air is the foot plate of the front wing, which allows a good handful of air to flow under the chassis as well as over it for its upper body surfaces to deal with. The stepped motion is also adapted in the higher LMP classes, thanks to its aero gains.

The nose structure is very thin and narrow and so lets the air pass cleanly with not so much flow path disruption. Here the flow will be ‘laminar flow’ where the streamlines of the air are parallel with not layer destruction. So the air will be able to pass around the survival cell, to then be re-worked by the rear elements.

Like it P1 and P2, the front of the car allows air to enter, and exit behind the front wheel packaging pods, which is a wildly adopted tactic in race cars. Here the flow pressure will be bled via the vanes inside the car, as a built up of pressure will cause more drag of the car. If Ginetta put its exit holes on the bonnet, then too much turbulence would generate from too many vortices that come out of the bonnet, potentially harm rear wing aerodynamics.