WP-271 Titanium in Motor Sport Racing car recreated using advanced welding technology Denny Hulme won for McLaren and Jackie Oliver brought the Ti22 MKII in at second place in its first race only 1.2 seconds behind and it produced the fastest lap in the race With the progressive development of racing cars has come a need to embrace fusion welding as an essential part of the manufacturing process. Whilst dramatic improvements in engine design have made a significant contribution to track performance, reduction in weight and aerodynamic refinements have also been important. Safety conventions need to be continuously revised to protect drivers in the event of accidents. Welding has played an increasingly important role during production of body parts. Reduction in weight has been achieved by using slender suspension and steering components and replacing steel with lower density titanium. Fabrication of titanium alloys however requires skills orders of magnitude greater than steel: they are difficult to form and challenging to weld. 8 TUBE NEWS December 2017 During the mid-1960s the use of titanium was seen as a crucial element in advancing racing car development and led directly to major improvements in performance of sports cars in North America. The Canadian-American Challenge Cup (Can-Am) was a sports car racing series introduced from 1966. It was governed by rules under the FIA group 7 category with unrestricted engine capacity and few other technical restrictions. The cars were as close as any major international racing series ever got to have an “anything goes” policy. As long as the car had two seats, bodywork enclosing the wheels, and met basic safety standards, it was acceptable. Maximum engine displacement was unlimited, but the minimum displacement was 2.5 litres.