IndyCar, Dallara, Chris Beatty Design, Bcomp and Integral Powertrain all winners at the WMS Awards 2018
Dino Toso Racecar Aerodynamicist of the Year
All three finalists in both the Dino Toso Racecar Aerodynamicist of the Year and the Race Powertrain of the Year categories were strong contenders to win the award due to their outstanding achievements in their field.
The achievement of both Porsche and Volkswagen Motorsport in the Dino Toso Racecar Aerodynamicist of the Year category ensured they were shortlisted, but in the event the award was given to Dialma Zinelli of Dallara for his team’s collaboration with IndyCar’s Tino Belli and Chris Beatty of Chris Beatty Design for the IndyCar Universal Aero Kit.
IndyCar, like Formula 1 has had issues with overtaking, or lack of it. The Aero Kit tackled this issue in its quest to deliver the best show possible.
The primary source of aero grip moved from outboard features at the front and rear, with smaller front and rear wings, towards a wider, more suction-generating central floor. Most of the downforce is generated underneath the car, which doesn’t allow a wake of turbulent air behind it, enabling trailing cars to close more easily and attempt to pass. A reduction in add-on pieces also means less debris after a crash, and larger sidepods, which accommodate the new intakes, improve side protection.
RACE TECH editor-in-chief and Judge Williams Kimberley said: “The Kit has improved close racing and enhanced safety in the cars, making them look leaner and more reminiscent of Indy cars of the past.”
Race Powertrain of the Year
Integral Powertrain picked up the Race Powertrain of the Year award. Volkswagen Motorsport turned to Integral Powertrain for its record-breaking I.D. R Pikes Peak all -electric powertrain. Integral provided a pair of surface permanent magnet motors, which allowed the car to make the 12.42 miles journey to the finish line of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, perched some 4,720ft higher up than the start line at a dizzying 14,110ft.
Kimberley said: “Arnaud Martin is becoming a serial winner with us, picking up his third award, this time for the incredible work he and his team at Integral Powertrain did on the electric motors that powered the Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak car to the fastest time ever achieved by any vehicle at Pikes Peak this year.
“They were shortlisted against Thomas Kraemer for the jewel of an engine in the Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo, and Norio Aoki for the 1.6-litre, inline 4-cylinder, direct injection engine that won the bragging rights as the strongest in the fierce contest for World Rally Championship winning Toyota the Manufacturers’ Championship this year.”
Don Burgoon Award
It was a case of the magnificent seven in this year’s Don Burgoon Most Innovative New Motorsport Product of the Year award. Everyone was a winner in its area but the decision was made to give it to Bcomp from Switzerland for its alternative to carbon fibre with natural fibres which is clearly a step to prepare motorsport for the future.
Bcomp’s has created more environmentally friendly natural fibre materials, AmpliTex technical fabrics and PowerRibs reinforcements. The fibres are being test under conditions comparable to those in Low Earth Orbit, as part of its partnership with the European Space Agency and its participation in the ESA Clean Space Programme.
The fibres are aiming to replace carbon fibres as they are 20% stiffer at equal weight, up to 30% most cost-efficient, and significantly safer without the sharp shattering of carbon fibres, with three times the vibration damping. They are also nicer and safer to work with and can simply be burnt for heat together with normal waste at the end of its life cycle.
Kimberley said: “For the first time since carbon fibre entered the motorsport market 37 years ago, there is an alternative material for bodywork, and clearly a step to prepare motorsport for the future and to attract new generations.”