John Travis, Technical Man For Epsilon Euskadi
After much success with both Lola and Penske in Champcars (winning 26 races and three championships) John Travis has been confirmed as the new Technical Director for the design and development of the closed LMP1 car of the Spanish Epsilon Euskadi concern.

After leaving Penske in 2002, Travis was involved on a consultancy basis with several top level projects including the design and development of the ‘Formula Superfund’ car for Euro 3000. He also assisted the team of Enrique Bernoldi in the World F3000 Series, where he met Michel Lecomte and Joan Villadelprat.

There were a series of conversations with the pair on the possibility of designing a car for Le Mans and, in particular, on the potential to build it in Spain. Travis visited the Epsilon Euskadi factory complex and was impressed not just by the factory itself but also the philosophy of the company. It was enough to persuade him to accept the challenge.

The appeal of the project seemed to extend beyond the company set-up though, the current ACO regulations offering the experienced designer an opportunity to have more freedom of expression than any other area of top-line motorsport with open or closed top cars running with normally aspirated or turbocharged engines, with a variety of alternative fuels also now a realistic option too.

The Epsilon car’s basic configuration has already been established in the 10 months since the project began: the LMP1 car will be equipped with the evolution Judd GV5 and a new highly advanced Pankl semi-automatic gearbox. The team will be looking to establish an advantage over the other top-rank runners - with their car being constructed as a closed LMP1 car, with a low centre of gravity and a very slippery aerodynamic configuration.

The Epsilon squad has another major difference to most potentially front-running teams, the manpower being provided by a mix of current professionals and Masters students from the Spanish M.E.T.C.A. Motorsport Engineering degree course, giving the youngsters the opportunity to get real hands on experience to become the motorsport engineers or designers of the future.

Le Mans 2007 should see the Spanish taking on the French and German diesels.

NB. John Travis designed a Thundersports car in the '80s - the BRD.

 

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