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