Creation’s 2006 Hybrid
We deliberately paused a week or two before posting this news item
– because we were waiting for some wind tunnel news, from
the Creation Autosportif team.
It’s common knowledge that the outfit was
looking at a hybrid version of the DBA 03S, but the story has moved
on considerably since the LMES race at the Nurburgring earlier this
month. And it’s all very positive.
“We were in the wind tunnel with the original
model of the car for two days,” outlines Ian Bickerton. “We
weren’t doing any development work at that stage: Ian Smith
and the two aerodynamicists we’re working with were simply
gathering the figures on the existing car. We wanted to have the
true figures ourselves, before we looked at changes for 2006.”
But since then,
the extremely positive news is that “we came out of the wind
tunnel last night, with the hybrid package. It’s very, very
This is the
original model of the 'Reynard', now owned by KW Motorsport.
"This model gives us a platform for LMP development
and offers the flexibility to develop hybrids as well as new chassis
to the new aerodynamic regulations in LMP1 or LMP2," comments
KW Motorsport's Kieron Salter.
The optimism among the Mike Jankowski – Ian
Bickerton team is such that the latter is happy to state that “we’re
definitely going to run one hybrid next year, and we’ve got
a lot of interest from people who’d like us to run a second
car. There are some very talented drivers who can see the potential
of the hybrid version.
“As a hybrid, it’s going to be outstanding….”
Bickerton credits some of the potential for next
year back to the fact that “the base car is so good. I said
from the time that we purchased this car that everyone should have
one – they’re that good.”
Of course, there are only two others in existence
(the 04S versions), so it will be very interesting to see how a
2006 plan comes together, for two cars.
The factory Zytek has already demonstrated its potential
to US teams and drivers, at Mid-Ohio, and it would be unbelievable
to imagine the three DBA / Zytek chassis not racing next year.
Bickerton and Jankowski are also looking ahead to
2007, when the plan is to “run our own car.”
Creation Autosportif DBA 03S may not have won an LMES race, yet,
but it has a future now into 2006, and a significant advantage for
next year is that the engine(s) won’t suffer from the smaller
restrictors that have been the one slight negative performance factor
this season: Nic Minassian was clearly very keen to lead the Pescarolo
into the first corner at the Nurburgring, because he didn’t
want to get bottled up behind it, again.
The team’s set-up there was infuriatingly
not quite right, which meant that another race slipped through the
team’s grasp. But post-race despondency has been replaced
by pre-hybrid optimism.
November has to be the last race (in Europe) for the three 03S /
04S chassis. For 2006, at least one of them will be racing as a
900 kg LMP1 hybrid, with the engine choice of the Creation car yet
to be finalised.