Care Racing’s ‘New’ Engine Off To A Good
The first outing for Care Racing’s prospective “customer
engine”, at the penultimate round of the FFSA French GT Championship
at Le Mans this past weekend, was a successful one, and both the
FFSA and ACO have expressed interest in the new concept.
As already explained on dsc, the V12, developed
by Prodrive for Care Racing, does not use restrictors to limit the
maximum power output, but instead the power is limited electronically,
using electronic throttles and a recording system.
a customer receives an engine that hasn’t had to undergo the
costly development to work at its peak with restrictors. The current
method of equalizing (reducing the power of) different engines is
very effective, but expensive.
identical Ferrari 550s were run at Le Mans last weekend by Larbre
Compétition. The performance objective for this demonstration
was set by Prodrive to be two tenths of a second down from the standard
Ferrari, driven by Gabriele Gardel and Olivier Dupard, qualified
for both races closely behind the conventional Ferrari 550 Maranello
of Jérôme Policand and Gabriel Balthazard. In the first
qualifying session the gap between the two was 0.4s, in the second
qualifying it was 0.6s. The difference between the fastest race
laps of the two cars during race one was 0.4s and in the second
race it was 0.14s.
Despite qualifying in 10th place and providing a strong showing
in the early stages of the first race, a puncture put paid to Gardel
and Dupard’s hopes of a top ten finish. The regular SOFREV
entry finished in seventh place.
For the second
of the two one-hour races, Policand qualified in a magnificent second
place on the grid, while Gardel (right) placed the nr. 7 car in
drivers had a good start and battled well throughout the race with
both their competitors and each other, with the two scarlet cars
finishing in fifth (Policand / Balthazard) and seventh (Gardel /
The nr. 7 Ferrari ran without problems all weekend (puncture apart)
thereby proving the reliability and performance capabilities of
the restrictor-free engine. The new concept will very soon be presented
to the FIA for its consideration, and will have one further race
with customers in the final round of the French GT Championship
– at Magny-Cours, in a few days’ time. Care Racing personnel
are hoping that this will help the FFSA, the FIA and ACO to fully
understand the objectives and allow the engine to be admitted to
a full Championship next season.
Further to this demonstration, and in agreement with the authorities,
Care Racing has proposed that cars running without restrictors will
be equipped with an independent data logger to record throttle position,
pedal position, engine speed and wheel speed. This will ensure the
integrity of the system and prevent any deception on the part of
“The costs of competing in GT racing, as in all areas of motor
sport, continue to rise,” explains Care Racing’s Frederic
Dor, “and, as a company providing a customer based service,
we have been working hard to find ways to reduce technical and operating
costs for our customers. I believe this is a significant step towards
lowering budgets, and I very much hope the FFSA, FIA and ACO will
be able to support the initiative for 2007 and beyond.”
Assuming that they do, this system should ensure
a new lease of life for the Prodrive-developed Ferrari 550s. Perhaps
one day, restrictors will be seen as a thing of the past?
and Olivier Thévenin will drive the "Low Cost"
Ferrari 550 Maranello at Magny-Cours this coming weekend. FFSA GT
Champion Patrick Bornhauser is considering racing this car next
year. Le Mans was the last race for the two times champion VBM Viper.
Additional information, and photographs, from David Legangneux.