A1 Grand Prix car

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The A1 Grand Prix car was a vehicle designed to compete in the A1 Grand Prix. The car was standardised for every team to provide a level playing field for competing nations. It was designed to reduce the volume of "dirty air", allowing drivers to close in on the car in front, encouraging overtaking. The bodywork was mainly pre-impregnated carbon fibre composites.[1] From 2008–09 Ferrari was consulted on the design and manufacture for all A1 Grand Prix cars.[2]

Lola-Zytek car (2005–06 to 2007–08)[edit]

The Lola B05/52[3] was the spec car used the by the series from the 2005–06 season to the 2007–08 season. It was powered by Zytek engines, and ran on Cooper tyres. The former chassis is now used in the Euroseries 3000, starting in 2009.[4]

Chassis[edit]

The chassis, designated Lola A1GP,[5] is made and designed by Lola Cars. The A1 Car's carbon fibre skin cloaks a core of aluminium honeycomb. Based on bionic engineering principles found in nature, the hexagonal honeycomb provides remarkable strength for its weight, and has progressive deformation properties in response to an impact, which contributes to driver safety. In addition, drivers are protected by FIA-approved side intrusion panels that protect them from lateral impacts.[6]

Engine[edit]

The engine for the cars was developed by Zytek Engineering. The 3.4-litre V8 unit is capable of delivering 520 bhp (550 bhp in powerboost mode). Each engine must be very durable, as it must last a whole season. The engine only weighs 120 kilograms, making it one of the lightest 3.4-litre engines ever made.[7]

Technical specifications[edit]

The car has an overall length of 4833 mm, with a long wheelbase of 3000 mm and a wide track of 1476 mm (front) and 1468 mm(rear). Its total weight amounts to 695 kilograms, without the driver and the fuel.[8]

Suspension[edit]

The front and rear suspension is of a double wishbone and pushrod operated twin coil over damper construction. Adjustable ride height, cambers and toe, as well as anti-dive and anti-squat made to optimise drive control.

Clutch[edit]

A two-piece carbon clutch was tailored especially for the car to handle the exceptional torque of a racing engine with up to 550 bhp (410 kW) and the two racing starts per weekend. The unit combines lightweight construction with durability and bullet-proof reliability. The A1 car's gearchange is by electronically automated shifting of a six-speed paddle shift transmission—peak loads at full throttle could literally shred a lesser clutch. The two-piece carbon clutch can take the load, even when the driver changes up with the PowerBoost activated. In hot and cold testing the clutch proved faultless.

PowerBoost[edit]

The PowerBoost button on the A1 car allows the engine to reach its maximum of 550 bhp (410 kW). When used at the right time, this feature can encourage overtaking. For the PowerBoost to activate, the throttle position must be above 80% and the speed more than 60 km/h. The button must also be depressed to continue on PowerBoost mode. However, the PowerBoost automatically deactivates itself if the throttle falls below 40%. Each driver only has a limited number of uses of the PowerBoost function. The driver can only use it four times in a sprint race and eight times in a feature race. Once these maximum allocated uses of the PowerBoost have been used, the system is disabled until the end of the race, after which Zytek engineers reset the system for the next race.[9]

Tyres[edit]

A1 Grand Prix uses slick tyres on normal dry races. Pneumatics were supplied exclusively by Cooper Tires.

Fuel[edit]

A1 Grand Prix uses 100 RON Biofuel for all cars.

"Powered by Ferrari" car (2008–09)[edit]

The new A1 GP "Powered by Ferrari" car.

On July 22, 2008, new information regarding the new "Powered by Ferrari" A1GP car was revealed.[10]

Chassis[edit]

The chassis is based on the Formula One Ferrari F2004 chassis. It is made from carbon-fibre skins with an aluminium honeycomb core, and has been tested to meet all FIA crash safety standards.

Engine[edit]

The engine is built by Ferrari. It is a 4.5-litre Ferrari/Maserati V8 engine capable of delivering 600 bhp (450 kW) in PowerBoost mode. The new engine weighs 160 kg, 40 kg more than the previously-used Zytek engines.

PowerBoost[edit]

Each car is equipped with a unique PowerBoost system, a mechanism to provide short bursts of increased power to create additional overtaking opportunities and action throughout the race. By changing the engine’s parameters, the system can give the driver additional power over a limited time during each race to take the car from the base 540 bhp (400 kW) to its maximum power of 600 bhp (450 kW).

The PowerBoost is driver-activated by a button mounted on the steering wheel. The driver can use it for a brief period and for a set number of times during the Sprint (4 times) and Feature races (8 times), and may use it for the entirety of a single lap during Qualifying.[11]

Wheels and tyres[edit]

Michelin is the exclusive tyre supplier for the next three seasons beginning with the 2008–09 season. Wheels are supplied by OZ Racing.

The designs stem from Formula One technologies that seek to offer both optimal performance and safety to the driver. Full rubber serration tests were performed on various tracks such as Fiorano, Imola, Jerez and Mugello resulting in an optimal compromise between grip, endurance and wear.

Technical specifications[edit]

  • Weight: Approx 700 kg including driver, race ready (excluding fuel)
  • Front and rear suspension: Double wishbone with pushrod operated coil over damper units. Adjustable ride height, cambers and toe, adjustable anti-dive and anti-squat to optimise drive control
  • Anti-roll bar: Multi adjustable, quick change front and rear roll bars
  • Chassis: Carbon fibre skins, aluminium honeycomb core. Tested to meet all applicable FIA crash safety standards
  • Bodywork: Lightweight composite bodywork
  • Gearbox: Six-speed longitudinal sequential. Gear selection via a Magneti Marelli paddle shift system
  • Drive line: Tripod jointed driveshafts
  • Brakes: Brembo carbon discs, six-pot aluminium calipers
  • Dampers: Penske VBP-45, two-way adjustable
  • Wheels: Front 13” dia. X 12” Rear 13” dia. X 14”
  • Steering: Titan angle drive bevel and two-pinion ratios
  • Steering wheel: 280 mm diameter carbon, with mounted LCD dash
  • Instrumentation and display: Magneti Marelli mounted display unit; Multi-channel logging facility for engineering analysis
  • Seat belt: FIA approved Sabelt six-point safety harness
  • Fuel cell: ATL fuel cell approximately 150-litres capacity and designed to take up to 50 per cent ethanol
  • Clutch: AP three-plate carbon/carbon with steel hub
  • Tyres: Michelin control slick and treaded wet tyres

References[edit]

  1. ^ A1 GP Car regulations: Bodywork[dead link]
  2. ^ [1] Article from a1gp.com about Ferrari
  3. ^ "Euro 3000 com antigos carros do A1GP" (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2013-05-15. 
  4. ^ "Positivo debutto della nuova Lola B0552-Zytek da 550 cv a Magione" (in Italian). Euro Formula 3000. 2009-03-06. Archived from the original on 2009-05-19. Retrieved 2013-05-15. 
  5. ^ "The Type Numbers". Lola Heritage. Archived from the original on 2 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-31. 
  6. ^ "A1 GP Car regulations: Chassis". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on 2006-12-06. Retrieved 2009-10-31. 
  7. ^ "A1 GP engine spec". Formula3.cc. Retrieved 2009-10-31. 
  8. ^ A1 GP Car regulations: Dimensions[dead link]
  9. ^ A1 Grand Prix Car regulations[dead link]
  10. ^ The A1GP Powered by Ferrari car a1gp.com (July 22, 2008)
  11. ^ "Teams to get joker qualifying lap". a1gp.com. 2008-11-21. Retrieved 2008-11-21.