A wild-looking time attack car that produces more aerodynamic downforce than a Le Mans prototype will be the centre of attention when it makes its debut at the World Time Attack Challenge at Sydney Motorsport Park on Friday.
The Queensland-built Project Nemo is the result of a two-year program to develop the ultimate time attack car by using what its owners describe as an integrated approach.
â€œOther teams youâ€™ll see at World Time Attack started out with a road car and added different bits along the way,â€ said driver and team manager Chris Eaton.
â€œFrom the beginning, our car has been a definite effort to integrate the aero with the suspension and driveline. Our goal has been to produce something with the best ability in every area.â€
Based on a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII, Project Nemoâ€™s extraordinary carbon fibre bodywork was designed by American aerodynamicist and data engineer Andrew Brilliant.
His Japan-based company AMB Aero has applied experience gained in the Indycar, American Le Mans and Japan Super GT Championships, and American Time Attack, to create a shape that will generate the highest-possible downforce through Eastern Creekâ€™s sweeping turns.
Despite a plethora of wings and canards, a reduced frontal area and a low drag-to-downforce ratio underbody/diffuser should allow Project Nemo to reach a competitive top speed on the circuitâ€™s long main straight.
Inbuilt data acquisition measures the downforce at each wheel and allows the team to fine-tune the aerodynamics.
The high-tech thinking extends to the Mitsubishiâ€™s engine where programmable turbo-charging automatically turns down the boost in corners and turns it back up on the straights.
â€œThe car has more than 600 kilowatts at the wheels and would struggle to get that power down in the corners if we didnâ€™t moderate the boost. The autoboost also improves engine reliability.â€
Harnessing all the power and downforce at World Time Attack will be Hankook Ventus TD Z221 semi-slicks.
â€œWeâ€™ve chosen the Hankooks because they have proven very competitive in the past but also because the tyres have sufficient load rating to handle all the downforce Nemo generates.â€
For the second year in a row, Hankook is supporting the hotly contested Open Class at the World Time Attack Challenge.
It will award $2500 worth of competition tyres to the fastest non-Hankook sponsored competitors using its tyres in the Open and Clubsprint classes.
For Team Nemo team, a top 10 finish would be reward enough.
â€œWeâ€™d be ecstatic,â€ said Chris Eaton. â€œItâ€™s great that so many people have high expectations of us, but weâ€™re just happy to be entering the event with our car, done the way we want it.â€
Article submitted by The Project Group.