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new mb "clr" challenger launched
mb had officially launched their le mans challenger, the clr. it is using
the m119 mill (the old block from the 5 litre turbo days) as the basis of
the engine, taken to 6litres in n/a aspirated trim. they have also, like
tony southgate's new audi r8c taken the low height approach with the car,
like the audi, being less than a metre high. there will be 3 clr's entered
in le mans, 2 of which will have to pre-qualify.
speaking of the r8c, to my eye, although clearly influenced greatly by the
toyota gt1 (southgate's last years' creation), there are also some
interesting touches of the old ford gt40 in the car. the low height (it
takes some time to really appreciate how *low* 1 metre is), and the twin
scallops in the roof for the drivers helmet....
the r8c certainly looks extremely useful, with the low vertical height, low
frontal area, and narrow waisting around the wheel arches, all designed for
the low-drag requirements of le mans. the very low rear bodywork will also
assist in getting undisturbed air to the wing. i find the ideas for the
side radiators very interesting and novel. mclaren tried something similar
on their f1 car side pods a few seasons back. f1's current fashion is to
exit the hot radiator air over the rear tyres , something not that easy with
enclosed bodywork. audi's big problem will be relaibility, although the
core components are clearly relaible enough in the r8p.