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Old 30 Aug 2017, 19:38 (Ref:3763014)   #5086
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Let's give the Alonso/McLaren/Honda F1 stuff a rest at this point shall we - there are endless opportunities to join the hugely entertaining () debate about that on the F1 forum. Let's concentrate purely on the thread topic. Ta.
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Old 30 Aug 2017, 19:40 (Ref:3763015)   #5087
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Reading what Zak Brown said about WEC/IMSA I suspect they would like to be at LeMans and the WEC rather than a North American program on its own.
He also says of you could do the WEC for about $20million then they would be certainly interested.
http://classic.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/131529

I would imagine Peugeot would also be interested at that sort of budget. The trick is to get the rules to keep a lid on costs while allowing a respectable amount of innovation.
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Old 30 Aug 2017, 19:59 (Ref:3763025)   #5088
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Edit: Removed the Honda F1 stuff as per Aysedasi request!
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Regarding Honda entering LMP1, I think the pull out of Porsche just changed everyones plans. We're already seeing reports of radical changes to LMP1 for the next few years, and possibly a change in the 2020 regulations. So any plans Honda had for an LMP1 are surely on hold. Can't plan for something that's about to change.

Honda is involved in F1, IndyCar, IMSA, SuperGT, GT3 regs, and TCR/BTCC. For circuit racing, LMP is the one thing they don't really have, so it makes sense they'll be evaluating an LMP effort. But any sort of rumours for the next few years? Unless the ACO has done something crazy and gotten Honda in to fight with Toyota to keep LMP1-H alive (wishful thinking), I imagine any Honda effort will be firmly in the "wait and see" stage.

I mean sure, there's truth to the McLaren are evaluating a DPi/LMP/GTE program (we know about GTE certainly). But so are most manufacturers involved in the sport. I'm sure Bentley had a meeting or two about DPis, but it was never really a proper reportable effort. So yeah I guess there is totally truth to the rumour, and it's a lot of fun to discuss, but the headlines never seem to match the quotes and reports and then we get excited...and then disappointed.

We all love rumour and speculation, but I just think reports should be more responsible. The Ford DPi case for example could've just been done as "This is a long shot, but a Ford DPi has been mentioned. Lets speculate on what it could be like", but that wasn't how it was reported, and that's sad because we all get excited about something that's not happening. It's the Eddie Jordan school of "If I say enough crazy stuff, something will be right, and people will call be a prophet!"

My opinion (which is just something I'm pulling out of my buttocks, with absolutely no evidence) - We will get a Honda LMP1 (along with a few others) but not until at least 2020, and it'll be a heavily dialed back tech regulations that do it. We won't see a McLaren LMP1, but we might get a McLaren GTE, but it won't be with Strakka. And Martin Brundle will drive the Bentley DPi will debut at Petit Le Mans 2017 with a W16 turbocharged 9 litre engine that was originally designed in 1940 to fight in the Battle of Britain. But Brundle will need to grow a 'tache to be allowed to drive it.
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Old 30 Aug 2017, 20:02 (Ref:3763027)   #5089
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Originally Posted by wolfhound View Post
Reading what Zak Brown said about WEC/IMSA I suspect they would like to be at LeMans and the WEC rather than a North American program on its own.
He also says of you could do the WEC for about $20million then they would be certainly interested.
http://classic.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/131529

I would imagine Peugeot would also be interested at that sort of budget. The trick is to get the rules to keep a lid on costs while allowing a respectable amount of innovation.
Again, I have absolutely no evidence to support this, but I imagine you could run an LMP1 team on that if there was no hybrid system. So do you just bin the hybrid system and let them go at it? I think that is a more realistic option than DPi (not saying better, but more realistic), as the ACO aren't going to want the entire LMP1 grid based on just 3 customer chassis (excluding the Riley) that are locked in for years. Especially when you have customer cars being built already.
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Old 30 Aug 2017, 20:27 (Ref:3763034)   #5090
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Why do hybrids have to be that much? Prius's and other road hybrids don't cost boatloads of money to run or produce. Other areas of development should be opened up so that teams aren't focused on that single area. Or make hybrid optional but give more than just a chance to teams not running one to win.
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Old 30 Aug 2017, 20:27 (Ref:3763035)   #5091
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So much of this is predicated on an affordable and sustainably affordable electrification solution.

That is the holy grail for a huge range of option in prototype and GT racing.

DPi is great, and the current level of interest is great news for IMSA - but it has a limited OEM appeal in its current form in the medium term.
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Old 30 Aug 2017, 20:39 (Ref:3763038)   #5092
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Why do hybrids have to be that much? Prius's and other road hybrids don't cost boatloads of money to run or produce. Other areas of development should be opened up so that teams aren't focused on that single area. Or make hybrid optional but give more than just a chance to teams not running one to win.
Yeah but a Prius also isn't a performance hybrid. You could make the same argument for a petrol car - why does a racing car cost millions when I can buy a Ford Fiesta for 20? If you want a high performance one, it costs more, a lot more.

Toyota have done a very good job of making the Prius profitable, but it hasn't always been. It was losing $20,000 per unit in the 90s, but Toyota stuck with it, betting big on it and it paid off. Most other OEMs haven't gone through that, and even binned non-profitable EV/hybrids before (Toyota did with the RAV4 EV too). The BMW i3 doesn't turn a profit per unit, and the last figure I heard for the Chevy Volt was they were hoping it would finally be profitable in 2017, after losing $50,000 per car originally. The Bolt full EV is still losing $8,000 per car on release day, which isn't that bad for a brand new EV/hybrid. And a lot of these are just compliance cars, to make sure that as an OEM they meet emission regulations over the entire range, rather than try and seriously produce an EV/hybrid.

This stuff is expensive, and the Prius went through rough times to get to the stage it's at. I suppose to put it in perspective, the Prius was first announced before the Toyota GT-One even raced at Le Mans.

Edit: I like your idea of optional hybrids. Or (and some won't like this), standard hybrids. Plug and play hybrids. It'd require a fair bit of work to actually make one, but it could be done. And I know we'll all be moving to electric road cars one day (can't wait to own a Tesla...just need a lot more money), but it'll be a sad day when race circuits are quiet.

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Old 30 Aug 2017, 20:53 (Ref:3763041)   #5093
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Yeah but a Prius also isn't a performance hybrid. You could make the same argument for a petrol car - why does a racing car cost millions when I can buy a Ford Fiesta for 20? If you want a high performance one, it costs more, a lot more.

Toyota have done a very good job of making the Prius profitable, but it hasn't always been. It was losing $20,000 per unit in the 90s, but Toyota stuck with it, betting big on it and it paid off. Most other OEMs haven't gone through that, and even binned non-profitable EV/hybrids before (Toyota did with the RAV4 EV too). The BMW i3 doesn't turn a profit per unit, and the last figure I heard for the Chevy Volt was they were hoping it would finally be profitable in 2017, after losing $50,000 per car originally. The Bolt full EV is still losing $8,000 per car on release day, which isn't that bad for a brand new EV/hybrid. And a lot of these are just compliance cars, to make sure that as an OEM they meet emission regulations over the entire range, rather than try and seriously produce an EV/hybrid.

This stuff is expensive, and the Prius went through rough times to get to the stage it's at. I suppose to put it in perspective, the Prius was first announced before the Toyota GT-One even raced at Le Mans.

Edit: I like your idea of optional hybrids. Or (and some won't like this), standard hybrids. Plug and play hybrids. It'd require a fair bit of work to actually make one, but it could be done. And I know we'll all be moving to electric road cars one day (can't wait to own a Tesla...just need a lot more money), but it'll be a sad day when race circuits are quiet.
My point is that the Prius is over a decade old, approaching two. It runs on technology that is not expensive and that can be applied to race cars. A kers unit is not hyper expensive. Have a look at Super GT and the prius that run there have road car hybrid systems from Lexus's. A simple kinetic hybrid system isn't state of the art and won't give you 500hp, but it can be an option if they want to keep hybrids around.
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Old 30 Aug 2017, 21:09 (Ref:3763047)   #5094
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Yeah you totally could do that. But you risk being seen in the same way as compliance cars - just doing it to look green, without actually caring. ACO has been pretty rabid about the green eco route, so would dialing back like that be acceptable to them? They don't tend to be the best at things like that.

My personal opinion would be a standard hybrid system that is relatively powerful. Standard unit that comes from a manufacturer that isn't racing, and provides the battery/recovery/motors, and an interface/API for talking to an ECU. That way you get the impressive tech, you get the green figures that the ACO wants, you keep costs under control, and you still allow manufacturers to pick what engine they want to go with it. And it takes out the EoT arguments too.
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Old 31 Aug 2017, 01:08 (Ref:3763077)   #5095
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Sorry, that doesn't make sense to me. Why would they "dial it back" any if there's already the option to run 2, 4, 6, 8mj? I was saying that instead of making it so that 8mj is favored, leave them all equal in terms of performance and cheap hybrids can be ran. They've already talked about having a single energy storage (batteries). That was the route everyone took anyway. I'm not proposing they run road car hybrid units, but they are being run in those GT300 prius's. Green is the 'future' and if they can cheapen it out, they will. I think the fact that VW is gone makes it more attractive because they were the one's putting up insane budgets.
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Old 31 Aug 2017, 01:33 (Ref:3763079)   #5096
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And how's Toyota's budget not "insane" compared to what Nissan spent on their spectacular failure (that budget being a part of why their project failed)? Or what GM is rumored to be spending on their DPI program? Or what Ford, GM, Porsche and others are spending on GTE Pro/GTLM? I'd like to see WEC budgets go to being $10-25 million, which granted, that was too much for Group C and IMSA GTP, and even GT1 in the late '90s.

Even if Toyota is spending $75 million dollars a year, the gap to them and most privateer teams would be what it was back to Audi Sport in the ALMS days where they they spending that much a year on the R8/R10 and $10-15 million on the ALMS.

We have to call a spade a spade here. Difference was that until the R10 came on line was that Audi Sport didn't have technology whose performance potential couldn't be overcome. Whether or not anyone was able (or more likely, willing) to copy things that the R8 had back then like DFI, turbocharged engine, or quick change gearbox--all of which is now common technology even in road cars aside from the quick change rear end, which even that on a race car is almost stupid simple in reality--was down to people either not giving a crap about road racing (due to NASCAR in NA and F1 everywhere else at the time), or, IMO, laziness, such as GM with the Cadillac program.

The only reason why TMG aren't spending VAG money (which we know that Toyota are capable of it) was that they got bit by being the big spender in F1 with little to show for it, and they invested hundreds of millions of dollars into winning LM and so often came home second best. Toyota's obviously embarrassed about that, but IMO, I think they should be more embarrassed by their LM showing this year.

We gotta be fair here. If someone wants to invest money in the series, let them--they'll just spend it somewhere else. Besides, how much of the Audi Sport and Porsche Motorsports budget was actually spent on racing? They always had more advertising and a much bigger hospitality presence than Toyota had, and I think that some of their racing budget was funneled into those ventures.

Which, ironically, is why the ACO are upset, now that they have to foot more of the promotional bills and can't get OEMs to do as much of that for them. Which VAG did most of, anyways.

This will probably be kinda a moot point next season, especially if rumors of Toyota running a limited schedule (whatever pre-LM races there are, LM and Fuji) come about. And what if TMG pull the plug? Could that mean no WEC in Japan, or could they look at Suzuka? But that's a different topic I want to get more in depth with in another thread?
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Old 31 Aug 2017, 06:43 (Ref:3763109)   #5097
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Sorry, that doesn't make sense to me. Why would they "dial it back" any if there's already the option to run 2, 4, 6, 8mj? I was saying that instead of making it so that 8mj is favored, leave them all equal in terms of performance and cheap hybrids can be ran. They've already talked about having a single energy storage (batteries). That was the route everyone took anyway. I'm not proposing they run road car hybrid units, but they are being run in those GT300 prius's. Green is the 'future' and if they can cheapen it out, they will. I think the fact that VW is gone makes it more attractive because they were the one's putting up insane budgets.
They'd dial it back because the costs are out of control. Even a 2mj system that you've got to design and build yourself is still significantly more expensive than the 20m a year budget that McLaren is after.

Moving back to a GT300 style hybrid system is most definitely a dialed back set of technical regulations from what we have now. When I used the term dialed back, it wasn't about going back to an ICE only, but reeling in the hybrid system development costs, which is basically what you're suggesting too. Since hybrids were converging on the same systems bit by bit anyway, then a standardised system could be used. That way it would also stop these silly deals that all 3 had in place, restricting the suppliers from supplying the other teams, which pushes costs up further.

IMO (which means nothing, I'm just a dude on the internet): slightly less powerful hybrid systems, that are standard parts that you purchase from the ACO, developed by a third party. It includes everything you need to run it, and an API for the ECU developers.
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Old 31 Aug 2017, 07:38 (Ref:3763118)   #5098
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Does anyone recall the proposed price/specs for the Zytek (I think it was them) plug-in hybrid? Let's get a crude feasibility study going while we're discussing costs.
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Old 31 Aug 2017, 08:53 (Ref:3763129)   #5099
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I would go in the opposite direction, IMO engine development is a bigger part of costs than hybrid system and it's all because of fuel flow formula and by engine part I also mean ERS-H.

I was for fuel flow regulation in the last years because it makes a lot to road relevance, I mean do we have petrol engines with 45% efficiency? We do not, so this development was great. But now if they are going to introduce plug-in hybrids and also road cars will go into plug-in it makes sense to simplify the engine part. Make it efficient, but not at the ridiculous levels F1 and LMP1H engines are today.

The goal would be to go into series hybrid with engine limited at certain fixed power maybe with simple torque sensor. But that is a wishful thinking.

The electric part of drivetrain can be cost contained as we have learned from Formula E, so there is a lot of possibilities to make more loose regulation compared to FE on that part and still be within normal budget.
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Old 31 Aug 2017, 15:20 (Ref:3763213)   #5100
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Super Formula and Super GT are thinking of scrapping fuel flow in favor of air restrictors as soon as next year or year after next.

I think that people are starting to realize that the fuel flow meters don't really add anything but complexity and costs to something that's mostly seen as entertainment.

I do understand--and fervently agree--with Akrapovic's points on hybrid costs. Any new technology will be expensive, especially when you're trying to push it for a performance edge. That's something of the ACO's making.

But I've harped a lot on the knock-on costs of the flow meters. $2000+ for one, you have to run at least two per car at any given time, and you need a new electronics package to make them work right. Even with $1 Million plus dollar cars, that's still a ton of money compared to air restrictors.

Not to mention the main reason we have the fuel flow is the same reason why we had air restrictors--to serve as performance balancing and above all else try and slow the rate at which the cars are getting faster.
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