Braselton, Ga. (April 9, 2001) Â Once again, Dick Barbour Racing is at the forefront. At Donington Park's European Le Mans Series (ELMS) round on April 14, the team will introduce the first example of a racing sportscar designed to fit the new...
Braselton, Ga. (April 9, 2001) Once again, Dick Barbour Racing is at the
forefront. At Donington Park's European Le Mans Series (ELMS) round on April
14, the team will introduce the first example of a racing sportscar designed
to fit the new category regulations announced last year by the Automobile
Club de L'Ouest (ACO). The most significant change to the LMP 675 category
promulgated by the ACO -- creator and organizer of the 24 Hours of Le Mans
-- was to allow purpose-built racing V-8 engines to power the lighter weight
brethren of the "headlining" LMP 900 category.
In recent years, six-cylinder and turbocharged four- cylinder engines have
powered "675" entries. To re- invigorate the category this year the ACO will
allow V-8s. To date, only Dick Barbour has fully appreciated what some
racing engineers consider the performance advantage created by the new ACO
rules: Full "P900" chassis and aerodynamic technology at lower overall
weight combined with a powerful, lightweight, purpose-built racing engine.
The Engine Developments KV 675 is a 3397 cc V-8
The Engine Developments KV 675 V-8 that certainly fits that powerplant description. It is derived from the hugely successful 3-liter V-8, which has been the backbone of the international Formula 3000 Championship since 1995. There it enjoys an enviable reputation for reliability and power. In Le Mans trim and fitted to the Reynard chassis, it will produce well over 500 HP and approximately 300 LBFT of torque. It can rev up to 11,000 rpm and is expected to give the Dick Barbour Racing entries a power-to-weight ratio quite comparable to the leading P900 cars. Reynard has done a great deal of development based on last year's 2KQ sportscar. On the 01Q, aerodynamics have been improved at the front for greater downforce. The suspension has been refined and the entire chassis made more durable to suit the demands of long distance sportscar racing. While the strong fuel economy advantages (fewer pit stops and longer stints between refueling) will not be as apparent in a 2 hour, 45 minute race like Donington, the team is still anxious to show what a proper LMP 675 vehicle can do. In preparation for their Donington debut, the team has been on a very short lead-time. With the program just announced on March 1 all the team's suppliers have had The Reynard 01Q rather little time to develop the project. Starting merely a month before the debut race, the timing has not allowed a normal pre-testing program. Still, both Reynard and Engine Developments have extensive databases and experience with their predecessor products and this gives the team considerable confidence. The driver lineup at Donington will be John Graham of Canada - last year's Le Mans LMP 675 class winner who will co-pilot the number 57 Dick Barbour Racing Reynard with American Le Mans Series (ALMS) Women's Global GT category star, Milka Duno of Venezuela. The cockpit of the number 5 entry will be shared by 1998 Le Mans LMP1 class winner Eric van de Poele and his Belgian compatriot Didier de Radiguès. De Radiguès is an experienced Le Mans and ALMS regular and former Grand Prix motorcycle ace. Practice and qualifying for Donington begin on Friday, April 13 with the race on Saturday, April 14. TV coverage of the race includes NBC Sports broadcasting a two hour program beginning at 4 PM EDT on April 14, SKY SPORTS covering the event at 12:00 PM British Standard time and a Eurosport program on April 22 beginning at 10 PM Central European time. Dick Barbour Racing's web site www.dickbarbourracing.com - will also have race results and photos soon after the event.
-Dick Barbour Racing