First car test for LMP1 KERS                                                                     25th April 2011

The new Flybrid LMP1 KERS has run for the first time in the Hope Racing LMP1 car.

The car completed a short shakedown test at Magny Cours on the 21st April before moving to Le Mans for the only group test day to be held at the circuit before the 24 hour race in June. The car completed 21 laps of the famous circuit collecting valuable information in advance of the race proper.

The Hope Racing car features a raft of new technologies including the new Swiss Hytech 2 litre turbocharged engine, the new Xtrac 1059 gearbox and of course the new Flybrid KERS. To make the car work properly also requires communication between all of the different electronic systems on the car including: the Bosch engine control unit, the Megaline gear shift system controller, the Flybrid KERS controller and the Cosworth supplied ACO data logger.

Good progress was made during the test on vehicle systems integration. At all stages a safety first approach was taken as the system is capable of significantly changing the brake balance of the car and also of providing a significant driving torque to the wheels. Moving steadily between the stages of running with the system turned off, then running with it turned on but with no storage or recovery programmed before programming low levels of storage and then low levels of recovery the engineers from Hope Racing, Flybrid, Bosch, Megaline and Cosworth all steadily worked through the issues as they were identified resulting in full hybrid functionality being achieved at low levels of power.  

During the test at Le Mans the car was intended to pass the required 'pit lane test' specified in the rules that requires the car to drive the length of the 400 M pit lane with the engine turned off and using hybrid power only. The car has of course been designed to do this but with so little testing and so much new powertrain technology to get working properly the team were not ready for the test. Further testing is planned at Le Castellet next week and an alternative date for the pit lane test will be sought.

Flybrid and Hope Racing engineers work on the car control systems at Le Mans