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Touring car exhausts

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The British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) is renowned for being a keenly contested and competitive series. It has remained popular for decades and continues to attract a strong field of domestic and international drivers. Team Hard will contest the BTCC in 2013 using two Vauxhall Insignia VXRRs. Thorney Motorsport has supplied the cars and developed its own exhaust system to suit the installation of the race series' spec engine, after its exhaust supplier failed to produce a...

Nut dilation

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When we tighten a fastener, the aim is to impose an axial load. The method of doing this is normally either to turn a nut on a stationary fastener, or to turn the fastener within a fixed female thread. This is something with which we are all quite familiar. What is less obvious though is what is happening to the female threaded component, and how this might affect the strength of the joint and the relationship between torque and tension in the joint. There is a phenomenon called nut...

Fuel delivery

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As a development engineer for more than 30 years, and an enthusiast for a lot longer, I have seen many fuel systems installed in race and rally cars across the land. Some of them are very good, some not so. Most will obviously work sufficiently well 95% or even 99% of the time or else the owners would presumably modify them to suit, but there may be times when ambient temperatures are high or fuel levels very low when they can be caught out. The enemy of any fuel system for the...

The airbox

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For an engine to deliver its maximum performance it needs an adequate supply of cold, dense air. In a dynamometer test cell with good ventilation, engine air intake temperatures should not be an issue and are generally around that of the ambient air. When the engine is settled into the confined place of the engine bay of a race machine or nestling under the hood of a passenger car, however, the situation is most likely very different. In such instances cold, clean air may have to be ducted...

Synthetic oils

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Oil is one of the most important components in a modern race engine, but it rarely appears in the limelight in the way power-enhancing components do. Beyond the realms of historic racers, which still use the beautifully aromatic caster oil blend of Castrol R, race engines will run on fully synthetic oils. It would be fair to say that without the development of synthetic-type oils, the levels of performance and reliability achieved from, for example, a Formula One V8, would not be possible....