BMW E30 318i: engine management optimization

I’ve already talked about our race car, affectionately known as the “penco” —Spanish for nag—, in previous posts. The term “penco” is not fortuitous, as with only 113 hp the car was at the bottom of the entry list for the 24 hours of Braga in terms of horsepower. Nonetheless, we’ve seen that, in endurance racing, horsepower is not everything as was demonstrated by the 115 hp VW Golf III that took the victory against teams with up to 200 hp cars.

BMW E30 318i

Our race car, like most vehicles from the early 1980s onwards, incorporates an engine control unit that control several actuators to ensure optimal engine performance. Therefore, by tuning the so called engine maps it is possible to achieve superior performance.

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Posted in Electronics, FANSI Motorsport Tagged with: , , , , ,

Lap times for the 2014 F1 Russian Grand Prix

The first time in the history of Formula One than a race is held in Russia —check this map—, and also the first Constructors’ Championship for Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team. A well deserved championship given the merciless dominance of their cars. Such is that, that Rosberg was able to finish in P2 running on medium tyres the whole race after a first lap lock-up ruined the performance of his tyres, thus pitting for a new set of medium tyres.

A similar strategy was followed by Felipe Massa —started in P18— switching to a soft set of tyres after the first lap hoping for a Safety Car to be released. The Brazilian was closely following the pace of Nico Rosberg but got stuck behind Sergio Perez for several laps. This forced Massa to pit once again ultimately finishing in P11. Similar initial strategy, very different outcome. On the other hand, Vatteri Bottas claimed another podium finish this season after a fantastic race.

Button and Magnussen finished in P4 and P5, making this one of the best race finishes for the team this season. Fernando Alonso could have finished in between the two drivers, and even fight for P4 where it not for a sloppy pit stop in lap 25.

Ricciardo and Vettel also finished one after the other further strengthening Red Bull’s 2nd position in the Constructors’ Championship. Raikkonen managed to grab two points, crucial in keeping alive Ferrari’s duel against Williams for P3 in the Championship.

Also, worth to mention Sergio Perez’s fifth consecutive finish in the points, tied on points with Kimi.

Following, I provide some plots so you may draw your own conclusions.

Average pace

This plot shows the difference to the average pace of the race winner. That is, the difference to the average lap time, including pit stops.

The steeper the curve, the faster the lap; and as the curves are generated from cumulative sums of lap times, a negative slope implies a lap time which is quicker that the average.

Read more ›

Posted in F1 Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Lap times for the 2014 F1 Japanese Grand Prix

Typhoon Phanfone made a threat to ruin this 26th edition of the F1 Japanese Grand Prix at the Suzuka Circuit. Fortunately, there was enough time for a very difficult race to take place, although cars had to start after the Safety Car.

Mercedes’s Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg recorded the eight one-two finish of the season —McLaren set a record of 10 in 1988—. It is also the eight race win of 2014 for Lewis Hamilton, who gap with Rosberg to ten points.

Third podium for Vettel after having confirmed this weekend his move to Ferrari next season. On the other hand, team mate Dani Ricciardo finished fourth after overtaking Button with a pair of decisive moves.

Fourteen points were distributed among Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa, who finished sixth and seventh respectively, consolidating Williams in third place. Nico Hulkenberg took home four points, while Vergne, who finished between two Sahara Force India’s, grabbed two points, leaving the remaining one to Sergio Perez.

But this was a wet difficult race, and Adrian Sutil lost control of his car hitting the barrier in lap 43. Nothing serious happened. Sutil was able to leave the Sauber on its own. But while the crane was lifting his car, Jules Bianchi spun hitting the rescue vehicle from the back; an unfortunate incident which required immediate medical attention.

Following, I provide the plots so you may draw your own conclusions.

Average pace

This plot shows the difference to the average pace of the race winner. That is, the difference to the average lap time, including pit stops.

The steeper the curve, the faster the lap; and as the curves are generated from cumulative sums of lap times, a negative slope implies a lap time which is quicker that the average.

Read more ›

Posted in F1 Tagged with: , , , , ,

Understanding the title block macro in CATIA V5

CATIA gives its users the possibility to use a VBscript macro to generate Title Blocks automatically adjusted to any drawing format. A few macros are provided by default. Users can customize frames and title blocks by either modifying one the default macros or by creating their own macros.

The default macros are stored in the install_root/intel_a/VBScript/FrameTitleBlock directory and have a .CATScript extension. We can specify another location in the Tools > Options > Mechanical Design > Drafting > Layout tab.

A macro is comprised of Sub procedures and functions. When the Insert Frame and Title Block dialog box is displayed, it will show a set of actions predefined in the macro. Those actions are Sub procedures prefixed using CATDwr_.

For instance, the Creation action looks like this:

Sub CATDrw_Creation( targetSheet as CATIABase )
  '-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  'How to create the FTB
  '-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  If Not CATInit(targetSheet) Then Exit Sub
  If CATCheckRef(1) Then Exit Sub 'To check whether a FTB exists already in the sheet
  CATCreateReference              'To place on the drawing a reference point
  CATFrame                        'To draw the frame
  CATCreateTitleBlockFrame        'To draw the geometry
  CATTitleBlockText               'To fill in the title block
  CATColorGeometry                'To change the geometry color
  CATExit targetSheet             'To save the sketch edition
End Sub

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Posted in CATIA, VBScript Tagged with: , , ,

Lap times for the 2014 F1 Singapore Grand Prix

Problems in Rosberg’s car’s wiring loom just before the start of this Grand Prix predicted a troublesome race for the German driver who had to retire after several laps. This handed over a lot of points to his team mate Lewis Hamilton —who enjoyed a clean weekend— in their race for the Driver’s Championship.

This was the best finish of the year for Sebastian Vettel, finishing ahead of team-mate Daniel Ricciardo. The Safety Car played an important strategic role. Until then, Fernando Alonso was holding 2nd place and would have made a podium if he hadn’t got to pit to get on a set of tyres he could run to the end of the race with.

Further back, Kimi Raikkonen got stuck behind Felipe Massa, who used and aggressive three stop strategy to jump ahead of the Finn. On the other hand, Valtteri Bottas had a good chance to finish in the points but the grip on his tyres faded away in the closing stages of the race dropping form P6 to P11.

Jean-Eric Vergne equalled the best result of his career so far with sixth place, but was given five-second penalties on two occasions.

Following, I provide the plots so you may draw your own conclusions.

Average pace

This plot shows the difference to the average pace of the race winner. That is, the difference to the average lap time, including pit stops.

The steeper the curve, the faster the lap; and as the curves are generated from cumulative sums of lap times, a negative slope implies a lap time which is quicker that the average.

Read more ›

Posted in F1 Tagged with: , , , , ,

Lap times for the 2014 F1 Italian Grand Prix

Although Hamilton performed a poor start due to problems with his ERS, he managed to snatch the win from Rosberg in the last stages of the race. The Briton decided to close on his team mate who cracked under the pressure making a mistake. This was a clean race between the two without any controversial incident.

The third step on the podium was for Felipe Massa. It’s his first podium this season, and also his first podium with Williams, finishing just ahead of team mate Valtteri Bottas. A great finish for Williams who just surpassed Ferrari in the Team Championship.

A near-disastrous weekend for Ferrari at their home Grand Prix. An engine problem deprived Alonso from finishing this race and Raikkonen brought only two points home —after Magnussen was given a 5-second penalty.

Not quite so bad for Red Bull, placing both drivers in P5 and P6. Vettel was the first of the one-stopping drivers to make his pit stop giving Ricciardo, on fresher tyres, a better chance to overtake his team mate.

Both McLaren drivers made it to the points, even though Magnussen was given a 5-second penalty because he “did not leave enough room for car 77 [Bottas] in turn one and forced him off the track.” This sanction was worth an extra point for Perez, Button and Raikkonen.

Following, I provide the plots so you may draw your own conclusions.

Average pace

This plot shows the difference to the average pace of the race winner. That is, the difference to the average lap time, including pit stops.

The steeper the curve, the faster the lap; and as the curves are generated from cumulative sums of lap times, a negative slope implies a lap time which is quicker that the average.

Read more ›

Posted in F1 Tagged with: , , , , ,

Williams FW07

The Williams FW07 was a ground effect Formula One racing car designed by Patrick Head for the 1979 F1 season. It was not the first ground effect Formula One car, a concept that Colin Chapman got working brilliantly in the ’78 and ’79 at Lotus, but it was difficult and expensive to get right, as well as being extremely alienating for many drivers, who had no choice but to scream through corners at insanely high speeds, hoping passionately that nothing would upset the workings of the airflow under the car. According to Niki Lauda [3],

Cornering became a rape practised on the driver. Something really terrible, unnatural and unpredictable.

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Posted in Assorted Tagged with: , , ,

Lap times for the 2014 F1 Belgian Grand Prix

After a rainy qualification, today we could enjoy a sunny Sunday race. But that would no mean to be a parade for Mercedes as the two drivers tangled on the second lap of the race. This damaged Rosberg’s front wing while leaving Hamilton with a puncture that ruined his race.

This led to a great opportunity for Ricciardo to claim his third win of the year. Rosberg and Bottas completed the podium.

Further back, Alonso saw his race compromised by a 5-second penalty because mechanics were still working on his Ferrari when the grid formation lap began. Additional performance issues in Alonso’s car got Raikkonen to finish ahead of his team mate for the first time this season.

Magnussen was given a 20-second penalty after the race for not giving enough space for car 14 and forcing Alonso out of the track. He dropped from sixth to twelfth, taking no points this race. But it was late for Alonso, as he then struggled to stand against Vettel and Button.

Andre Lotterer’s F1 debut ended when his Caterham stopped by the side of the track on his first lap. The same fate befell Lotus’s Pastor Maldonado.

Average pace

This plot shows the difference to the average pace of the race winner. That is, the difference to the average lap time, including pit stops.

The steeper the curve, the faster the lap; and as the curves are generated from cumulative sums of lap times, a negative slope implies a lap time which is quicker that the average. Read more ›

Posted in F1 Tagged with: , , , ,

Lap times for the 2014 F1 Hungarian Grand Prix

This race certainly has to stablish Alonso as one of the greatest drivers in F1 history, if not the best. Not that I take away the credit from Hamilton, who also had a splendid race beating his team-mate Nico Rosberg starting from the pit lane, but Alonso has not the best car in the paddock.

Anyway, this was a really interesting race. It might have been another parade for Rosberg and his Mercedes were it not for the downpour just before the race and a couple of accidents —Ericsson first, and Grosjean slightly after while still under the SC— which had the Safety Car released from lap 9 to 13. Some drivers took the opportunity to switch to Soft dry tyres but for Rosberg, Bottas, Vettel and Alonso out front.

A few laps later, the Safety Car was back out when Sergio Perez lost control sliding into the pit wall. At the restart, Fernando Alonso was leader until Ricciardo managed to snatch the lead from the Spaniard with three laps to go. Alonso managed to hold on to a superb second place, while Hamilton secured a scarcely believable third place after starting from the pitlane.

Following, I provide the plots so you may draw your own conclusions.

Average pace

This plot shows the difference to the average pace of the race winner. That is, the difference to the average lap time, including pit stops.

The steeper the curve, the faster the lap; and as the curves are generated from cumulative sums of lap times, a negative slope implies a lap time which is quicker that the average. Read more ›

Posted in F1 Tagged with: , , , ,

Ferrari 330 P4

1967-ferrari-330-p4-chassis-0858-right-side

Only three 330 P4s were built, chassis numbers 0856, 0858 and 0860. This 1967 Ferrari 330 P4 (chassis number 0858) was converted for use in the North American Can-Am series after the international regulations were changed at the end of the season. The P4 was modified as a 350 Can-Am with notable features including a smooth front-end devoid of any lights, a more stylised rear spoiler and two air intakes curving outward to the fuel injection trumpets. Drop-dead gorgeous.

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Posted in Assorted Tagged with: , , ,
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