The mighty group C cars (and a bit of IMSA)

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MadMatt
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The mighty group C cars (and a bit of IMSA)

Post by MadMatt » Thu Jan 15, 2015 10:43 am

I couldn't find a dedicated thread for the group C cars, and eventho I am much into rallying (which doesn't really fall into the scope of this forum), I also love the group C cars, which are more relevant here. Group C represented this for me:

- great variety of engines (flat 6, V8, V10, V12, turbo, N/A, etc.)
- very different looking cars (Peugeot 905, Mercedes C9, Lancia LC2, etc.)
- top drivers from different horizons (F1, rally, touring cars, etc.)

This was a time where there was a lot of freedom in the regulations, the cars were really fast (a bit like these days where LMP1 are more or less as fast as the F1 cars), but you could recognize the cars just by their sound, or their distinctive livery. There was a lot of manufacturers, the racing was fierce, eventho I didn't watch all this on TV because I was too young, I just love that time and these cars.

See how many cars were entered in this category that lasted from 1982 to 1992 (more or less, depending on the country and championship).

For sure there was C1 and C2 (even C3 I hear), but I think the focus should be on the C1 cars, the top class, as this is where you will find most of the very interesting stuff. So feel free to share pictures and stories here, I will start with the following picture that I find just lovely. Cars under cornering load, nice colours, and Michael Schumacher at the wheel of the Mercedes.

Image

For me that group C time can be divided into 3 parts:

- Raise of endurance racing and Porsche (1982-1985)
- Manufacturers war and the next step (1986-1990)
- The F1 wannabe formula and its end (1991-1992)

And 3 cars that symbolize these 3 periods.

Porsche 956
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Sauber-Mercedes C11
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Jaguar XJR14
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The R&D put in these cars was just monumental. The aerodynamic performance of these machines was phenomenal. You just have to browse Mulsanne's Corner's aero database to get an estimation of what they achieved back then. I hope we will make this thread live with nice (detailed) pictures of these cars to see why and how they were so fast!

For the people doing the KVRC 2015 competition, these cars surely are a great inspiration!

:)
Last edited by MadMatt on Mon Jan 19, 2015 11:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

matt21
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Re: The mighty group C cars

Post by matt21 » Thu Jan 15, 2015 12:22 pm

For me one of the most striking group C cars
Image

Richard
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Re: The mighty group C cars

Post by Richard » Thu Jan 15, 2015 12:37 pm

Yup, they were awesome cars.

@Matt21 - Is that the Allard J2X-C?

This thread ain't going to work without captions...

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Re: The mighty group C cars

Post by turbof1 » Thu Jan 15, 2015 12:46 pm

Dat Sauber...
#AeroFrodo

MadMatt
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Re: The mighty group C cars

Post by MadMatt » Thu Jan 15, 2015 1:08 pm

Richard, yes it is! A picture of an early design:

Image

Interesting!

MadMatt
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Re: The mighty group C cars

Post by MadMatt » Thu Jan 15, 2015 1:39 pm

Few numbers for the tech' people here (pardon me for the source of these numbers, its all I could get for now):

- Porsche 956L: 8500N of downforce @ 320kph (Bernoulli)
- Porsche 956K: 8500N of downforce @ 180kph (Bernoulli)
- Sauber-Mercedes C9: 21790N of DF and 5450N of drag @ 320kph (Mulsanne's Corner)
- Sauber-Mercedes C11: 26150N of DF @ 320kph (Mulsanne's Corner)
- Jaguar XJR-11: 23495N of DF and 6010N of drag @ 320kph (Mulsanne's Corner)
- Jaguar XJR-14: 26155N of DF and 6228N of drag @ 320kph (Mulsanne's Corner)
- Jaguar XJR-14 IMSA: 35000N of DF and 7562N of drag @ 320kph (Mulsanne's Corner)
- Nissan R92CP: 29202N of DF and 6370N of drag @ 320kph (Mulsanne's Corner)
- Allard J2X: 43495N of DF and 7246N of drag @ 320kph (Mulsanne's Corner)
- Allard J2X: 24950N of DF @ 240kph (Racecar Engineering 2005)
- Toyota TS010: over 44000N of DF @ 320kph (Mulsanne's Corner)
- Toyota Eagle mk2 last specs: 29220N of DF and 7655N of drag at 320kph (Prototyp.org)
- Toyota Eagle mk3 std rear wing: 30070N of DF and 7350N of drag @ 320kph (Prototyp.org)
- Toyota Eagle mk3 bi-plane rear wing: 32115N of DF and 7350N of drag @ 320kph (Prototyp.org)

Be very careful with these numbers. Not only I doubt they have been all verified, but some of them don't mean anything in reality since the drag induced by some of the setups giving these high downforce values forbid 320kph to be reached, so in reality you wouldn't ever measure that level of downforce at that speed.

The Allard was never a success, being barely faster than GT cars, but the word "extreme" can definitely be used to describe the car. Read more about it here.

Image

The Le Mans Test Day simply verified the car’s lack of suitability for the high-speed circuit. Friend trimmed as much downforce out of the car as practical, but there was little that could be done without a major redesign. “The front flaps were run as low as was possible angle wise and, if I recall, we managed to get somewhere around 172 mph”. But when you consider that cars such as the Peugeot 905 were nearly reaching 220 mph into the first chicane, 172 mph is paltry.

Regarding the Jaguar XJR-14, Brawn recalls that the downforce was "an order of magnitude more than were being achieved in F1 at the time"! Interesting article here.

It seems that one of the biggest and most efficient downforce producing machine was the Toyota TS010. Warning, spaceship ahead:

Image

Image

:)
Last edited by MadMatt on Mon Jan 19, 2015 12:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.

WaikeCU
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Re: The mighty group C cars

Post by WaikeCU » Thu Jan 15, 2015 2:21 pm

Nissan R92CP:
Image

I especially love those eyebrow aeroflaps

MadMatt
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Re: The mighty group C cars

Post by MadMatt » Thu Jan 15, 2015 2:24 pm

I do too! My favorite car in Gran Turismo 6! Here in high downforce trim:

Image

I have used their eyebrow concept idea in my KVRC 2015 car, although a bit different! :) Less draggy tho!

Pierce89
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Re: The mighty group C cars

Post by Pierce89 » Thu Jan 15, 2015 3:39 pm

Image
“To be able to actually make something is awfully nice”
Bruce McLaren on building his first McLaren racecars, 1970

“I've got to be careful what I say, but possibly to probably Juan would have had a bigger go”
Sir Frank Williams after the 2003 Canadian GP, where Ralf hesitated to pass brother M. Schumacher

matt21
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Re: The mighty group C cars

Post by matt21 » Thu Jan 15, 2015 4:28 pm

WaikeCU wrote:Nissan R92CP:
http://www.nissan-global.com/EN/HERITAG ... 012844.jpg

I especially love those eyebrow aeroflaps
If I remember correct, they we´re called "BOSS HOLES"

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Re: The mighty group C cars

Post by matt21 » Thu Jan 15, 2015 4:31 pm

If IMSA GTP counts as well

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C291
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C292
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MadMatt
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Re: The mighty group C cars

Post by MadMatt » Thu Jan 15, 2015 4:51 pm

Ah the C292 that never race, what a machine! There was a discussion about the C291 here.

For the C292, more here. But check out that picture:

Image

Superb, I wonder if it would have performed as well as it looked. The Peugeot 905 Evo 2 posted above was mighty as well if not more, as the C292 was more an evolution that anything, as opposed to the 905 Evo 2 which was very different from the 905.

Finally, here is a picture of a very well known F1 driver behind the wheel of the C291:

Image

I like that picture!

McMrocks
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Re: The mighty group C cars

Post by McMrocks » Thu Jan 15, 2015 6:01 pm

Those cars are adorable. Not for their beauty (in fact... they are ugly) but for their speed and engineering.
It is quite interesting that Group C was a fuel limited formula (in race trim). Even though i wonder if there has been any restriction regarding the fuel flow in Qualifying. Wikipedia (sorry for that source) doesn't state anything like that. I guess in Q they were really "monsters".
wikipedia wrote: It [FiA] limited cars to a minimum weight of 800 kg and a maximum fuel capacity of 100 litres. With competitors restricted to five refueling stops within a 1000 kilometer distance, the cars were effectively allowed 600 litres per 1000 kilometers.
also an interesting part:
While the consumption requirement meant that cars needed to conserve fuel early in the race

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Re: The mighty group C cars

Post by Morteza » Thu Jan 15, 2015 7:33 pm

Fantastic thread, Matt. I love those Sauber-Mercedes cars. There is something about these Group C cars that makes them so special.
"A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool."~William Shakespeare

wesley123
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Re: The mighty group C cars

Post by wesley123 » Thu Jan 15, 2015 7:40 pm

Image
the Nissan ZX-T, dominated the IMSA GTP in the late 80s. It also was the inspiration for many other GTP cars of that era(Like the Busby or Dyson Porsches).

More on it here; http://www.mulsannescorner.com/nissangtpzx-t.html
"Bite my shiny metal ass" - Bender