Product Development

Preparing for Targa Tasmania 2010

Apr 13

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010 4:25 PM  RssIcon

According to Supaloc Racing technical director and co-owner Oscar Fiorinotto, Supaloc Racing's state-of-the-art suspension and software facilities have ensured the Lamborghini repair project has been completed to the highest-possible standard. Fiorinotto's V8 Supercar experience enabled the team to create a chassis jig in order to rebuild the car and test the stiffness and strength of the Lamborghini's inner skeleton.

"We stripped the car back to a bare shell," Fiorinotto explained. "After that, we replaced the right-front chassis rail, and tested the tolerance of all the chassis pickup points."

The repair was largely aided by Supaloc's Unigraphics NX7 software, which the team used to work out the correct chassis sections to replace without compromising it's integrity. The software uses FEA (Finite Element Analysis) to model both the chassis and roll cage, in order to simulate the torsional stiffness and evaluate any high stress points within them. This was also used as a tool to stitch back together the new chassis section without introducing any high stress areas that may be casued by the welding sequence.

All the peripheral items that were damaged were replaced, including the radiator, Superleggera R aero kit, undertray and windscreen. These items were sourced from Lamborghini Melbourne.

"Andrew Smith from Lamborghini Melbourne was very helpful in sourcing replacement components, so we all thank him very much for his assistance," Fiorinotto said.

Targa Tasmania 2010 Preparations Targa Tasmania 2010 Preparations Targa Tasmania 2010 Preparations
Targa Tasmania 2010 Preparations Targa Tasmania 2010 Preparations Targa Tasmania 2010 Preparations

Once the repair work was completed, the team utilised the Supaloc CMM (Co-ordinate Measuring Machine) to check the position of the chassis pickup points and make sure they were to tolerance.

"The CMM is used on Supaloc steel frames; fortunately we were able to utilise it for our racing requirements as well," Fiorinotto said. "It is an extremely sophisticated piece of equipment – it has a tolerance of five microns so it is very accurate."

Suspension components, including shock-absorbers, uprights and wishbones were also damaged in the crash and had to be replaced.  The dampers were then dyno-tested for optimum tune.

The extensive rebuild process has also allowed the Supaloc racing team to make further performance-enhancing developments to the Lamborgini Gallardo Superleggera R. One of the most significant enhancements has been the paddle-shift gearbox.

"We have been developing the paddle-shift system in conjunction with Ole Buhl Racing in the UK," Fiorinotto explained. "Ole Buhl and his team have been developing the software in the UK for the current LP560 Gallardos and have supplied a version for the Superleggera R. "The upgrades to the system decrease shift times and give the driver more control mid-corner enabling shifts without upsetting the balance of the car.

"We would like to thank Ole Buhl Racing for all there help and support over the period of this development. It will make our car more competitive with the Nissan GTRs which use a similar paddle shift system."

There are absolutely no compromises as far as safety is concerned and as always, safety has been the number-one priority for Supaloc Racing in the Lamborghini repair project, with seats and seat mounts also replaced.

The Supaloc Racing team spent the weekend at Mallala testing the Lamborghini and Kevin Weeks was understandably excited about returning behind the wheel.

"The Lamborghini is an absolutely sensational car," he said. "It handles brilliantly, and its acceleration out of corners is just phenomenal. We had to upgrade the brakes because it is just so fast travelling from one corner into the next.

"Targa Tasmania is my personal Mount Everest. It is a six-day marathon, which requires an extremely high level of fitness, razor-sharp driving skills and impeccable communication between driver and co-driver.

"I have been training extra-hard to make sure I'm ready, and I've spent a lot of time in Tasmania preparing my pace notes for the course. I have my own style of pace notes, and my co-driver John Allen is adapting his navigating style to suit my pace notes.

"The car is fast enough to win and the team is certainly good enough, so hopefully some luck goes our way and we have a strong result," Weeks concluded.

Targa Tasmania 2010 commences on April 27.

 

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