maxon DC motor combination in V8 race car engines
maxon motor UK supplies DC motor combinations in V8 engines of race cars that competed at Le Mans in 2017.
maxon UK customer, Gibson Technology, created, developed and manufactured a new 4.2 litre V8 engine. The race car engine specialist depended on the performance and reliability of maxon DC motor and gearhead assemblies in each of their engines.
The environment of the motors is particularly harsh, subjected to high vibration and extreme heat cycles. The DC motor system is responsible for the throttle actuation in the Gibson engine and was exclusively designed for endurance racing, so it is vital that the DC motor drive system is reliable and hard wearing. Put simply, if the motor fails the engine stops. The combination used by Gibson Technologies is a modified and customised product.
Throughout Le Mans race week maxon’s DC motors successfully travelled a total of 143,449.03 km’s over 719 hours, 27 minutes. That is the equivalent of three-and-a-half times around the world. In 2017 Gibson engines competed in four prestigious endurance racing events: the FIA Word Endurance Championship, the Le Mans 24 Hours, the European Le Mans Series and the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship. To the surprise of many, two LMP2 cars came second and third place in the Le Mans 24 Hours and 14 out of the top 16 cars were Gibson powered. Across the LMP2 category Gibson had 25 cars on the grid, the largest number ever for a single engine manufacturer.
Gibson Technology was nominated for a number of awards and won ‘Race Engine Designer of the Year’ at Race Technology Magazine’s World Motorsport Symposium. Significantly, having seen the achievements in 2017, the company has been approached to provide the Dragonspeed LMP1 team, and another two car LMP1 team the name of which will be announced shortly, in the FIA Word Endur-ance Championship with a newly developed GL458 engine for 2018 and 2019. LMP1 cars are the most powerful cars in endurance racing. They have size restrictions on length, width, and fuel tank capacity and are fitted with homologated fuel flow meters, which constrains both fuel energy per lap and maximum instantaneous fuel flow. This will be more of a technical challenge with the focus being on gaining efficiency and control of the engine. A challenge Gibson is more than ready to take on – watch this space!
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