One new D1 car we’ve all been waiting to get a closer look of is Kumakubo’s new Laurel. I’ve been seeing this car slowly turn into reality after spotting it many times up at K-Style in Nihonmatsu and to finally see it out in action is a real pleasure.
I never thought they get the damn thing so competitive from the get go, but they have really managed to create one hell of a machine. At Odaiba it looked like Kuma was having a blast with it, almost winning the first round if it wasn’t for the mistake he made during the Sudden Death run against Imamura.
At the heart of the Laurel is a custom built RB26, mated to either a Trust T88 or T78 single turbine depending on application. Aside from the crazy 900 plus horses it can develop, what really makes it special is that it’s been converted to dry-sup lubrication, fitted with a belt driven scavenge pump, an NTS designed and machined special sump…
…and a remote oil tank. This means the engine is supplied with optimal lubrication even when subjected to the highest G-forces, boosting reliability compared to even a well baffled and extended wet-sump. NTS also designed the intake manifold for this specific application, taking into consideration the nitrous oxide system the car also runs (but has yet been tested).
When the car was in the pits for some quick repairs to the rear bumper…
…I managed to get a look at the interior, which is pure race car, not even the stock dashboard remains. Custom switchgear is located on the center console with only a Stack dash unit being the only thing Kumakubo needs to be concerned with.
There is definitely a lot going on in the trunk, from the rather large ATL fuel cell (this thing must guzzle fuel down at an alarming rate!) to the two nitrous oxide tanks neatly positioned in front of it. We saw how RE-Amemiya took care of cooling the fuel in Suenaga’s new RX-8…
…but things are done slightly different on the Laurel, with this little exchanger contained in a cooler box which holds dry ice to really bring fuel temperatures down.
The suspension has been set up to allow quite a lot of squat at the rear, helping provided more grip when the rear tires are lit up.
It’s really good to see Kumakubo back in the game again, and I’m sure the Laurel will allow him to get back on top, so best of luck to him!
-Dino Dalle Carbonare