During last year's World Time Attack Challenge I bumped into Andrew Brilliant, a well known aerodynamicist from Yokohama, Japan. Andrew has developed aero for not only high profile time attack cars, but also for Super GT, GRAND-AM Rolex and American Le Mans. One of his recent projects caught our attention: this impressive, all-carbon bodied Evo known as Nemo.
After chatting on Facebook, Andrew and the vehicle's owner kindly gave us some insight into the build.
Andrew Brilliant: Welcome to Project Nemo. This car is not being built by a professional race chassis constructor like a typical GT or prototype car. Instead, it is being built out of Queensland, Australia by a dedicated group of enthusiasts. Quite a few have backgrounds in V8 Supercars while I come from aerodynamic design. We are a mixed up group of motorsport professionals and hobbyists with a passion for the sport of Time Attack.
“Nemo”, the car's name, is ghosted into the carbon of the front fenders. The name is in honor of the owner’s son who couldn't pronounce “Evo”. Every square centimeter of the car's carbon fiber body is sculpted for aerodynamics and strength. All these panels take significant aero load at speed, so they are constructed using various composite techniques, such as carbon over Aramid (Nomex), foam core carbon, and even fiberglass. The method is chosen for the needs of each particular part.
This is the dry sump oil tank; it is kept inside of a shielded case to protect the driver in the event of a rupture. The engine uses a 5 stage oil pump and this large vertical tank because a standard oil pump could not keep flowing under the high G forces.
The Velo carbon Kevlar seat is surrounded by a roll cage to protect the driver and create a rigid chassis. Time attack rules require the car to retain the firewall and original steel chassis so a carbon fiber tub cannot be used. This meant special attention was paid to the chassis as rigidity is even more critical for a high downforce car. The suspension loads get so high they can overwhelm the chassis and this degrades handling.
The steering wheel buttons are for overtake, launch control, radio, neutral and reverse gear selection. The driver can also scroll through the menu of the MoTeC ADL3 dash. The Geartronic pneumatic paddle shifters control a MakTrak 6 speed sequential gearbox whichhas specific gear ratios to suit the Eastern Creek circuit. The MoTeC M800 ECU cuts and reengages power during the hundredths of a second that the pressurized air takes to shift the gears. Since the gearshift time is so small, the ratios can be more optimized so that the car has maximum forward thrust at all times. To the right of the steering wheel you can also see a fire suppression system that sprays around the driver area. A Lifeline firebomb has been installed there are no safety compromises in this car.
This AP Racing brake setup is one of one; a special lightweight version designed to handle the thermal loads of this specific application. At this level, weight is lost grams at a time. The hats are also a special offset to match the custom suspension designed ground up for this car.
Here you can see the dry sump crank pulley and oil pan. The intercooler piping features Adel Wiggins couplings, and the large frame turbo is a Borg Warner EFR 8374. After initial running it will be replaced with a 9180 twin scroll. You'll also notice the Torque Solutions front engine mount behind the starter motor.
Here is the general layout of the engine bay, with the 4G63 heart in place. It's a mock up engine that will be replaced with the final 2.2 liter motor that is currently being assembled. The exhaust routing may seem unusual but everything is for aero on this car. The car runs a mechanical pump and a priming pump for startup. On the firewall from left to right is the clutch/brake reservoir, fuel regulator, radiator header tank and finally the breather tank on the right behind the strut tower.
The motor features Cosworth internals and special one-off components created with the input of a former F1 engineer from the turbo era. All of the exhaust parts will be surrounded by extensive heat shielding, coating, fiberglass and wrapping. Two Turbosmart wastegates, mounted to the Full-Race manifold, control boost. You can also see the custom water outlet connection.
This bespoke rear wing was designed specifically to complement the needs of this car.
It minimizes drag specifically in the ranges it would likely be adjusted. It was tested together with a simplified model of the car using the same CFD software some F1 teams use.
The massive cutouts in the bonnet are for the louvers and radiator exit ducting.
Here you can see the plug of the front having the louvers manufactured on them, ready for moulding.
Not quite hellaflush, but this is aerodynamicist approved. The door is a single piece of aramid core dry carbon that opens “gull wing” style, while Nemo will run on 18×11 with 295/30/18 rubber.
Words by Andrew Brilliant