Leal Race Cars LR01

Today we bring a prototype developed in Colombia. Result of the vision of Julian Leal (a race driver Italian F3000 Champion of 2008 and with experience racing in World Series, GP2 and the ELMS), the LR01 is a high performance race car totally built and developed in Colombia after four years of hard work by the following team:

  • Julian Leal: project manager and test driver;
  • Andres Ninõs: design and aerodynamics manager;
  • Alfredo Jamaica: bodywork development and composite manufacturing;
  • Beatriz Vieda: market and PR;
  • Felipe Parras: client and sponsor capitation;
  • Jairo Triana: mechanical systems;
  • Luis Angel Covelli: mechanical and composites engineering.

From its conception, the LR01 was thought to be eligible in a wide range of open rulebook championships, both in Latin America and the US. Without major delays, let’s know more from the first Leal Race Cars project:

Part 1 – Chassis

The LR01 has a conventional construction, a cromoly tubeframe similar to some Brazilian prototypes like AJR, Sigma and DTR.

Sources: Leal Race Cars [1].

Besides ensuring proper structural rigidity, a basic requirement for good performance, development also focused on concepts to ensure a good level of protection for the drivers. The Colombian prototype has two carbon crash boxes, the frontal one integrated to the nose design while the rear one is assembled to the gearbox. For this reason, the nose became one of the hardest parts to manufacture, due to the amount of layers of carbon fiber required to ensure the proper mechanical characteristics.

Suspension is a traditional double-A all around, with adjustable dampers. For the initial tests the rear suspension will be a conventional assembly with two dampers actuated by push rods, but there is a forecast to employ a third element if needed.

LR01’s rear suspension assembly. Source: Cuchenials [2].

For easy access to adjust the front dampers, openings were added to the bodypanels right after the nose (1), allowing quick access even in race conditions. Besides that, two openings at the base of the windshield (2) help ventilate the cockpit for races under hotter conditions.

Source: Leal Race Cars [1].

To stop the machine, 4-piston Wilwood brakes are used together with ventilated iron discs in all four corners.

Wheels are the same as used by the Mazda RT24-P DPi prototype. Source: F1 LATAM [3].

Part 2 – Powertrain

The powertrain choice of Leal Race Cars is a turbocharged, direct injection ,Ford EcoBoost 2.3-liter in-line 4 which, for the initial tests will be almost in factory spec, producing around 350 HP. The plan is to achieve 550 HP after some development, with the option of a “push-to-pass” button to help overtaking and to provide some extra juice for qualy sessions. Engine management is done by a MoTeC system, with data logging and display via a AEM CD-5.

Ford EcoBoost engine. Source: Leal Race Cars [1].

To transfer the power to the wheels, a 6-speed sequential gearbox from Sadev was chosen, with paddle shifts on the steering wheel. Engine to transmission coupling is done by a bellhousing developed by Leal Race Cars, and cast and machined in Colombia.

Bellhousing to couple the Ford EcoBoost engine to the Sadev transaxle Source: Leal Race Cars [1].

Part 3 – Aerodynamics

At first glance, the LR01 may even be confused to LMP2. This is no coincidence as, although it was built as a Formula Libre, Leal Race Cars used the LMP2 wheelbase and F/R track as starting points.

Source: Leal Race Cars [1].

At the front of the car, we can see the air inlets for the brakes (1), near the nose cone. Besides, we can spot two very large canards (2) and a vortex generator in the footplate region (3), similar to those used in F1 Cars and in Brazilian prototype DTR01. Over the roof we can spot the engine air intake scoop (4).

Source: Leal Race Cars [1].

Over the front wheels we have the usual arch wheel openings (5) and the side mounted radiators feed (6). Rearview mirrors (7) are assembled in sculpted mounts that direct a bit more air to the rear wing (see detail below).

Source: Leal Race Cars [1].

At the bottom region of the rear fenders are the rear brakes air inlets, which may receive a wing shaped cover for additional downforce at low drag cost in tracks were rear brake cooling is less of an issue. Over the engine bay is the omnipresent dorsal fin (9). Engine exhaust is integrated to the engine cover with the carbon fiber protected from excessive heat by a metallic insert (10).

Source: Leal Race Cars [1].

At the rear, the highlight is the two-element rear wing (11), a full width piece with three supports, a central one integrated to the shark fin and the two endplates attached to the rear bodywork and diffuser.

Source: Leal Race Cars [1].

Below we can see the rear wing central support, a fully machined part with various mass relief holes, and the mechanism to set up the angle of attack. Moreover, we can see the central bracket that helps strenghten the second element.

Source: Leal Race Cars [1].

The rear diffuser (12) is quite large, with six strakes running in it. These are not simple flow dividers, as they curve to help the flow keep attached during expansion.

For now, Leal Race Cars is focused on developing the car to participate in local races from the Colombian Championship like the 6 Hours of Bogotá, and after that proceed to display the LR01 potential on other Latin-American places like the 6 Hours of Yahuarcoha in Ecuador and the Chilean Championship.

Asked by our team, Leal Race Cars confirms to also consider Endurance Brasil as a possible destination, not ruling out the participation in one or more races in the near future. The biggest goal, however, is to enter US market, where the LR01 may be homologated to participate in races and championships from NASA, FARA and the 25 Hours of Thunderhill. The next step is to realize the first shakedown mid-march, starting the concept validation and mechanical adjustments of all systems that compose the car.

Sources:

[1]: Leal Race Cars. Available at: https://www.instagram.com/p/CGWEjwXHwIc/.

[2]: El Cuchenials – El LR01 de Julián Leal. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frysrA-yT7o

[3]: F1Latam.com – LR01, auto prototipo de alta competición hecho en Latinoamérica 🇨🇴 – PRIMICIA ✅🗯. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-QOG7DrTQU.

[4]: Colombia Motor Fans – Julián Leal y su nuevo prototipo de carreras – Entrevista exclusiva. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_6_ui6EL5k.

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