Wolf GB08 Tornado Extreme

Wolf Racing Cars

The name Wolf is traditional in motorsport, dating back to the efforts of Austrian-born Canadian Walter Wolf. Initially, the businessman acquired 60% of Frank Williams Racing Cars (first attempt by the Englishman to have his own team), in addition to various equipment from the Hesketh and Embassy Hill teams.

Wolf WR7. Source: GTdrivingclubPT.

Founded in 1977, the English team racked up three victories in Argentina, Monaco and Canada in its debut year, and even went so far as to develop a Can-Am prototype in partnership with Dallara before merging with Fittipaldi in 1979.

Wolf-Dallara WD1. Source: Racecarsdirect.

The Wolf name reappeared in 2009, after the Italian team Avelon Formula acquired the right to the Walter Wolf Racing name, starting in 2010 the manufacture of a series of prototypes that have been accumulating victories on tracks around the world, including the Italian and Australian prototype championships. , FIA Speed Euroseries, VdeV, Asian Le Mans Series and two overall wins at Pikes Peak (2019 and 2021).

Wolf GB08 TSC-LT from Robin Shute, overall Pikes Peak winner in 2018 and 2021. Source: Robin Shute Racing.

Wolf GB08 Tornado Extreme

After the initial success with the GB08 Honda prototype, 2017 saw Wolf Racing Cars’ new weapon, the GB08 Tornado prototype, the first in the CN class to be built with a carbon fiber monocoque. 

Wolf GB08 Honda.

Initially the car was presented in two configurations, always equipped with a PSA EP6 1.6 THP engine: CN, with a 280 HP engine and S, with a 400 HP engine. In 2021, the Extreme version was presented, equipped with a 650 HP Ford 5.2 V8 engine, the result of a partnership that turned the Italian manufacturer into an official engine preparer for the american manufacturer.

Wolf GB08 Tornado. Source: Sportscar365.

As a curiosity, the name Tornado was originally intended for the manufacturer’s LMP2 prototype, a project that never materialized, and honors the Panavia Tornado military aircraft, a multi-role combat aircraft with variable geometry wing developed in consortium by Germany, United Kingdom, Italy.

Panavia Tornado. Source: Wikipedia.

Chassis & Powertrain

The chassis of the GB08 Tornado Extreme is a carbon fiber monocoque, the first to be used in a CN-class prototype and which, according to Article 277 of Annex J, must meet the crash test requirements of the 2005 Formula 1, with the fairing also in carbon fiber, which results in a weight of only 650 kg. The fuel tank has a capacity of 100 liters, and FIA FT3 homologation.

Suspension is built with push rods on all four wheels, with a third element at the front and rear and 2-way adjustable dampers, with 280 mm disc brakes on all four wheels and can be optionally equipped with ABS.

Ford V8 for the Tornado Extreme. Source: Wolf Racing Cars.

As for the powertrain, this is composed of a 5.2-liter Ford V8 engine prepared by Wolf itself with a power of 650 HP, which is transmitted to the ground by an RC184 sequential transmission, an in-house project by Wolf Racing Cars. The car also leaves the factory already with a traction control system.

Aerodynamics

The aerodynamics of the GB08 can be defined as a mix between a Formula and a Le Mans prototype, combining characteristics of both philosophies. Moving to the front section is occupied by a large splitter/front wing (1), which has two additional elements (2), and a vortex generator in the foot plate region (3). The nose (4) is raised, reminiscent of the 2010-12 F1s, and the front wheels have pontoon fenders (5). The rollcage is a six-point design, as per the FIA standard requirements CN-class prototypes, and the air intake of the engine is just behind the driver (7).

Moving to the back, we can see that there are openings (8) on the trailing edge of the front wheel arches. We can also see the sidepods (9) and the two-element rear wing (10), which works together with the rear diffuser ( 11). This diffuser has two central strakes for flow separation, and the wheel housings are vented to the rear section through openings with three strakes each (12).

Adaptation to Endurance Brasil

As of 2021, Wolf Racing Cars will be represented in Brazil by LLCA Internazionale, Andrey Valério’s racing team currently based in Ribeirão Preto.

Since 2018, the team has been working to participate in Endurance Brasil, first developing the Pegaso R P1 prototype together with UNIP engineering students, a project that reached the stage of building a model, and later with the Pegaso R P2, a prototype based on a Aldee Spyder chassis equipped with Subaru EJ25 engine.

Andrey Valerio and Pegaso R P1 wind tunnel model.
Pegaso R P2 during it’s building process.

However, since the announcement of the representation of Wolf Racing Cars, LLCA started to focus its efforts on making the arrival of the GB08 Tornado prototype possible for the P2 category of Endurance Brazil. However, some changes need to be made to the Italian prototype, as we can see from the comparative table below:

The first big adaptation needed at the chassis level is the adoption of HALO. According to LLCA Internazionale, it is possible to adapt the same type of rollcage used in the Pikes Peak car. Another possibility would be to develop a HALO for the GB08 type of santantonio, something that is possible and we have already seen in cars like the Absoluta ABS01.

There is also a need to increase the car’s mass by about 210 kg, an increment of approximately 30% and which surely requires some set-up adjustment work. Part of this increase must already come from the HALO or rollcage – according to the FIA 8869-2018 standard, a HALOSTL weighs about 14 kg, and several F1 teams have stated that the increase in mass generated by the necessary reinforcements in the monocoque is on the order of 12- 13 kg – in our estimation the increase in mass will be between 30 kg and 50 kg, depending on the protection system approved for Endurance Brasil. The rest, we believe, will be obtained by the adoption of ballast, to be distributed by the car.

One more point to note is the fuel, since the presence of a percentage of ethanol in gasoline must require some adjustment of the engine’s calibration, and even the replacement of components of the fuel system by others with materials compatible with ethanol.

Once this work is done, the GB08 Extreme can become an interesting option for the P2 category, and due to its characteristic it may even be able to bother the faster cars of the P1 and GT3 categories. In a search, we could not find lap times recorded in competitions for the Extreme version of the GB08, however we did find race data from the 2019 Ultimate Cup Series season for the CN version of the GB08 (equipped with a 280 HP PSA 1.6 Turbo engine and weight of 550 kg), and which allow a comparison with LMP3 prototypes that competed in the same event:

These data do not allow us to extrapolate a performance estimate of the GB08 Tornado Extreme, especially taking into account the necessary modifications to adapt to the Endurance Brasil regulations, however, according to LLCA, simulations carried out at the Wolf factory indicate a lap time in Interlagos of 1m24s1 , which would position the Italian prototype slightly faster than the P1s currently competing.

Wolf GB08 Thunder. Source: Wolf Racing Cars.

In addition to the GB08 Tornado Extreme for Endurance Brazil, LLCA is offering the possibility of taking Brazilian riders to the Italian Campionato Sport Prototipi, competing with the GB08 Thunder, a single-seater prototype equipped with an Aprilia RSV4 engine up to 219 HP, and weighing only 378 kg, with intermediate performance between a Formula 4 and Formula 3 single seaters.

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Sources:

About us. Available at: https://wolfracingcars.com/storia/?lang=en

Wolf GB08 Tornado. Available at: https://wolfracingcars.com/modelli/tornado/?lang=en

Appendix J – Article 259 – Technical Regulations for Production Sports Cars (Group CN). Available at: https://www.fia.com/regulation/category/123

Appendix J – Article 277 – Free Formula Technical Regulations. Available at: https://www.fia.com/regulation/category/123

Lendas e Motores – Wolf WR7. Available at: http://gtdrivingclubpt.blogspot.com/2016/08/lendas-e-motores-wolf-wr7.html

Wolf Dallara WD1 1977 Can Am Car ex Amon / Villeneuve. Available at: https://racecarsdirect.com/Advert/Details/86071/wolf-dallara-wd1-1977-can-am-car-ex-amon-vill

Weekly Racing Roundup (2.4.19). Available at: https://sportscar365.com/features/roundup/weekly-racing-roundup-2-4-19/

Wolf Launch New GB08 Tornado. Available at: https://www.dailysportscar.com/2017/04/01/wolf-launch-new-gb08-tornado.html

CAMPEONATO BRASILEIRO DE ENDURANCE. REGULAMENTO DESPORTIVO E TÉCNICO 2021 – ADENDO Nº 1. Available at: https://www.cba.org.br/upload/downloads//569/regulamento-desportivo-e-tecnico-2021-endurance-2021-adendo-1-.pdf

GB08 Tornado. Available at: https://wolfracingcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Wolf-GB08-Tornado-ITA-20.pdf

Ultimate Cup Series. Season 2019 – Circuito do Estoril. Available at: https://www.its-results.com/ucs/2019/e51dcd76-cbde-41b3-945e-df983bb573cb

Ultimate Cup Series. Season 2019 – Autodromo del Mugello. Available at: https://www.its-results.com/ucs/2019/5b1394b3-2bd8-480e-b03a-36e3029e3409

Ultimate Cup Series. Season 2019 – Circuit Paul Ricard. Available at: https://www.its-results.com/ucs/2019/d0396fa5-56c6-46b2-8320-cd5fb5158bec

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