MIA applauds early success of member companies at 2014 Le Mans
04 Mar 2014
One of the most important battles waged at Le Mans is between engineering companies who supply their world class equipment to these outstanding cars for the destructive, relentless test that is the 24 Hour of Le Mans to be held on June 14/15 in 2014.
Recent publication of the provisional entry list for the 2014 race shows that Motorsport Valley UK powertrain specialists have secured an impressive position already. They will supply almost the entire grid of cars with their transmissions - in addition to a large number of the engines in use, and many of the critical engine parts in use.
MIA members and British transmission specialists Xtrac, Hewland and Ricardo dominate this particular technology - Xtrac alone will supply transmissions to more than 35 cars in 2014. “ At a time when UK automotive OEMs have an increasing interest in advanced powertrains this is great news for our UK industry” says Chris Aylett, CEO of MIA, “these three world class suppliers will demonstrate their expertise to a wide audience at this unbelievably tough race, and their businesses will benefit enormously from success"
In fact, in the last 15 years, the UK has supplied the transmissions for every winning car - Xtrac having supplied nine and Ricardo six – an outstanding record which confirms the UK's leading position in the supply of powertrains to the world's greatest endurance race.
These complex systems must keep these cars running for over 5,000km (3125 miles) in just 24 hours with the fastest cars reaching over 320km/h (200 MPH). Le Mans 2014, with its new focus on energy efficient racing, has set the most exciting technological challenge for powertrains in its history. UK motorsport companies have proved to be ready to meet this challenge by providing the technology, being rapidly developed on the race track, which will improve the next generation of fuel efficient passenger cars.
All these UK transmission specialists will be present at Le Mans providing technical and spares support to the teams for both qualification and race. It is interesting to note how far the reliability of these highly complex systems have developed over the years. In the past it was normal for drivers to 'nurse' the car through the early stages of the race to ensure the reliability of the transmission, however now, in the modern era of Le Mans where the pace of the event is 'flat out from the start', it's not just a fast car but a reliable one that is a necessity to take the prestigious overall victory and enter the history books.