RACE TECH World Motorsport Symposium award winners
16 Jan 2013
Roger Griffiths and Allen Miller, Ralph Harman and Rene Hilhorst and Ole Buhl Racing were the recipients of the Race Engine Designer, the Dino Toso Racecar Aerodynamicist and the Most Innovative New Motorsport Product of the Year awards respectively, in a night of celebration during the RACE TECH World Motorsport Symposium.
Roger Griffiths, technical director of Honda Performance Development (HPD), flew to the UK to receive the prestigious Race Engine Designer for both himself and Allen Miller, for the LMP2 engine which had such a successful season in 2012. Mounted to the ARX-03b chassis run by Starworks Motorsport, it won the 12 Hours of Sebring and the 24 Hours of Le Mans on its way to giving HPD its first World Championship.
On receiving the award, Roger Griffiths paid tribute to the design team led by performance development project leader Allen Miller, which enabled Honda's 'global' V6 - as fitted to the top-end Accord and other models - to become a race and championship winner.
Ralph Hardman (CFD) and Rene Hilhorst (wind tunnel), along with the rest of their colleagues at Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG), sprang one of the biggest surprises of the 2012 season, the result of applying a Formula One-style approach to its LMP aero development. When the Toyota TS030 first appeared in testing, the design seemed somewhat conservative. By the time it came to Le Mans, however, it had evolved into a neat and competitive package, going on to win more races than the all-conquering Audi R18 in the second half of the season.
On receiving the award, Ralph Hardman and Rene Hilhorst made it clear that they were accepting the award on behalf of the entire team, as it was very much a joint effort.
Electronic power control modules (PCMs) may have been around for some time now, but the new PCM2 from Ole Buhl Racing (OBR) takes the genre to new levels of sophistication. It is unique in the way it uses a multi-tasking operating system, undertaking several tasks at the same time, while also working with a varying duty cycle, or indeed a varying frequency. Another important feature is in the way the logic expressions can be written and the way the conditions can be combined by linking events. All the power outputs are designed for use in harsh environments and include self-recovery features. They are also designed to handle loads with high inrush current as well as motors and all types of resistive and inductive loads.
Both Ole Buhl and his wife Lisbeth received the award for the Most Innovative New Motorsport Product of the Year, saying how pleased they were that all their hard work had paid off and that it had been recognised by winning this prestigious award.