An amazing start to the 2019 season!
During the winter the Wiborg Engineering Evo had undergone a massive upgrade program featuring a new engine and turbo/IC setup. Weight saving of close to 50kg, implementation of carbon brakes and a completely new front end aero package.
The team new beforehand that the first race weekend was going to be a real challenge with all the new bits and pieces on the car, no prior shake down and a double race weekend that started in Norway and the Rudskogen track with NTA series on friday and the weekend would be finished with TANU on saturday at the Knutstop track in Sweden.
The team arrived early friday morning at a rainy Rudskogen track in Norway, the car was unloaded and all the tools and equipment set up in the pit box. The first 3 outings on track was spent on a fully wet track with a very busy shake down program where the new brakes were bedded in, the new engine broken in, the new boost control setup tuned and some fine tuning of the engine ECU and new aero package started.
After 3 heats on full wets the track was beginning to dry up and with more rain scheduled for later in the afternoon the team new this might be the only chance this day to go for the tintop track record that was the aim with this trip. The boost was still on very low setting (2.0 bar) due to the limit time to setup the car. The track was judged to be dry enough to head out on slick tires. Slicks showed to be the correct choice but the track was still damp and very slippery but one attempt on a fast lap was done but it was impossible to get a good enough laptime in to brake the current record due to some of the corners still being fully wet. Despite this a time of 1:24:8 was but down only 3 seconds of the record before the heat was red flagged due to an accident.
The team hoped for the weather to stay dry for another 60 min for a chance of a run on a fully dry track but unfortunately it started raining heavily again. The amount of water on the track meant the planned schedule also had to be cancelled. The car was later in the afternoon sent out in the heavy rain for a run in the finals to secure the overall race win, the time set was good enough to win with almost 10 seconds and the team packed up quickly and prepared for the trip back to Sweden and Knutstorp where some sunny weather was forecasted. Although the record could not be broken the team was in very good spirits after a great event by NTA and the car seemed to be working perfectly so far.
Saturday morning after only a few hours of sleep the team again unloaded all the gear into a pit box this time at Knutstorp and the first race of TANU series. The weather for saturday was prefect with sun forecasted for the entire day. The plan was to continue the aborted shake down program during the first 3 heats and then go for the tintop record in the final (4th heat).
The 1st heat however did no go as planned as a fatigue failure on the OEM steering rack caused the car to go off track and hit a banked grass section with the splitter first. Mikael and the team managed to do some quick repairs of the failed rack and patch up the splitter that luckily only suffered cosmetic damages but this ment another heat was lost which was a big issue due to the limited track time available.
For Q1 the car was sent out still running at the low 2.0 bar boost setting, after 3 laps a time of 57,9 was put down only 0.9 sec of the overall tintop record. For Q2 the boost was raised to 2.2 bar and some new Yokohama super soft compound slicks fitted and another 3 laps put in. The result was an impressive 56,2 sec lap a full 0.8 seconds faster than the current tintop lap record and the setup and balance was now spot on.
With the tintop record already broken the overall lap record seemed to be within reach standing at 55.5 seconds. a further 0.7 sec was needed and prior to the final the boost was raised to last years max levels at 2.4 bar (2.8 bar is the intended race boost level for 2019). The car setup was absolutely spot on and after 2 attack laps the clock showed an amazing time of 55.177 a new absolute track record with a 0.3 sec margin and a the tintop record was now broken by 2 seconds. This ment the 10 year old record overall track record had been broken and not by a formula car!
So to summarize the first weekend of 2019 it seems the changes done for the 2019 spec Evo performed exactly as intended and that there will fall a lot of records this summer.
For the next race the last tuning on the boost control and engine ECU will also be finished to enable the max boost of 2.8 bar to release the last bit of speed.
A huge thank you to the team that consists of Mikael, Jimmy, Martin, Marcus and Lucas and of course all our partners that make this possible."