OXFORD – Builders of Europe’s fastest street legal drag car have turned to thermal barrier specialists Zircotec to manage the heat generated by its 3000bhp car. The Red Victor 1 Racing Team, which recently achieved a 6.59 quarter mile, is using a broad range of Zircotec products including ThermoHold® ceramic coatings and ZircoFlex® heat shield materials as durable and effective heat management solutions for its very harsh application.
Fully road legal right down to the tyres, wipers, horn and lights, Red Victor 3 is the latest drag racing creation from Andy Frost’s official VXR team. This incarnation of a 1972 Vauxhall VX4/90 FD uses an 8.8 litre Chevrolet engine to push the car to 220mph, boosted by turbos meaning exhaust temperatures can reach 787°C. This heat, trapped in an enclosed engine bay can cause reliability issues or inflict damage to surrounding parts and paint. Zircotec’s solution was to coat a range of engine components including the turbocharger, exhaust and carbon composite air duct as well as protecting body panels and paint with its ZircoFlex heatshield material.
With, a 64 percent surface temperature reduction being achieved by using a single layer of ZircoFlex and a triple layer raising the protection to 84 percent, the benefits of the firm’s flexible heatshield were clear to the team; "I would not run a turbocharged car without using the benefits of ZircoFlex's heat reduction properties,” says Andy Frost, engineer and driver of the car. “The product is better than anything else I've ever used for heat management on body panels, ducts and bulkheads.”
ZircoFlex heatshield material, available in a range of sizes, can be cut and folded to shape fit in the most awkward location and solve heat problems once and for all. “The paint is still on the car in the places I've applied it,” adds Frost. “That includes under the bonnet, on the bulkhead and floor areas. My feet don't get hot and the carpet isn't melted.”
“Though Frost’s car is an extreme example, many classic and performance car owners suffer the effects of heat both underbonnet and in the cockpit that could be eradicated through the use of heat management products such as ZircoFlex,” adds Peter Whyman, sales director for Zircotec.
The firm’s robust plasma sprayed coatings are also used on the Victor’s air intakes, offering a durable solution to protect heat sensitive composites. “We're also sold on Zircotec's ceramic coating not only for the exhausts but for composite air intakes too," adds Frost. “They run close to the exhaust manifold and I was worried about heat damage to the carbon composite. Zircotec’s coating has prevented this.”
In addition to the reliability gains, Frost has benefitted from the performance benefits achieved through the use of thermal barriers. “By retaining heat in the exhaust, the gases pulse faster through the system offering a small but worthwhile gain,” claims Whyman. “This is more relevant with turbo engines, where the faster moving gases help the turbo to spool up quicker and reduce lag.”
For Frost, the plan is to continue to lower the time; “Now that we have attained the world record, we plan on lowering it bit by bit,” concludes Frost. “This will happen alongside our championship efforts in the 2012 MSA Pro Modified championship, where we hope to get ourselves familiar with racing again. By the end of the year we expect that the car is at a level to compete properly for next year’s MSA Pro Modified championship."
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