Students aim to challenge Nordschliefe lap record, conquer Le Mans with hybrid racer

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The Nordschliefe’s mythical lap record has stood for a good three decades, thanks to the late Stefan Bellof’s 6:11 masterclass in his Porsche 956. But now a group of students want to take the ultimate honour, and also the small matter of the Le Mans 24 Hours crown too, with their own specially developed prototype hybrid.

InMotion, a partnership between two universities in the Netherlands, are currently working on its electric hybrid road rocket, dubbed the IM01. The car will feature an electric motor in each corner with regenerative braking, providing the vehicle with permanent four wheel drive. A rotary engine will improve the range of the car, but no power or range figures have been released as yet.

The developers have suggested, however, that the system’s boasts a 60% efficiency rating, which they claim is around 35% higher than the average car.

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Aesthetically, the IM01 looks more like something Speed Racer would pilot than an actual ready-to-rock racing car, but the technology heaped into the chassis is nothing to be laughed at. The exhaust gases will be used in a blown diffuser system, similar to what Red Bull employed on their F1 car in 2012, providing truckloads of downforce for highspeed cornering. The lack of rear view mirrors have also been removed for a smoother aerodynamic profile, while the glass bubble gives the cockpit an imposing fighter pilot appearance.

As much as the car’s brimming with tech, the team is full of endeavour too. InMotion wishes to enter the 2017 Le Mans in Garage 56 (a spot reserved for never-before seen technology), compete and win the race overall, a feat that is definitely easy said than done, even for the world’s largest manufacturers.

Before this though, the car will gun for the Green Hell’s lap record, which would be an equally incredible achievement. The car is currently still under development.

Andy Walker
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