Nerd’s Eye View: Rowe Racing Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3
By Khiem Dinh
Khiem Dinh is an engineer for Honeywell Turbo Technologies at the time of this writing. All statements and opinions expressed by Khiem Dinh are solely those of Khiem Dinh and not reflective of Honeywell Turbo Technologies.
Take one big V8, place it in a front-mid engine position in an aluminum space frame chassis along with a rear transaxle for great weight distribution, and what do you get? The SLS AMG GT3 which served as the basis for Rowe Racing to go endurance racing in the VLN series. The Mercedes-Benz division AMG for creating all things fast put in some significant work to make the car safe for endurance racing along with Rowe Racing showing some of their tricks being as efficient as possible over a race weekend. Follow along to see what makes the car and team tick.
|In endurance racing, the ability to work on the car quickly and easily is important. Air jacks rule. The car has a full flat-bottom which I’m sure is assisted by dumping the engine exhaust just aft of the front tires. Or I guess I should say, it’s easier to make a flat-bottom when you don’t have to worry about having space for an exhaust to run above it. One of the two exhausts can be seen in the lower panel just behind the front wheel well.|
|The rear diffuser starts relatively far forward near the rear axle line. If the car needs a tow, a simple, lightweight tow-strap sticks out of the rear bumper. That’s what I call hellafunctional instead of those overweight billet tow-hooks seen on tuner cars.|
|Peering through the gap between the diffuser and bumper, you can see the baller Hewland transaxle. Those appear to be hydraulic lines that are insulated for protection. It appears this car is based off a real deal production car as there’s still that glue goop on the chassis.|
|Back to the front end of the car, this is a better view of the exhaust dumping out the right side of the car; the other half dumps out the left side of course. Notice there is a cutout in the body work above the exhaust. As one can probably imagine, the exhaust gets pretty toasty and I bet any bodywork would get damaged if there were any above the exhaust. Air exiting the wheel well helps extract heat from the exhaust. The fender is louvered to provide another escape path for the air in the wheel well reducing lift.|
|Looking through the cutout, it appears there is a mini muffler. Even race cars need to reduce their noise a bit. Probably more so in endurance racing where the driver would be exposed for hours at a time.|