Project #YAE92 M3: Part 3 – It’s The Little Things

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By this time I am sure you’ve noticed that all of a sudden our car is blue! While we had the car up in Las Vegas we also went ahead and wrapped it. I would like to pretend that this part of the build has some sort of function but it’s really mostly aesthetic.  Although we did pick a brighter color to be more visible, that’s about all the thought that went into it. The yellow tinted headlights however do serve some function. First, they help spread out the light emitted by the headlights but they also aid in allowing us to quickly figure out which car is ours during night races.  Second, they allow our competitors to know which car is behind them. Endurance racing is multi-class and we’ll be running in one of the fastest classes. Those in slower classes will know that our car with the yellow lights is a car that is in a faster class so hopefully they’ll get out of our way faster.

We also chose neon red for our partner logos trying to go with a color that was unique and grabs your attention.  When laying out partner logos there are two ways people tend to go.  One is that they make them subtle and small to keep their car looking “clean” which we can almost all agree looks better than the other option which is to make them big, bright, and visible. Partners tend to like the big, bright, and visible so that’s the route we went. After all what good is having your logo on a race car if you can’t see it or read it as it goes by at 100+mph from 100ft. away? When you have a program that is dependent on the support of your partners, make sure people can easily and quickly read their logo.

 


Justin Wray Designs laying out the partner logos.  You want to make them large enough to be legible in photos while the car is on a race track.  Making them a bright color also helps them stand out a lot more. Partners tend to appreciate it when their logos are highly visible and easy to read.

The most important part of any race program is the support of its partners. This project would not exist without the help of each and every one of these companies. If these logos don’t command your attention I don’t know what will.

The Mode Carbon GT4 front lip gives us integrated brake duct openings and a flat bottom to build a chassis mounted splitter off of. It also works as a spectacular looking air dam that contours to the shape of the factory front bumper.

While we were on the theme of making the car prettier we went ahead and installed some basic aero components. One of these was a carbon fiber front lip from Mode Carbon. While you may be thinking to yourself that this is pure aesthetic there can still be some benefits to an aftermarket front lip on a race car.  In our particular situation the Mode Carbon GT4 front lip serves a number of functions.  It provides us with beautifully integrated brake duct openings and also serves as an air dam that contours to the shape of the front bumper.  Both of those things save us fabrication time to make custom parts that do the same thing, plus their version is a lot prettier. The flat bottom of the lip also gives is an easy platform to mate up with a chassis mounted front splitter down the road. We also installed an APR GT-250 rear wing. The GT-250 wing ushers in a new wave of wing designs from APR Performance who for years only offered their 3D design wings.  This 2D wing was designed by none other than time attack aerodynamicist extraordinaire Andrew Brilliant and is an improvement over the older 3D designs if mounted high enough to get into cleaner air.  This 2D design, mounted properly, produces more downforce with less drag. Ours is also equipped with a small Gurney flap to provide an even better downforce to drag ratio.  Eventually, we have plans for chassis mounting the wing as well.

 


The APR Performance GT-250 rear wing designed by aerodynamicist Andrew Brilliant to provide optimal downforce and minimal drag. Downforce is more consistent across the wing with the 2D design as opposed to the 3D design APR Performance is most known for.

Although it’s a pure race car we decided to retain the mufflers on our ESS Tuning exhaust system as some of the tracks we plan on running have sound limits. Also it helps with the sanity of our drivers who will be in the car for hours at a time.

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