On Thursday 1st December, motorsport’s most prestigious technical awards ceremony took place as part of the World Motorsport Symposium at a private venue in Mayfair, London. The annual event sees the most senior motorsport engineers and executives gather to celebrate the best in the industry.
Thomas Yates, managing director of McMurtry Automotive, collected the award on behalf of the company for aerodynamicist of the year, in recognition of the aerodynamic innovation that contributed to the outright record at the Goodwood Festival of Speed with a fan car, the McMurtry Spéirling.
The other nominees were:
• The Red Bull RB18 2022 F1 Car
• The Peugeot 9X8 Rearwing-less WEC car
• Catesby Tunnel state of the art testing facility
The award is named after its inaugural and late winner Dino Toso, who was chief aerodynamicist at Renault F1 during Fernando Alonso’s and Renaults back to back Formula One Drivers’ and Constructors’ World Championships in 2005 and 2006.
Each year, the accolade has continued to be awarded to prominent aerodynamics engineers and companies for utterly dominant competition vehicles, including:
•Lois Bigois for the championship winning 2009 Brawn GP F1 car.
•Adrian Newey for the championship winning 2011 Red Bull F1 car.
•Mike Elliott for the championship winning 2014 Mercedes F1 car.
•Plus other leading designers from Toyota for their LMP1 cars, Dallara for Indycar, ORECA for LMP2 cars and Multimatic for GT cars.
Thomas Yates said ‘A fan car is a very novel way of generating outright track performance. The Goodwood record was a fantastic way to demonstrate grip and corner speed of a vehicle designed from a clean sheet to be an electric fan car. It allowed us to shrink the proportions of the car down to that of a 1960’s F1 car, as we no longer were reliant on large passive aerodynamic components like diffusers and wings. This compounded the benefit as we were able to reduce frontal area and save overall weight”.
Further adding “We have overcome huge technical challenges in bringing this aerodynamic concept to real life and therefore I must thank everyone in the company for delivering a car that can produce more than double its own weight in downforce from 0mph, whilst simultaneously being of beautiful form.
Having downforce at the flick of a switch is something most professional drivers would crave yet is something less experienced drivers can exploit too. It’s a very drivable platform, and a new experience for most. The traction it gives is one of the secrets as to how we can do 0-60mph in under 1.5s with just a rear wheel drive car. We have more records planned for 2023 to further demonstrate its track capability, whilst simultaneously developing a road legal version for customers.
We are proud to have upheld fan cars 100% win rate in officially sanctioned events since Niki Lauda won the 1978 Swedish GP in a fan car, and the fact that the Spéirling also wears number plates make this fan car particularly unique.”