Mike Newton talks to Daily Sportscar's Graham Goodwin about the progress of TIGA Race Cars' current projects and the LMP2 Coupe For 2017. The article can also be read at dailysportscar.com...
GG: It’s been a while since we caught up with Mike Newton’s TIGA projects in both LMP2 and CN – let’s fix that right now!
Where are we with the project currently, the last update we had with you was a while ago and all seemed to be proceeding fairly well though awaiting final rear bodywork as I recall?
“The aero work and test bodywork has taken longer than we wanted for sure. However the first (wind tunnel) test a few weeks back gave us some very interesting data that gave us some good feedback.
We are due back at MIRA ’s wind tunnel at the end of the month for a test in conjuction with our partners at Manchester University and should get some clear indications where we are at.”
“Of course the shift to Coupe only in 2017 doesn’t make life any easier, so we are looking to potential partners to work with to progress the open car in 2015 & 2016 as the basis of a 2017 Coupe.
We have already undertaken basic design assessments, and view the transition to a Coupe as a relatively straight forward step, much as happened with the Lola.”
Will the car run soon? What are the plans going forward?
“The Judd install has essentially been complete for some time, and we have developed a fundamentally new airbox design that we hope a addresses some of the concerns expressed previously about the current installations. Hopefully we will have a test part with Judd to dyno in the next couple of weeks. So once we have completed the initial aero work, we will be ready to test with a suitable partner.”
The last time we spoke there were still plans to evaluate two designs back to back, any update?
“You may have see the Racecar Engineering article, which very much tracked our own experience. The low 12A rear wing (on the ex Speads design tube frame chassis) worked well under specific conditions but was over critical overall to give a generic package.”
“Equally the overall aspect ratio, in both plan and frontal area of the 12B (the honeycomb chassised ex WFR design) gives a fundamentally superior package. So all our current focus is on the 12B, as we move forwards.”
“We have however been using one of the 12A chassis as an EV ‘test mule’ but more on that for another time.”
Any thoughts on the new LMP3 Mike, some have told us that the cost cap has counted out their potential projects?
“The final specification is at best perplexing. The latest LMP3 seems to carry all the increased cost elements of an LMP2 package (18″ wheels, 900kg, Coupe / aircon ) but for less than a third the budget excluding engine. Apparent cost savings such as round section suspension arms, just guarantee that no shared IP carries over.”
“It will either take someone like Ginetta creating volume with some related one make style series, or perhaps multiple chassis manufacturers taking a leaf out of the production automotive world and sharing a chassis platform.”
“It’s no surprise that people like Ligier have pulled back so much at the current spec and cost cap. Especially when the revised LMP2 Coupe cost cap has just moved into a more viable zone.”
Mike, so how do you see Tiga’s future?
“Nothing in the world of Motor Racing is ever certain. However we have a number of solid bases against a well controlled overhead.”
“The CN2 scene remains a strong option, and we remain in the LMP2 arena with viable opportunities.”
“We are developing the additional electronic design and consultancy side, leveraging some of my core experience in and out of cars (after all my four wheel electronic steer Formula Ford in the 80s pioneered many things we take for granted today, and attracted the attention of the rule books!!! ) and trying to combine innovative electronics design with a ‘driver’ perspective.”
“Together we see more than enough opportunity to take us forward as a growing entity.”
Graham Goodwin - dailysportscar.com