Honeywell Transportation Systems boasts a strong experience – 55 years of boosting race teams across the winning line, in virtually every single formulae and series. Whether it’s World Rally or World Touring Car championships, the Pike’s Peak hill-climb or the Le Mans endurance series, the Honeywell Motorsports Team is there for every landmark moment, supporting teams, engineers and drivers every wheel turn of the way.
Lighter and Lower
In many respects, a racing turbo is closer to aerospace than conventional automotive engineering. While exact design will depend on race rules and vehicle design, the turbo is much lighter than its commercial counterpart, creates much higher pressure ratios, utilizes ball bearing systems and operates to the finest of tolerances in incredibly harsh, high temperature environments.
The use of high-grade materials – including titanium and magnesium – and thin-wall geometry has significantly reduced turbo mass while improving core strength. As a result, by optimizing packaging and minimizing mass, Honeywell racing turbos provide race teams more leeway in overall weight distribution, leading to lower center of gravity and thus improving vehicle dynamics or handling.
Today, motorsports is increasingly becoming a high-visibility platform for carmakers to test and showcase technologies destined for mainstream passenger cars.
Take for example, the Audi R18 TDI which, with Honeywell’s aerodynamically re-engineered VNT™ turbo on-board, won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2011 to demonstrate, once again, the performance, fuel efficiency and emissions quality of its advanced TDI engine technology.
And now arguably the most famous formulae of them all – F1 – is aligning itself more closely to the ‘real world’ with plans for a new turbo era, not just to optimize power and relative fuel efficiency but also, with Honeywell, to spearhead the move to turbo energy recovery systems. And that would be a great result for everyone.
Meeting Race-Specific Challenges:
Although founded on World Rally architecture, the turbos boosting rally cross competition need to deliver high levels of power – up to 550hp – but with the characteristics of a small turbo that spools up fast and creates rapid time-to-torque. These cars exhibit great acceleration and excellent performance around tight corners, thanks in part to Honeywell turbo’s high-flow compressor technology and highly-efficient turbine aerodynamics.
It’s all about performance at altitude with Pike’s Peak, as unlimited sportscars race each other up to the 14,000ft finish line from a start position that is 4,600ft lower. In 2011, Honeywell helped boost the winning car to a record time, creating the high turbo pressure ratios needed through new compressor aerodynamics to minimize the power de-rating effect of altitude and maintain competitive advantage right to the top of the mountain.
With turbochargers set to re-enter Formula 1 in 2014, teams are working with Honeywell to optimize not just the power benefits of engine boosting but to exploit the potential to recover wasted energy by marrying the turbo to electric motors and generators. This concept, tying in closely with industry-wide interest in energy efficiency, is also under close consideration by the governing body of the Le Mans Series.
Honeywell’s innovation in racing has led to the development of turbochargers that optimize power, performance and reliability. This focus on succeeding through technology also drives its partnerships with auto manufacturers, delivering turbo solutions that save fuel and reduce emissions without compromising engine performance.