13th December 2013
New Pilbeam MP101 Hyabusa
The first Hyabusa-powered MP101 is now in the hands of Mike and Diane Tregoning and will be in action on the hills very soon!
1st November 2013
New Pilbeam MP100 LMP2
The MP100 is an open cockpit design intended for teams looking for a car which is straightforward to run and at reasonable cost, whilst being capable of class leading performance in LMP2.
After a long programme of research Pilbeam has developed a completely new aerodynamic package to compete in WEC and ultimately at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Many of the well tested features of the MP93, forerunner to MP100, have been retained but with significant evolution derived from the much improved aerodynamics together with suspension changes which became necessary in order to make the most of the increased downforce.
ChassisSim performance prediction software allowed all aspects of the car to be assessed and this information helped to produce a refined final design.
Much use was made of CFD in designing the optimum aero shape and for this we worked with TotalSim, who helped us in making a car which will give consistent handling on all types of track.
The first MP100 will be powered by a Mountune 4 cylinder Turbo which has an incredible torque curve, making it very driver-friendly, so that gearing in a difficult succession of corners is less critical. The excellent fuel economy is a great feature for Endurance Sport Car Racing.
The well-known South African team, Zoo Racing, who have already won several races with a Pilbeam MP98 2 litre sports racer, will campaign the MP100 under the direction of Dr Greg Mills, driver and author of many books on motorsport and international finance.
13th October 2013
Australian Tasman Lotus
Pilbeam have just built a Lotus Elise with a comprehensive suspension and aero development designed to suit Targa West tarmac rally stages as well as track applications. The car was built for Peter Best from Perth who has competed successfully in an Elise and is now moving up by a few notches to the Pilbeam version.
The new suspension includes all our lightweight wishbones and CNC uprights plus the latest Proflex dampers which we have found to work really well in both track and rally spec as they give excellent response to setting changes.
The car was tested extensively by Mark Higgins, famous for his 5 British Rally Championships and record lap in the Isle of Man, with very favourable results. It is now on its way to Australia to meet its enthusiastic owner.
The complete package is now available from Pilbeam racing.
13th October 2013
The first Pilbeam hillclimber with a Hyabusa engine
There are so many bike-engined hillclimbers now that we thought Pilbeam should at last join in! We have built a completely new car with full autoclave carbon chassis, a very compact and efficient installation for the Hyabusa engine and aerodynamic design based on our great experience in everything from hillclimbing up to Le Mans design.
Novel front suspension gives improved grip in low speed corners (lots of them on the hills!) to go with the high downforce and low weight for traction and high speed cornering power.
The first MP101 is already completed and will be campaigned by Mike Tregonning using a supercharged Hyabusa built by Mark Fisher.
4th October 2013
ChassisSim, new ORECA Technology partner
Pilbeam Racing Designs are the UK distributors of ChassisSim.
Through its simulation program, among the most advanced and accurate in the industry, ChassisSim has become partners with ORECA Technology. This computer program will most notably be used in the group's constructor department as well as the research and development division. One of the involved projects includes the design and building of the new REBELLION R-One LM P1.
Created by Danny Nowlan, an engineer who worked as an analyst in the aeronautical and maritime and research lab before moving on to single-seater teams and design bureaus, ChassisSim is a simulation program aimed at auto racing professionals. This solution, is a 100% virtual simulator in that it requires no driver or physical devices, and has shown itself to be one of the top simulation programs in the field, and is being used in GP2, DTM, IndyCar as well as the Le Mans Series.
"I am delighted at the technical partnership between ChassisSim and ORECA" declared Danny Nowlan, ChassisSim owner. "ORECA's reputation speaks for itself and their sportscars have always been highly competitive. Stay tuned for the results of our collaboration. There are exciting times ahead!"
"ChassisSim allows us to simulate laptimes virtually and on all types of circuits" explains Christophe Guibbal, design bureau director. "That allows us to refine, to the slightest detail, our simulations of setting up the car, especially on a Le Mans prototype. We can change all the parameters that we want, such as aerodynamics, engine, gearbox, as well as shock absorbers. Firstly, we did a correlational study to evaluate the program by comparing the results of the simulation to concrete data taken from the ORECA 03 LM P2, both in 2012 and in 2013, on several tracks including Le Mans. We were quickly convinced and we have since requested a specific development for our work."
ORECA Technology will use this technology for various projects, including the design, building and development of the new REBELLION R-One that will be entered by REBELLION Racing in next year's World Endurance Championship. "This technological solution is even more interesting taking into account the nature of the 2014 rules and regulations for the 24 Hours of Le Mans" adds Christophe Guibbal. "We can actually simulate fuel consumption and the precise factors that affect this point. With a rules package based on the quantity of energy, we need an adapted program. We believe this is the case with ChassisSim, with its specific development for ORECA."
1st May 2013
Early Season Progress In The Sprints & On The Hills
April has seen various sprint and hill climb championships get under way and already there are successes to report.
Stewart Robb got his British Sprint title defence off to the perfect start with a win at Lydden Hill on 6th April in his first race of the season. Driving his 2012 title-winning Pilbeam-Judd MP88, he beat fellow Pilbeam driver, Mike Musson, into second place in his Pilbeam-Judd MP97.
The following weekend, 2012 Northern Ireland Sprint Champion, Seamus Morris, kickstarted his season on the hills across the water at Croft with a thrilling drive that fell short of top spot by just 0.01 seconds! Driving his Pilbeam-Vauxhall MP62 he finished second to 2012 Northern Ireland Hillclimb Champion, Graham Thompson.
Well done to all concerned! It looks like a thrilling and successful season awaits our Pilbeam drivers.
28th February 2013
MP98-Cosworth Wins Inaugural African Six-Hour
A works Pilbeam MP98-Cosworth run by Ecurie Zoo won the inaugural African Six-Hour Endurance Race held at Phakisa International Raceway in the mining centre of Welkom, South Africa on 23 February 2013.
Driven by brothers Graham and Duncan Vos, the Pilbeam won by ten laps in a 30ong field from the second place Juno, despite losing six laps early on to fix the rear wing which had worked loose. The winning Pilbeam, which set pole position for the race, covered 191 laps (810kms), also setting the fastest lap speed of 146.60km/h (1:44,119) along the way.
Duncan Vos, a multiple SA single-seater, saloon and off-road champion who finished tenth in his 2012 Dakar debut, said of the Pilbeam "The MP98 really impressed me. The grip level and handling was excellent, the engine ran sweetly throughout, and the gearbox was brilliant."
Tony Martin, a previous winner of the Daytona 24-hour who participated in the six-hour in a Backdraft Cobra, observed: "That Pilbeam is an amazing little car, fast and faultless."
Ecurie Zoo team manager Mike Ward, himself a racer of thirty years' experience, confirmed: "I have never run a car so fast, reliable and fuss-free, the Pilbeam managing the whole six hours on just one set of tyres. This was a real team effort in a superbly-run event." Ward thanked "our sponsors, including Etana Insurance, and Pilbeam Racing Designs for their support, not least in the presence of PRD engineer Justin Cole."
The event is the successor to the famed 1960s and 1970s Kyalami nine-hour. Organizer Roger Pearce added "as a first attempt to return endurance racing to South Africa we were overjoyed with the result. In my 45 years of motorsport, I have never before seen such positive feedback from competitors."
This victory comes soon after the Pilbeam's win in the two-hour Border 100 in East London in December 2012, on that occasion driven by Greg Mills and former F1 star Eddie Keizan.
These results are important stepping stones for the Ecurie Zoo-Pilbeam initiative to reach Le Mans with an African LMP2 team in 2014.
(Photographs are by Classic Car Events)
2nd January 2013
MP98-Cosworth Wins On South African Début
It is fitting that, on the 50th anniversary of BRM's only World Championship victory in 1962, that another Bourne marque should scoop the honours in the blue-riband event at the East London Grand Prix Era Revival meeting in South Africa on 16 December 2012.
On the same track that Graham Hill took his BRM to victory 50 years ago, co-driven by Eddie Keizan and Greg Mills, a Pilbeam MP98-Cosworth won the Border 100 endurance race on it's début by more than 40 secs from the second-place Porsche GT3.
Veteran Keizan, who drove a privately-entered Tyrrell and Lotus 72 in three GPs in the 1970s, and who returned to the track this year after a 35-year break, said of the brand new Pilbeam "It was the first time I have raced a state-of-the-art modern race-car and what a thrilling experience it was. With cantilever suspension, sequential gearbox, slippery aerodynamics, proper down-force and modern race tyres, this is undoubtedly one of the best cars I have ever driven."
Co-driver Mills, who is spearheading an African effort with Pilbeam for Le Mans in 2014, and who took the first stint, says "the MP98 is a car without any vices. But not only is it easy to drive, it has obvious speed, especially through the infamous flat-in-sixth Potter's Pass corner where we could pull away from the bigger-engined cars."
The first Border 100 mile event in December 1934 was also labelled the first SA Grand Prix. The ninth SA GP was held in December 1962, the first such one, however, that enjoyed world championship status.
Mike Pilbeam made the trip to South Africa with PRD fabricator Justin Cole. He summed up the weekend: "The Border 100 gave us a great opportunity to develop the MP98 and the new South African team towards the huge challenge with a new car for Le Mans in 2014. A most enjoyable weekend."
Completing the historic circle, the Pilbeam pit crew included Bruce Johnstone on his first visit to the East London GP circuit since 1962 when he finished ninth in the GP as the third BRM works driver. He described the little Pilbeam's performance as "memorable" on "a jewel of a race track".
More events are planned for this exciting new project as the team gains experience ahead of the 2014 season.
(Photographs are by www.motoprint.co.za)
8th October 2012
SBD Motorsport British Sprint Championship title for Stewart Robb
After a hard-fought but exciting season, Stewart Robb wins the 2012 SBD Motorsport British Sprint Championship title with his Pilbeam-Judd MP88. Third in the Championship went to Mike Musson in his Pilbeam-Judd MP97 so a great season for both cars and drivers. Great performance gents!
13th August 2012
New Pilbeam for LMP2
Pilbeam Racing are embarking on a new programme to build a Sports Prototype for Le Mans in 2014.
The programme is a development of the MP93 design, which has already raced at Le Mans on 3 occasions, and is in partnership with Dr Greg Mills, well known in South African Motorsport, and also a famous writer on international affairs. Dr Mills already owns a number of Pilbeam race cars and has commissioned an LMP2 car with support from major African businesses to develop the new car.
10th August 2012
New aero and braking parts now released for the Elise and Exige
New brake conversions, brake ducts, front splitter, rear wing, rear diffuser and bodywork protection panels are available to buy through our Performance Parts shop at www.eliseperformanceparts.com.
2nd February 2012
With winter whizzing by, the new season will be upon us before we know it and there has been plenty going on at Pilbeam Racing Designs to keep us busy (and warm!).
There have been more developments on the Lotus Elise for the Australian Targa Tarmac Rally Series; full details and photos to follow soon. This project has produced some fabulous new upgrades which will soon be available to buy through our Performance Parts shop at www.eliseperformanceparts.com.
In addition to the Lotus upgrades that we already manufacture, we are working on many new performance parts for other road and track favourites too. New online shop launching soon.
The MP98 "Virage" Sports Racer has been chosen for an interesting track series in South Africa and two examples are being built with Duratech powerplants.
1st February 2012
Famous Pilbeam for sale
The rock legend that is AC/DC frontman (and historic racing enthusiast), Brian Johnson, has decided to sell the Pilbeam MP84 that he has owned for several years. Chassis 04 was built in late 2000 and its début race was at Daytona in 2001, where it became the first Pilbeam to race at the prestigious Rolex 24 Hours, seen here on the famous banking during qualifying.
"04" then went on to race in both the American Le Mans and the Grand Am Road Racing Series, scoring 3 class podium finishes over the following 2 seasons.
To find out more about this car, go to the John Starkey Cars website.
8th November 2011
MP98 Virage CN sports car
The MP98 run by Zele Racing in Austria and Germany has been showing some excellent form in recent weeks. The last race at the Hockenheim GP circuit saw the MP98 fastest of the 2.0 litre CN cars among a good competitive field, adding to previous wins in the Interserie Championship.
Latest plans include running a new MP98 in the speed Series for 2012 with a strong UK based team.
2nd November 2011
Professional Motorsport World Expo
Cologne, November 12-16
Mike Pilbeam has been invited to present a workshop (2.30, Weds 16 Nov) in conjunction with Danny Nowlan of ChassisSim.
There will be two main topics: to show how simulation can be used to enhance the track performance of your race car and to describe how simulation has been used to improve the design of a new race car whilst taking much of the guesswork out of that hard initial phase.
Visit Pilbeam and ChassisSim at stand 2055 throughout the show!