234MPH, 600HP, 24 Hour Racing Weapon | Jota Sport LMP2 Electronics [TECH TALK]


– When it comes to an endurance race car
such as Jota Sports’ Oreca LMP2 car, getting reliability out of the car over a
24 hour endurance race is key. Doesn’t matter how fast the car is,
if it doesn’t make it to the finish line, you’ve got no chance of winning. And of course in order to do this,
the electronics package of the car becomes increasingly important. We thought we’d take the opportunity here
to go through that electronics package and look at what is actually involved in
running an LMP2 car. This starts with the Cosworth MQ12 ECU
which is in control of the Gibson 4.2 litre V8 engine. It produces around about 600 horsepower. The ECU include all of the usual
functionality that you’d expect at a professional motorsport ECU at this
level, including traction control, closed loop fuel control and the ability to
run a pit limit and full course yellow limiter. What we can see is that the ECU is also
fitted with Autosport connectors. And this is one of the drives to improve
reliability here, over the cheaper plastic connectors that we’re more likely to see
at the hobbyist and enthusiast level of motorsport. Next up we’ve got the Cosworth IPS32
power distribution unit. So this replaces the conventional fuses and
relays that we’d normally find in a car and instead it uses solid state electronics
to control the power supply to all of the different circuits on the car. Now this provides an improvement in
reliability and it also provides some functionality where certain circuits can be
set with fusing levels and if the fuse is popped electronically it can be
automatically reset. This means that you don’t have to pull
into the pits or pull over on the side of the track and physically replace a fuse. And this can be a huge advantage in terms
of reliability if you’ve got a system that’s not quite functioning correctly, even if
corrective action is required, this can be enough to allow you to limp the car back to
the pits. Both the power distribution unit and the
Cosworth ECU interface with both the steering wheel as well as the keypad that’s
located in the cockpit. That steering wheel acts as a driver display,
in this case there’s an integrated Cosworth display and shift light module as well as
all of the controls that are fitted to the steering wheel which allow the driver to
control different aspects of the engine operation. It also allows simple aspects such as a
radio to communicate back to the pits. Of course on the back of the steering
wheel there are also the paddles which are used by the driver to select upshifts
and downshifts. Simplifying the wiring greatly is the
fact that all of these components communicate via CAN. The likes of the steering wheel and the
CAN keypad placed in the cockpit, this means that they only require four
wires in order to operate. Power, earth, CAN high and CAN low. So this again simplifying the wiring harness
installation and improving reliability. When the driver requests a shift with those
paddles, the information is then communicated to a separate gearbox control
computer and this has an integrated air compressor because the gearbox shift is
pneumatic. Now the compressor feeds a separate
reservoir and the gearbox control unit looks after maintaining the correct air
pressure in that reservoir. When the shift is requested, the air pressure
is fed back to an actuator that’s fitted on the gearbox. When the shift is requested this is completed
via a separate actuator assembly that’s fitted onto the extract six speed transaxle
at the back of the car. The last electronic component here is the
electronic power steer control. So this is controlled via the steering wheel
adjustable knob that allows the driver to control the amount of additional
assistance that is delivered. This allows the car to be tuned to suit
the driver’s preference as well as the specific track that the car is racing on. Now one aspect that’s important to mention
here is that as with every other aspect on an LMP2 car, the electronics components
are lifed. This is a reliability aspect, all of the
components are given a race kilometre race and after that life has been used up,
the components need to be replaced. This might seem dramatic to us at the
enthusiast level, particularly when we’re dealing with literally 10s of 1000s of
dollars worth of electronic components. However the reliability advantage and
knowing that all of the components will make it to the end of a 24 hour race,
is worth the expense. If you liked that video
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7 thoughts on “234MPH, 600HP, 24 Hour Racing Weapon | Jota Sport LMP2 Electronics [TECH TALK]

  1. Thanks again to the team at Jota Sport for giving us so much time with the cars and sharing their knowledge. Best of luck with the season – Taz.

  2. Just a shout-out for the various race teams and manufacturers who take the time to be interviewed by you. Some have a lot of info', some less, but all worth while for anyone interested in vehicles and autosport to watch, as there's always something…
    They're also crediting you with being worth the time, which should be taken as a compliment and in time it should be easier to get that face-time.

  3. How do teams track the life of various components? Read the mileage before/after every race, and keep a log of the mileage at which every component is installed, in something like a giant spreadsheet?

  4. Are these LMP2 cars using in-cylinder pressure as part of the closed loop control strategy? I have seen some mapping where ICP + EGT were used with a thermal model of the engine to calculate fueling, and crank angle fluctuation + ICPM for fine-timing control similar to what BMW does on the N54/55 engines (but with the addition of ICP)

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