New FIA 8865 Products

FX G-TEC2900R3 Image

After a great deal of testing, we were really pleased to get the seal of approval from the FIA on our 8865 products some time ago. They have proved very popular and once again take great steps forward in safety for drivers. Because of the demand for more products that meet the 8865 standard, we have launched two new extinguishers that are now available to order.

The FX G-TEC2900R3-D and the FX G-TEC2900R3 are both at the cutting edge of motorsport fire safety. These units are essentially the same, apart from the size and shape of the cylinder. This variation gives customers a choice when it comes to placement in the cockpit. Both units consist of a remote charge FX C-TEC+ADS Extinguisher with 2 engine nozzles and 1 cockpit nozzle.

The 8865 standard is already in place in the WRC as well as for S2000 cars and R5 cars. Although not compulsory, it is recommended for all FIA racing and will come into force in the GT categories this year.

These extinguishers are compact and use just a single cylinder. They are affordable and highly effective. The FX G-TEC gas is excellent at suppressing a fire very quickly as well as reducing the overall temperature of the fire area which, in turn, helps prevent re-ignition.

One of the key factors about this systems is the suppressant itself is designed to be safe for the cockpit occupants as well as performing well against fires.

The control box is water resistant and all the parts have been developed to deal with very high temperatures without failing. Racing is hard on equipment, but it is paramount that your fire suppression system can cope with the physical strain put on it. These systems have been designed for racing and can cope with anything a race track or rally course can throw at them.

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New Closed Road Hill Climb in Cornwall

Watergate Bay Speed Climb Image

Thanks to some brand new legislation, Watergate Bay in Cornwall will play host to the first closed road hill climb in the UK this year. The legislation enables motor clubs to organise events and to close a section of road for them. This, of course, only works with the permission of the local councils and the MSA but it brings a new lease of life to small motorsport events and hopefully lots of fresh spectators and competitors.

The event will take place on the 15th and 16th of September at a beautiful location in Cornwall. A maximum number of 90 cars will be allowed to compete, which should give spectators a great range of cars and times to enjoy.

It seems since the new option to organise events like this was announced last year, this is the 3rd permit to be granted. With any luck, this is just the beginning. The idea of more events springing up across the UK is really exciting because it allows local people to turn up and enjoy some real motorsport right on their doorstep. Many will hopefully go on to go to more events at tracks as well as closed road races. This kind of event can also provide the inspiration for many younger people to take up the sport.

Hillclimb Cornwall Image

We provide fire suppression systems for a huge range of motorsport classes from Autotest to F1, and hill climbing has always been something we all enjoy. We work with 100s of customers who run their own hill climb cars so we know the cars and the needs to the drivers very well. For many people, it is a case of installing an extinguisher in their weekend fun road car or even their day-to-day road car. For others it is about working with a specific custom built car or bike or bringing something historic up to date in order to be allowed to race. Whatever the car, we can help make sure it has a world class fire suppression system on board.

If you would like to discuss your vehicle then get in touch with our friendly team today. If you are new to motorsport, please feel free to call us and ask about MSA regulations and what you may need in order to enter a hill climb near you!

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M-Sport confirm they will make an all-electric rally car

EV Sign Image

With Formula E becoming more popular it was really only a matter of time before someone decided to see what an electric rally car could do. It seems that time has arrived and M-Sport are the ones pushing the boundaries.

The Next Step

Malcolm Wilson has confirmed that the Cumbria based firm have already started work on developing an all-electric rally car. He was quoted as saying he felt an EV was the next technological step for the sport. This really does make sense too. Stage based racing is perfect for EVs because of the option to charge or switch batteries at the end of each stage. There is however a lot of mud, dust and water involved in the sport which could play its part in causing some issues.

Testing This Year

The car will be based on existing development work on an electric Fiesta that will be aimed at the national market. The tech used in this development will then be used to create the rally car that will hopefully be used in the next set of rally cars once the regulation cycle comes to an end. As it stands, of course, they cannot enter an EV into the desired one-day national rally but future changes should allow them to do so.

Hush Hush

As you might imagine, details of the development are being kept very quiet, with NDAs being signed left, right and centre. M-Sport are not doing this alone; there are other companies working with them to make this happen.

Existing Electric Rally Cars

There is a Renault Zoe rally car on the scene but it is restricted due to the MSA rules. What’s more, it is only allowed in single-venue events and was really aimed at Junior and Senior 1 litre racing.

The Future

M-Sport are keen to be at the forefront of this development. It is clearly the way a great deal of automotive development is heading. Wilson suggested the WRC could be the ultimate goal but was not on the horizon now, not least because we have 3 years left of the existing regulations. Motorsport has always acted as a test bed for technology that eventually finds its way into road cars. While this is perhaps not new tech there will no doubt be a great many parts of this development process that will yield better range, performance and handling options for general electric road cars.

Here at FEV we love to support new technology. We work with a huge number of private owners as well as rally teams including Skoda. If you are involved in running a rally car then get in touch about our fire extinguisher systems today.

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No More Diesel?

Diesel fuel warning sign

While it may not exactly be a motorsport issue, the change in the diesel market is a big one for anyone involved in the automotive sector. The recent news that Toyota will stop selling diesel cars in the UK and Europe by the end of 2018 has really made an already uncomfortable market even more uncertain.

What’s Wrong With Diesel?

For years the efficiency savings gained by using the fuel was a big positive. It basically meant less CO2. The snag was, no one seemed to notice that diesel had a bad side. As a fuel it burns in such a way that it produces a lot more dust and particulate matter which has been shown to cause a lot of health issues. The result was a trade-off between helping the environment or helping people stay healthy. Now, with hybrid engines and smaller, more efficient turbo charged petrol engines, the savings are simply not worth it.

Diesel Gate

The diesel cause was not helped by the fact that VW seemed to have faked a massive amount of data surrounding their MPG figures and emissions. This meant that the cars looked good on paper but were in fact producing a lot more CO2 than they claimed, thus failing to achieve the one thing diesel had grown popular for. Rumours of other companies doing the same thing are rife but, so far, it seems VW have taken the hit on it all.

The Future

The bottom line here is that when a car giant like Toyota call time on diesel cars you can be pretty sure a number of other big brands will follow suit. Many are suggesting a wind down by 2020 but this is likely to come forward. Talks of a scrappage scheme have been floated and, for many, it is a confusing time. Diesel owners are likely to see a hit on the residual value of their cars but there are discussions about bargains to be had on the used car market which may end up pushing prices up a little as people run out to grab the last diesel cars. The idea of grabbing a low mileage German saloon for far less than it was worth 3 years ago may be too much to turn down for many.

There certainly aren’t many diesel cars used in motorsport, nor are there any diesel super cars and the fact that it is really rather hard to set fire to diesel all means we do not come into contact with many of them. That being said, we have fitted diesel fire extinguisher systems to cars and are very happy to do so in the future. Let’s not forget, as these cars are faded out there may be some classics in there that need looking after lest they disappear forever – and we do work with a lot of classic cars!

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It’s 2018 and it’s time for the Halo

Time for the Halo

So it happened. Here we are about to start another F1 season and after so much debate and arguing, the Halo is finally here. The new cars are being unveiled and with them is the brand new safety device that, according to Mercedes, is strong enough to hold a bus.

Toto

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said “it’s an awful thing” and that he would like to saw it off if he could, when he spoke to ESPN recently. He went on to say it was too heavy and it has been tough to build it into the design of the car. He went on to say the entire rig weighs about 10 kg and as it sits so high on the car, the centre of gravity has changed and a lot of compensation was needed. However, he also said we have to look after the drivers. So, like many others, he is able to accept it, if a little reluctantly.

All Teams

There is no doubt Toto’s feelings will be echoed across the other teams when it comes to design. There are a number of discussions about looking for a better looking alternative in the future but for now, at least, the Halo is here to stay.

Will They All Look the Same?

Initially, it was thought all the Halo structures would look the same. Whilst there is not much room to “play” you can be sure the teams will try. First of all, they can paint the structure – there was a lot of talk about it having to be black initially. There is also around 20mm of wiggle room in terms of aero and a number of teams have made pains to help increase airflow over the device.

Visibility and Safety

Whilst it looks like it would make it hard to see forward, the drivers all say it does not impact on things very much. In terms of safety, it is a mixed bag. On the one hand tests show it would have improved outcomes in 15 out of 17 of the last major crashes involving things coming into the cockpit. On the other, it only offers a 17% improvement on smaller objects hitting drivers. It has also been pointed out that it would not have saved Bianchi when he hit a track vehicle in Japan 2014.

The Future

No one wants to see drivers hurt so, ultimately, the Halo is a good thing. For many it is one step too far but for others it’s just part of how things have to be. It is certainly a challenge from a design point of view but, no doubt, everyone will forget all about it when the first set of lights go green!

We take safety very seriously and all of our fire extinguisher systems are FIA and MSA approved. If you would like more information about the systems we offer, then get in touch today.

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Billy Monger May Be Close to F3 Deal

We, like most other people in motorsport, have been following the progress of Billy Monger after his awful crash. The young driver lost both his legs last April in a big smash at Donnington Park. Since then, he has shown extreme courage, fortitude and maturity to not only cope with losing his legs as a young teen but to also get back in a racing car.

Nearly There

Since his crash Billy has regained his racing licences by using adapted cars, and he even took part in a stunt display at the Autosport Show recently. Along with all the press, he has also been working with the Carlin team with a view to driving in the Formula 3 Championship. According to Billy, they just need a few more sponsors and he is ready to compete.

Car Changes

Billy’s car has some interesting adaptations. He is still breaking with his left prosthetic leg but when it comes to gear changes and throttle, it is all change. Rather than a left and right paddle shift he has both paddles on the left hand side of the wheel and a throttle on the right. He was quoted as saying it took a lot of getting used to and a lot more track time than he would normally need but it is all working well.

Under a Year

It is worth just taking a moment to really understand how tough this must have been. Losing a limb or limbs must be impossibly tough on anyone, but as a young teenager, it must have surely been that little bit harder. Yet in under a year – yes, under a year! – he is fully recovered and racing and back where he wants to be.

We really hope to see him do well and continue to follow this story of bravery. It is great for anyone who has suffered this kind of injury but also for anyone who has ever faced tough times. It is also very positive to see a disabled driver competing with able bodied racers too.

We provide fire suppression systems for all levels of motorsport including Formula 3 and 4. We are also able to create bespoke solutions for any kind of car and need, including drivers with disabilities. So, do get in touch if you need anything specific or you would just like to make sure you have the very best fire system in your race car.

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Tesla Roadster: A glimpse of the future?

Tesla Image

No matter how much we all love petrol engines, there is no doubt at all that electric vehicles are coming. The minute Porsche and Ferrari started using electric motors in their cars the world changed. Where once EVs and hybrids were terminally dull and a painful concept for any petrol head, suddenly we had power…lots and lots of power.

EV: All torque?

The great and undeniable thing about electric motors is the amount of torque they produce. Any car fan worth their salt appreciates neck snapping torque and a big electric motor has it by the bucket full. Acceleration is now less of an issue about how fast you can take off, it’s more about how on earth you get enough traction to get off properly.

Tesla

As far as EVs go, Tesla actually make cars people want. They are cool, they are desirable and they are fast. Anyone that launches a power upgrade called “ludicrous” understands the world of cars pretty well.

Roadster

Although there are a lot of very fast Teslas, nothing comes close to the new Roadster. It is so good we had to write a blog about it. Now, we can’t vouch for handling and how nice the seats are but the stats are enough to make your hair stand on end:

0-60 mph – 1.9 seconds
0-100 mph – 4.2 seconds
¼ mile – 8.8 seconds
Top Speed – 250 mph

One magazine quoted these stats as mind bending, and that is about right. 100 mile per hour in nearly 4 seconds. Just let that sink in for a moment… wow!

It also looks great, it will have a range of some 500+ miles and seems highly likely to become one of the most wanted cars on the planet. The only downside is the slightly stupid steering wheel but we can forgive that.

As EVs become more and more popular it will be very interesting to see how they start appearing in the racing world; Formula E is just the start. We are certainly ready to discuss and help any EV race car owners with fire suppression systems. If you are thinking of creating a Tesla track car then get in touch.

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Is the 2018 Dakar Too Hard?

2018 Dakar

As far as racing goes, there is surely nothing more gruelling or challenging than the Dakar Rally. Whilst Le Man 24 Hour is certainly tough in terms of duration, the Dakar is simply the most brutal and ferocious race on the planet.

2018

This year’s race started on the 6th of January and has returned to Peru once again for its 40th anniversary year. The theme – yes there is a theme – is preservation of heritage and history. This is not so much about motorsport history but about Peruvian history. So many of the stages are designed to highlight important places and points of interest. Also this year sees a city stage as the race passes through Puno. This will give the public a chance to experience this somewhat mythical race.

Amateurs and Pros

Unlike many race events the Dakar is open to amateur teams. This means not everyone is driving as part of a highly sponsored factory team and not everyone is a pro driver. This is certainly one of the many exciting parts of the race. However, the factory teams are at a clear advantage with all the support, the best drivers and all the money.

Sebastian Loeb

Prior to starting this year’s race, Loeb had said it was his now or never time to win because Peugeot are not running a team next year. Sadly, his big year was cut short. Initially he struggled with brake issues but he had to finally retire after landing in a large hole. He was trying to avoid a car stuck at the top of a dune when it all went wrong. The car was pulled out but his co-driver was injured and that was the end of the race for both of them.

Too Hard?

Carlos Sainz has been quoted as saying that this leg of the race is simply too hard. He mentions the amateur drivers not being able to cope and that it is just not achievable. Although his team is doing very well he goes on to say that the factory teams can just about cope, but without all the support and the driver skill they have the amateurs are being forced out.

So far there were 43 retirements across all the classes in the first three stages and only 43 out of the 73 competitors in the car class actually finished within 6 hours of Loeb’s time!

We provide fire extinguishers for a wide range of motorsport and road use. We work with professionals, amateurs, teams and more so if you are looking for the very best in fire suppression for your chosen motorsport then get in touch today.

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Autosport 2018

Autosport International Logo

As many of you will know, we let ourselves out once in a blue moon and one of these times is for the Autosport Show at the Birmingham NEC. The upcoming event runs from 11th to 14th January 2018, with 2 public days and 2 trade days. It is always such an amazing event for a number of reasons.

Technology

One of the things we love so much about it is seeing all of the amazing kit on the market. We are somewhat obsessed with fire suppression as you might expect, but it’s great to stick our noses into all the other products and technology on show.

The Show

If you have never been, it is certainly a big event. There is so much more than product and trade stands. This year, there is an F1 feature, BTCC and Rally feature too. Nigel Mansell is going to be there among many others, plus Ferrari have a special stand charting the marque through the ages.

Our Stand: 8305

There may be lots on but don’t forget to come and see us! Last year was an amazing success because we got to see so many customers both old and new, including Ed China and Mike Brewer. We got a chance to explain why our products are so good and how they could work for so many different people with different racing needs.

We will be set up on stand 8305, so come on over and have a look at our product range, meet the team and generally have a good nose around. We will be able to run visitors through our systems, components and applications as well as have a good chat about all things motorsport related, of course!

Spot the System

Last year was a very interesting one. As we went around the stands we ended up trying to spot who was using our systems. We found most of the cars on the Porsche stand all fitted out with FEV kit as well as the Skoda Rally team. Make sure you let us know if you see the FEV badge on any cars around the show!

We hope to see you all there!

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FIA Try to Cut Costs for World Rallycross

FIA World Rallycross Championship

It is always great to see measures being put into place to allow more teams and more people to take part in racing of any kind. More teams and more drivers mean more fun and more fans, which can only be a good thing. So we were really pleased to hear the FIA has just announced a few measures to help keep the cost of World Rallycross down.

What Measures?

After the World Motor Sport Council meeting on 6th December, it was announced that “several” measures would be brought in for 2018. More details will come out soon but these will include gearbox, tyre, turbo and even aero rules.

Turbo

It seems the number of turbos allowed has been reduced from six to four. This means across the 12 rounds the teams will have to make do with less in the way of new kit, which keeps the cost down for teams that struggle to pay for six. Before 2013, teams could use one engine and two turbos at each event.

Tyres

New tyre rules have also been brought in to stop people using unregistered tyres in warm-up and practice, and then moving to their allocation for the race. The teams now have 12 wet and 12 dry tyre sets for the first two round. From the third round onwards, they have a maximum of 8 wet and 8 dry.

Declaration

There are also new rules surrounding the changes being made to cars mid-season. A number of aspects now need to be agreed and declared at the start of the season as part of the technical passport. The idea is that this removes added development costs during the season. Things like the location of the gearbox and the use of a central diff now has to be declared. Gear ratios are now restricted to 2 sets for the whole season and there will also be a similar restriction put on things like brakes.

We are able to provide FIA approved fire suppression for the full range of motorsport classes from F1 to time trials and track days. The rise in popularity in rallycross has led to an increase in our work around this side of motorsport. If you would like to discuss your team or your own car, then give us a call.

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