British EV brand McMurtry Automotive has entered its ridiculously quick Spéirling EV fan car in this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, and it’s not just to show off one of the coolest-looking EVs ever produced, the team will be racing at 10/10ths in an attempt to win their class and to also challenge the record on the famous hill. This is the first time a fan car has competed in motorsport since Niki Lauda won the Swedish F1 GP in 1978 with the Brabham BT46B fan car. You may be doing a little thinking to yourself right about now because you’re almost 100% sure you’ve seen privateers kicking it at pace up the Goodwood hill. You’d also be 100% right. In this case, a fan car isn’t a car that belongs to a long-time fan of the event, or a privateer outfit.
In this case, a fan car is a car that makes use of a large fan to create a low-pressure zone under the car that can instantly increase downforce, so much so that it can even eliminate the need for extra aero, although fancy wings remain in play because every bit helps. Because a fan car can have massive downforce at slower speeds, they have the ability to corner like they’re on rails. It works, and very well too, which begs the question as to why it’s not more widely used. It gave that 1978 F1 car such a massive advantage that the car was pulled from competing simply to keep the peace.
The McMurtry Spéirling isn’t that big to start with, and we know that a light weight is a must for a performance car, but if the car is too light in certain situations it’s not going to help too much either. So the brains at McMurtry have tweaked their fan car to be able to produce an astonishing amount of 2000 kg of instantaneous downforce available at standstill. Standstill! To put that into perspective, a Formula 1 car which is widely regarded as the most technologically advanced cars on the planet, produces less downforce while travelling at 150 mph than the Spéirling does while parked. That’s some serious physics voodoo right there. The McMurtry Spéirling is the result of a challenge by Sir David McMurtry to some F1 engineers to create the ultimate high-performance car from a blank slate and the result is a fully-electric racecar designed around the driver engagement and vehicle performance.
The McMurtry Spéirling is a full-electric car with 1000 hp/ton that’s capable of a 0-60 mph dash in just 1.5-seconds but its top speed has been limited to 240 km/h (150 mph) with the Goodwood-specific gearbox setup. All data points to the ar being very, very quick up the hill. “Having previously enjoyed demonstration runs in an F1 car at Goodwood Festival of Speed, this year, I’m looking forward to making my competitive hillclimb debut. The challenge now is to translate confidence and speed from testing on conventional circuits onto Goodwood’s tight, undulating hillclimb course. We will have limited practice runs and an audience of hundreds of thousands, so it’s a demanding yet great opportunity to show the current pace of this car on the world stage.” says Max Chilton, Lead Development Driver: “The largely constant downforce is an innovative feature to exploit as a driver. It’s very different compared to what I’m used to driving in F1 and IndyCar, and testing this year has required me to adapt my driving style to maximise performance.”
Thomas Yates, Managing Director: “Our aim is to win the event and we feel that the record is within reach if everything aligns for us. Of course this is motorsport and you can never take anything for granted but we are turning up with a highly competitive package. The last time a fan car competed in motorsport was when Niki Lauda dominated the 1978 Swedish Formula One Grand Prix. As Goodwood is celebrating innovators of motorsport this year, we are proud to be bringing back the legendary fan car concept, this time with a leading edge power source! “
Take a look at the YouTube video where the guys behind one of the coolest looking EVs explain the ins and outs of the project car and what their aim is for the car at the Goodwood Festival of Speed where they will compete for top honours, the first time a fan car has done this in 44 years: FAN CAR DEBUT at SILVERSTONE | Historic Track, Futuristic Car | 1000bhp/tonne | McMurtry Spéirling | McMurty Automotive
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