Encouraging performance for new Lotus CLM p1/01 at COTA
The competition debut of any brand new racing engine is always an anxious event for the powerplant’s creators. So there were broad smiles on the faces of the Advanced Engine Research staff on site and back in England when the checkered flag waved at the conclusion of the FIA World Endurance Championship’s 6 Hours of the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
AER’s P60 twin-turbo V-6 privateer LMP1 engine never missed a beat as it powered the No.9 Lotus CLM P1/01 entry to second place among non-factory LMP1 entries in a demanding race that included a rain-induced red flag during the second hour.
“This was a very encouraging debut for the P60,” said Andrew Saunders, AER’s engineering manager. “The engine was faultless and we learned a great deal over the course of the weekend. The potential for the engine is massive and we are all very enthusiastic about further progress in coming events."
The P60’s performance was particularly impressive in wet conditions throughout the weekend in Austin. The Lotus was turning laps that were as fast, and sometimes faster than, those of the factory-entered LMP1-class Audis, Porsches and Toyotas. According to Christophe Bouchot, who shared the Lotus driving duties with James Rossiter and Lucas Auer, this was due in large part to smooth power delivery of the P60.
"The engine power is very good and driveability is excellent,” said Bouchot, who noted that his assessment was shared by co-drivers Rossiter and Auer.