ARK Design Team America BNR32 GT-R Update

by Mike Kojima

In this week's update for the ARK Design Team America BNR32 Time Attack car, we address air management issues around the front of the car with a unique intercooler arrangement  and some hopefully clever ducting. 

In order to make the most of our Andrew Brilliant designed aero package, we had to utilize every bit of air going around the front of the car in the quest to develop an ample amount of downforce.  At the same time, we also wanted to take as much weight off of the front of the car and to shorten the length of the intake tract as much as possible.  Shortening the intake tract will allow us to reduce weight and to improve throttle response. 

As you can see in the cover image we are using a horizontally mounted radiator being fed through an optimized duct that takes air from above the splitter stagnation zone and exits it out of the hood.   This utilizes cooling air in the production of downforce instead of having it pack around the engine compartment making drag and messing up the airflow in the wheel wells and under the car.  The radiator might look small but our ethanol fuel burns cool and the duct will make the most of the radiator by giving it a large supply of air directed smoothly at high velocity through the core.  If you look at the heat exchangers used in formula cars of equivalent power you will notice that their heat exchangers are even smaller.

 Read The ARK Design BNR32 Build Stories Here!


We are putting the high pressure air that accumulates in the front wheel wells to work by using it to help cool the intercooler and the oven that encloses our rear mounted turbo that sits in the driver's compartment.  You can see two inlets for the intercooler ducting here in the right wheel well.
We haven't done any of the ductwork for the left wheelwell yet but its supply of pressurized air will also be split between the intercooler and the oven.  Peeking in the oven you can see the turbo here.  The heavy turbo is mounted in the cabin to improve the BNR32's horrid stock 60/40 weight distribution.  We have set the VQ/VR Hybrid engine back quite far so the powerplant is now almost a front mid engine arrangement with the engine largely behind the front axle line.
In an effort to move more weight rearward and to help clean up the airflow by minimizing the amount of heat exchangers with air wasting and drag producing ducts in the car's nose, the intercooler has been relocated to the left side dash above the turbo oven.  This the the intercooler plenum and diffuser where air taken from the wheelwells will be fed via ducts to the intercooler core. 
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Sunday, August 17, 2014 11:50 PM
Have you guys considered using the duct through the cabin to suck some of the hot air out of the cabin (via air entrainment)?
Dusty Duster
Dusty Dusterlink
Monday, August 18, 2014 5:00 AM
Damn, that is some nice fabrication!
Dan DeRosia
Dan DeRosialink
Monday, August 18, 2014 5:24 AM
I feel like I should make some joke about a top mount intercooler. I like it, seems to be getting a bit to the prototype school of thought, with flank mounted heat exchangers and ducting. Hope the ducting hose works well enough, though there certainly should be enough cross-sectional area. And the pre-turbo injection is also an interesting touch. I imagine it will help, but to the same extent as methanol on the CART engines? Also, is it adapted hardware or newly fabricated stuff with the same idea? I know, I can wait to see with everyone else.
Monday, August 18, 2014 10:05 AM
It's interesting that projects like this get the financial backing that they do, but I suppose it is a good showcase for manufacturers. What i can't wrap my head around is why teams don;t just build full tube chassis at this point? Obviously it is rules, but what is the organizers train of thought? if you are building something crazy to go as fast as it can for a lap and tossing any mechanical semblance of the original vehicle, then why not go balls out and just build a tube frame car and see how fast you can really go without the tradeoffs of trying to keep some unibody sections hurling around the track with you? It would likely be cheaper, and nobody is fooled that that these cars have anything to do with the production line window silhouettes that they carry over. There are only a handful of people with the money and backing to put together one of these machines anyways. If there where manufacturer backing that would be a different story. I know I am certainly biased in my thinking that real circuit racing is wheel to wheel and that adds to my confusion.

Will this car see Pikes Peak, or would it not fall into a class very well. I take it, it would be an unlimited class of some kind and would have to face tube frames and monocoques. From a practical standpoint the switch panel looks like it will be in the drivers line of sight in a big way with the seating position you are considering, no?

Anyways, I like fast machines. Look forward to on-track videos.

Monday, August 18, 2014 2:00 PM
I'm so psyched on the progress of this!! I'd love to hire someone like Andrew to give me input on what is being done correctly or most likely incorrectly on my car.

The 240rs Maxi uses hot radiator exhaust ducted into the low pressure area above my diffuser.

Monday, August 18, 2014 2:05 PM
I should add that the hot air ducting similarity gives me hope that something on my car is aerodynamically sound!
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 10:03 AM
Very cool stuff. I am really excited to see more of these TA r32 updates. I have all appendages crossed for a smooth completion, and perhaps a test day before loading the beast into a container for the WTAC.

Funny that both Yok and Hankook claim each company supplies special compounds to certain teams. Though I do like the idea of a control tyre, seems unfair to have one company running all the tires.

Tire ignorance question: Can a tire company cheat their way around the UTQG rating? If both tires have the same UTQG, can one still be a cheater compound?
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 5:48 PM
Hey guys very impressive, We are just about to embark on the very same thing. I just found this while I was searching. How does one get hold of Tyler Hara to purchase one of those adapter plates between the gearbox and engine
Micah McMahan
Micah McMahanlink
Wednesday, August 27, 2014 9:12 AM
Ah, I like seeing more cars ducting air flow out of the trunk/bumper above the diffuser. I wish I had the freedom to duct it completely how I'd wanted to on Turn In Concepts TA car...

I can foresee lots of ECU programming/set-up fun for Eric. Have you guys decided on the unit of choice?
Mark F
Mark Flink
Saturday, August 30, 2014 3:29 PM
Cosworth Electronics Pectel SQ6 for ECU duties.
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