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The Lotus 88


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#101 f1steveuk

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 11:44

Hopefully I'll get to see it when I get home



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#102 Nemo1965

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 17:27

I saw the Ligier mentioned earlier...

 

Werent those cars running in a configuration that may not have been strictly within the rules? I thought there was some kind of sneaky bleed flap installed?

 

And then there is the (mythical?) story of Guy Ligier smashing up the pontoons or a setup sheet of paper getting lost?

 

Also, I think those Ligiers were fabulously ugly cars, in a good way!

 

The nice - but probably invented story after the fact - was that Gerard Ducarouge had found the ideal set-up for the Ligiers in 1979 during the South-American races, wrote it down on the back of a pack of cigarettes... and lost the small carton box on the flight back to Europe! And then the Ligiers lost their magic touch (though Depailler won in Spain...)

 

A case of Non e vero, ma bon trovato, if you ask me. In the Ferrari 126C2 discussion someone wrote about the new skirts being made of too flexible material. Sounds more plausible.

 

Talking of Ligier/Lotus. Lotus tried the Lotus 80 full length sidepods... and it was a dud. Then Ligier in 1982 tried to do the same... and had the same maddening experiences. Suppose the 88 had been allowed to race... and it would not have worked... would it still have led other teams on the road to frustration?



#103 Henri Greuter

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 18:22

The nice - but probably invented story after the fact - was that Gerard Ducarouge had found the ideal set-up for the Ligiers in 1979 during the South-American races, wrote it down on the back of a pack of cigarettes... and lost the small carton box on the flight back to Europe! And then the Ligiers lost their magic touch (though Depailler won in Spain...)

 

A case of Non e vero, ma bon trovato, if you ask me. In the Ferrari 126C2 discussion someone wrote about the new skirts being made of too flexible material. Sounds more plausible.

 

Talking of Ligier/Lotus. Lotus tried the Lotus 80 full length sidepods... and it was a dud. Then Ligier in 1982 tried to do the same... and had the same maddening experiences. Suppose the 88 had been allowed to race... and it would not have worked... would it still have led other teams on the road to frustration?

 

 

I believe it is in an edition of the shortly lived magazine Grand Prix International magazine that there was an article about the Ligiers being fitted with a device that ensured more air being vented into the space between underfloor and asphalt on in particular the straight lines when the cars needed top speed that increased when the vacuum under the car became less and thus less resistance that enhanced the top speed again.

I recall that I have read it in one of the earliest Dutch editions. We got GPI in the summer of 1980, the device was called the "ploef`or something like that.

 

The difference between the skirts of the Lotus 80 and that of the Ligier JS19 was that the sidepods and skirts of the 80 in front of the rear wheels were curved. The JS19 skirts were straight and were only bend at around the rear axle where the sidepods had come to the narrowest point. The system on the JS19 was in effect thus a bit more simple.

 

Henri



#104 Nemo1965

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 19:58

I believe it is in an edition of the shortly lived magazine Grand Prix International magazine that there was an article about the Ligiers being fitted with a device that ensured more air being vented into the space between underfloor and asphalt on in particular the straight lines when the cars needed top speed that increased when the vacuum under the car became less and thus less resistance that enhanced the top speed again.

I recall that I have read it in one of the earliest Dutch editions. We got GPI in the summer of 1980, the device was called the "ploef`or something like that.

 

The difference between the skirts of the Lotus 80 and that of the Ligier JS19 was that the sidepods and skirts of the 80 in front of the rear wheels were curved. The JS19 skirts were straight and were only bend at around the rear axle where the sidepods had come to the narrowest point. The system on the JS19 was in effect thus a bit more simple.

 

Henri

 

 

Thanks Henri, for the details. Bottomline: the Ligier did not work either... or it did work in the tunnel, sometimes on the track, sometimes not... Cheever claimed he could have won Las Vegas 1982 if not for a broken damper, or something. You know what would be a good idea: to send Adrian Newey a mail and ask him if the Lotus 80 or the 88 ever could have worked!

 

Yeah, dream on...



#105 Henri Greuter

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 20:40

Thanks Henri, for the details. Bottomline: the Ligier did not work either... or it did work in the tunnel, sometimes on the track, sometimes not... Cheever claimed he could have won Las Vegas 1982 if not for a broken damper, or something. You know what would be a good idea: to send Adrian Newey a mail and ask him if the Lotus 80 or the 88 ever could have worked!

 

Yeah, dream on...

 

 

 

My pleasure.

BTW: The Talbot was designed with skirts continuing til behind the rear wheels. But it wasn''t permitted to employ skits behind the rear axle and I have no idea yet in how much that affected the efficiency of the JS19. The JS19 was the only car in 1982 which had the underfloor in one piece and running over the entire length of the car, Just about every other car had the underfloor ending right in front of the rear suspension. So, the underfloor in front of  the rear suspension, thus under the side pod was much closer to the track track and in theory should not generate such a large vacuum, hence downforce. But if the entire underfloor could have been sealed off as designed, then it may well have been an entirely different situation had the skirts worked as planned. 

I wonder, had the Talbot used narrow sidepods like the Lotus 88 and 87 and thus could have used skirts running in a straight line instead of slightly diagonally on the direction of movement, the restistance may have been less and they might have worked much better.

 

Personally, the JS19 is one of my favourite cars for lookings that is. With its lengthy fuel tank and engine bay behind the driver, so sat far in front of the car, the car almost looked like a jet fighter profile.

Not as safe as a current car perhaps, but seen from aside I think the JS19 is looking eternally much better than the current bananas.

 

Henri


Edited by Henri Greuter, 15 August 2014 - 20:43.


#106 chr1s

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 21:55

I saw the Ligier mentioned earlier...

 

Werent those cars running in a configuration that may not have been strictly within the rules? I thought there was some kind of sneaky bleed flap installed?

 

And then there is the (mythical?) story of Guy Ligier smashing up the pontoons or a setup sheet of paper getting lost?

 

Also, I think those Ligiers were fabulously ugly cars, in a good way!

There was an interview with Gerard Ducarouge in Motorsport a few years ago and he explained that the Ligiers' loss of performance was due to the team experimenting with different under wing profiles. For ease of manufacture, these were made of fibreglass instead of aluminium, as used on the first chassis. It took the team some time to realise that the grp underwings were distorting under load. They then reverted to aluminium under wings but by then the performance advantage had been lost as other teams had caught up.

 

IMHO the JS11/15 was one of the prettiest racing cars ever!



#107 JacnGille

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Posted 16 August 2014 - 01:23

There was an interview with Gerard Ducarouge in Motorsport a few years ago and he explained that the Ligiers' loss of performance was due to the team experimenting with different under wing profiles. For ease of manufacture, these were made of fibreglass instead of aluminium, as used on the first chassis. It took the team some time to realise that the grp underwings were distorting under load. They then reverted to aluminium under wings but by then the performance advantage had been lost as other teams had caught up.

 

IMHO the JS11/15 was one of the prettiest racing cars ever!

That's what I remember reading too.



#108 jcbc3

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Posted 16 August 2014 - 09:34

OT: While reading these last posts in the thread I googled some of the stuff and found this tribute page to Ligier: Tributo a Equipe Ligier

#109 Charlieman

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Posted 16 August 2014 - 12:46

I believe it is in an edition of the shortly lived magazine Grand Prix International magazine that there was an article about the Ligiers being fitted with a device that ensured more air being vented into the space between underfloor and asphalt on in particular the straight lines when the cars needed top speed that increased when the vacuum under the car became less and thus less resistance that enhanced the top speed again.

I recall that I have read it in one of the earliest Dutch editions. We got GPI in the summer of 1980, the device was called the "ploef`or something like that.

After Googling a bit, I found this explanation (which may be sourced from GPI magazine):

"3) In 1979, Ligier encountered a tricky performance problem with the JS11 - on the straights, the car was bottoming out because the car was producing too much downforce. What solution did Ligier devise to get around that issue?


Answer: A few of you suggested removing the front wing - although this was a common practise, this was mainly to reduce the disruption to the airflow beneath the car. 


The solution is quite obscure, so I'm not surprised nobody got this one. Ligier's solution was to have a spring loaded flap in the underfloor of the car which, once the pressure dropped below a certain point, would open slightly to allow partial equalisation of the air pressure beneath and above the floor. This novel solution was carried through onto the 1980 spec JS11/15 until it was discovered by a FISA official and banned as a moveable aerodynamic device."

 

See: http://www.f1rejects...t=6680&start=80

 

Performance of the JS11/15 went up and down before the balance flap was banned, which makes me think that Ligier had more fundamental problems.

 

DCN's History of the Grand Prix Car 1966-1985 throws up some other discussion points:

* the JS11 was designed to use rotation of the rear tyres as extractors for the sidepods, so tyre dimension changes would have been significant had the theory worked.

* Ligier's setup apparatus for the JS11 (which is presumably more significant than Ducarouge's fag packet) allegedly fell out of calibration.

* Ligier changed wind tunnels from SERA to a government lab at St Cyr, making all historical data difficult to comprehend.

 

My interpretation is that the JS11 and successor were great cars but that the team did not understand them sufficiently to be consistent.



#110 f1steveuk

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 07:29

I did mention the flap in an earlier post, there was a grainy black and white picture in GPI.