Mecachrome Motorsport, who build and develop engines for the FIA Formula 2 Championship and GP3 Series, and are also a major supplier for Renault Sport Racing’s Formula 1 engine, are looking forward to making their mark in the 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship Super Season with a brand new LMP1 engine.
Following the commitment of a number of teams to next WEC campaign’s privateer LMP1 class, Mecachrome are entering the series with a 3.4-litre turbocharged V6, which new entry Ginetta have selected for their championship charge.
Since 1979, the world leader in high-precision engineering has been involved in motorsport with Renault F1, who have been crowned world champion 12 times, as a team or engine supplier.
Mecachrome’s experience in motorsport also includes producing the 4-litre V8 engine in GP2 and Formula 2 since 2005 and the 3.4-litre V6 in GP3 since 2016 – which is the basis for next year’s F2 and LMP1 engines.
Whilst the GP3 engine is naturally aspirated, the V6 in the LMP1 will include a single turbo similar to the F2. To optimise the maximum output, direct injection (250 bars) will be installed for the LMP1 engine. The turbo, combustion chamber, piston and engine valve will also be modified.
Most of the engine components are produced internally at the Mecachrome factory in Aubigny sur Nère, France, with the exception of the valve spring (NHK, Japan), steel valve (Zanzi, Italy), and the piston and conrod (Pankl, Austria).
Alongside their LMP1 programme, Mecachrome are looking at the necessary modifications to build an engine (based on the 3.4-litre V6) for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The French engine manufacturer has also been selected by PSA Motorsport for the machining and assembly of its four-cylinder turbocharged engines issued from the PSA range for the new C3 R5.
Bruno Engelric, Mecachrome Motorsport Director, said: “The project for this new V6 engine started about two and a half years ago. We agreed to build new engines for the GP3 Series and FIA Formula 2 Championship, so when the LMP1 programme was launched, it was obvious that this engine would be the perfect basis.
“Obviously, in the WEC LMP1 privateer class, we will have a lot of competition, so we really have to push the limits. We’ve had to adapt many aspects of the Mecachrome engine and aren’t limited by rules – our development is only restricted by whatever the team we’re supplying’s budget is.
“The single turbo will be in the centre of the “V”, and will be very different to the one used in F2. We investigated the possibility of running a twin-turbo, but because of the size of the engine we believe that just one large one will be best.
“We should have a good comparison after Le Mans, we already have a list of parameters to play with. It’s a very exciting prospect and we look forward to welcoming any new teams who may want to work with us.”
The 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship gets underway with the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps on 5 May 2018, followed by the 86th edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours on 16-17 June.