Racing

Steve Redmond

Mon May 20 2013 20:10:10 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

The most unusual Chaparral is the 2J. On the chassis' sides bottom edges are articulated plastic skirts that seal against the ground (a technology that would later appear in Formula One). At the rear of the 2J are housed two 17-inch, JLO (pronounced "EE-lo") fans driven by a single 45 hp two stroke twin snowmobile engine. The car had a "skirt" made of Lexan extending to the ground on both sides, laterally on the back of the car, and laterally from just aft of the front wheels. It was integrated with the suspension system so the bottom of the skirt would maintain a distance of one inch from the ground regardless of G forces or anomalies in the road surface, thereby providing a zone within which the JLO fans could create a partial vacuum which would provide a downforce on the order of 1.25-1.50 G of the car fully loaded (fuel, oil, coolant). This downforce, materially greater than the weight of the car, had one journalist remark—literally quite accurate—that the 2J, which weighed less than ton, with its JLO motors running and generating their downforce of 1+ G could have been unveiled to the public on the ceiling. This gave the car tremendous gripping power and enabled greater maneuverability at all speeds. Since it created the same levels of low pressure under the car at all speeds, down-force did not decrease at lower speeds. With other aerodynamic devices, down-force decreases as the car slows down or achieves too much of a slip angle, both of which were not problems for the "sucker car".

OLYMPIAN CARS - MIDDLEBURY VERMONT USA
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