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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
From 1966 to 1973, Group 7 Can-Am was one of the most hotly contested series on the planet, populated by McLaren, Chaparral, Lola, Porsche and others. The rules essentially said, "Bodywork that covers the wheels, two seats, and any engine you choose." So my question is exactly this: If the Group 7 formula were revived today, would the cars include a KERS type system (or one of its brethren/progeny) because it helps us go faster OR is all of that just heavy environmental correctness nonsense that has been foisted on us as a matter of politics?

My goal here is just to address the racing question, not whether politics should thrust such burdens on racing. I just want to know what we think about whether KERS or similar technologies make us go faster or not.

If you think the answer is different in F1 as opposed to a Can-Am type car because of space limitations, that would seem to me to be an interesting part of the answer.
 

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Interesting question .... I suspect you'd take the KERS? KERS is reusing energy that the car has already created, right? Which has got to be a good thing. So, as long as the power/weight ratio is better with KERS than without it's the way to go. Also you'd need less fuel with KERS for the same power output/duration so there'd be a weight saving to offset the weight of the device to further factor into the power/weight ratio.

I'm sure someone out there has all of the data to prove this (or prove me wrong).
 

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Interesting topic George

My personal view is that it does make things faster. Harvesting energy which is being lost to be used at a later moment has to be a good thing. Now the question is whether the effect is marginal cos of the extra weight, well am not sure but our beloved p1 would probably go without unless the benefits are palpable
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Seems to me that there are two variables at work here:

1. Are we better off taking the weight from the KERS and putting it into a bigger engine and more fuel? The fuel burns away.

2. Electric motors have terrific short response time from zero to full power. Does that make enough of a difference pulling out of corners to make KERS worthwhile?

Porsche made a 911 racing variant that used the Williams F1 flywheel system to store energy braking into a turn and draw on it coming out of the turn. That car went very very fast. Maybe there is a clue there.

I'm not an engineer, so I don't fully understand the problem, let alone the solution. Maybe someone out there can give us some hard facts.
 

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Ideally for something like Can Am in the modern age, you want something like a 5-6 liter twin turbo V8 or V10 with huge turbos, then you can use the KERS to fill in the lag. This is very viable. Without the KERS, you would have to size the turbos to be smaller to spool up earlier and then lose the top end power
 

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KERS is a good thing, BUT the most important thing is it should NOT use Battery technology for the energy storage medium. Batteries have way too many limitations and battery technlogy will likely never reach the ideal requirments for a KERS system.
The Porsche / Williams Flywheel system is far better. Higher effiency, far far longer lifetime and more reliable.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So we've set our benchmark at a 6 liter V-10 with huge turbos and the Williams flywheel KERS system. Sounds pretty good.

Now what about that air cooled, flat 12, five liter twin turbo from the Porsche 917-10. What about configuring that at 6 liters, variable vane turbos (a Porsche specialty) and going without KERS? Pretty lightweight with no cooling water or plumbing and no KERS to cart around.

I don't know which would be faster in identical chassis. Any ideas?
 

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I'd go with KERS and a ton of carbon fibre to bring the weight down as low as possible. The less power you need from the internal combustion powerplant the less stressed it will be and if it's turbo'd then you can run smaller turbos and get better response.

To me KERS is a damn good idea, why let energy you've created from braking go to waste? It takes energy to make energy!
 
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