Automotive Performance

a turbocharged, variable-compression, wet-sump, two-stroke unit designed to improve engine efficiency while operating on a range of renewable or gasoline fuels. Lotus is about to commission the testing program. The Omnivore draws on experience from an earlier Lotus project.


The monoblock eliminates a separate cylin­der head. “The Omnivore is a piston-ported two-stroke with a modified exhaust valve,” Jamie Turner, Chief Engineer of Powertrain Research at Lotus told AEI. The engine uses the Orbital FlexDI direct-injection system, using compressed air to inject the fuel. “That is entirely validated and in mass production in outboard engines, so it’s every bit as durable and reliable as you would need in an automotive engine,” continued Turner.

The monoblock comprises the transfer ports arranged at the bottom, the exhaust charge trapping valve, and the “puck,” which is the key to the variable compression ratio (VCR). Without the valvetrain at the top of the engine, the mechanism can move the puck up and down at the top of the cylinder, thereby varying the compression ratio. The puck can hold both injector and spark plug, although the test variant on display had the injector positioned to one side.

“The puck can be driven in and out very simply via the simple mechanism on the top,” said Turner. “The mechanism has an eccentric arrangement that just moves the puck up and down under a stepper motor control.”

The system designed so far is made from proprietary components, explained Turner. “We wanted to have the authority to move the puck against full cylinder pressure. That probably won’t be needed in a production version, so everything would be very slimmed down, and in actual fact, you could get all the VCR mechanism onto something the same height as anything else on the engine. So we would expect the engine to be slightly lower than a four-stroke.”

The VCR two-stroke allows the gas exchange to be moved away from the head, said Turner. “The puck doesn’t move cyclically, but it can be moved across a very big range. Theoretically, the engine can vary the compression ratio between 8.0:1 to nearly 50.0:1.

“The two-stroke is the solution people reach for when they need high fuel economy, because the friction is a lot lower,” continued Turner. “With a spark-ignition engine, fundamentally you have to control the air mass entering the cylinder as well as the fuel mass; the two-stroke doesn’t suffer from throttling loss. What you need to have with a two-stroke is a means of controlling its emissions well enough because it cannot run stoichiometrically; it cannot run a three-way catalyst because you have excess air. You can have a catalyst to control CO and HC, but you can’t have a catalyst to control NOx as easily, so you want to generate as little as possible even if you have NOx aftertreatment. So you run it essentially in HCCI (homogeneous-charge compression ignition) mode.”

The charge trapping valve is a mechanism that continuously varies the opening point of the valve, explained Turner. “We can control the closing point via this mechanism, and that allows us to trap more or less exhaust gas in the cylinder, so we trap the retained heat and residuals in the cylinder with a controllable mechanism. That will influence the compression ratio, but the point here is that we have a completely independent, very wide range compression ratio adjustment. Theoretically, we should get low NOx.”

The project is really about improving the combustion and getting better thermal efficiency, overlaid with renewable alcohol fuels, added Turner. “You can get better efficiency on the alcohol fuels now because you’ve got control of the one thing you’d like to change anyway. So, theoretically, you can increase the proportion of vehicle miles traveled on an alternative fuel, which of course helps to displace fossil carbon.”

Lotus is running the Omnivore program in collaboration with Queen’s University Belfast and Orbital Corp. of Australia. Sponsorship has been made available through the UK Government Renewable Materials LINK program.




“While Supplies Last!” We now have a new special offer for the French Kiss with Death softcover live on the website. For $59.95, folks can get a copy of the book along with author Michael Keyser’s The Making of Le Mans DVD. The DVD has some extra photos and slideshows of artwork from the book, as well as stuff that didn’t make the cut, but the very interesting thing for fans of the Le Mans movie is an actual 14 minute documentary about the making of the movie that was filmed during the production. You can see a two-minute clip of it here:

Check out the product page for the special offer here: Product page

I am disappointed the Man vs Machine race never happened. I can guess what the outcome would have been. Still not the same as seeing it. Track too slippery? bah!

Highlights from the event. Results below.

Schedule of Events
Time (GMT) Event
13.00-14.15 Displays
13.55-14.15 Hoy vs Hamilton “Man vs Machine” Challenge
14.30-16.30 The ROC Nations Cup
16.35-17.15 Displays
16.35-16.50 Lewis Hamilton in his title winning McLaren
16.55-17.15 X-Fighters Freestyle show
17.30-19.30 The Race of Champions

Man vs Machine (cancelled – track too slippery for cycling)
Driver vs Driver
Chris Hoy Lewis Hamilton

Nation’s Cup: Round 1
Driver vs Driver
Tom Kristensen (w) Yvan Muller
Sebastien Loeb Mattias Ekstrom (w)
Jenson Button (w) Carl Edwards
Tanner Foust Andy Priaulx (w)
Jaime Alguersuari David Coulthard (w)
Adam Carroll Michael Schumacher (w)
Tanner Foust Jenson Button (w)
Gareth MacHale Sebastian Vettel (w)

Nation’s Cup: Round 2
Driver vs Driver
Tom Kristensen (w) Jenson Button
Andy Priaulx (w) Mattias Ekstrom
Michael Schumacher (w) David Coulthard
Sebastian Vettel (w) Jason Plato

Nation’s Cup: Round 3
Driver vs Driver
Tom Kristensen (w) Andy Priaulx
Germany through automatically

Nation’s Cup: Final
Driver vs Driver
Tom Kristensen Michael Schumacher (w)
Sebastian Vettel Mattias Ekstrom (w)
Michael Schumacher (w) Mattias Ekstrom
Nation’s Cup Winner: Germany

Race of Champions: Round 1
Driver vs Driver
Michael Schumacher (w) Tom Kristensen
Carl Edwards (w) Jaime Alguersuari
Jenson Button Tanner Foust (w)
David Coulthard (w) Gareth MacHale
Andy Priaulx (w) Jason Plato
Mattias Ekstrom (w) Adam Carroll
Sebastien Loeb (w) Yvan Muller
Sebastian Vettel (w) Troy Bayliss

Race of Champions: Round 2
Driver vs Driver
Michael Schumacher Carl Edwards (w)
Tanner Foust David Coulthard (w)
Andy Priaulx (w) Mattias Ekstrom
Sebastien Loeb (w) Sebastian Vettel

Race of Champions: Round 3
Driver vs Driver
Carl Edwards David Coulthard (w)
Andy Priaulx Sebastien Loeb (w)

Race of Champions: Final
Driver vs Driver
David Coulthard (1) Sebastien Loeb (2)
RoC Champion: Sebastien Loeb

I receive a lot of questions about Greg’s MINI. More than half I cannot answer. In order to get you your answers I forwarded the most popular ones over to Greg.

Driver view

How long have you been racing? (was the MINI your first track vehicle)

I’m a rookie. I officially have never raced. I know this sounds quite odd, but that would be how I do things.
I have been around racecars for as long as I can remember even crewing at the 1975 Indy 500 for Grant King Racing, and later for NART Ferrari.
My very first race came that day at New Hampshire Motor Raceway, but due to an unknown damaged head I was not able to make the actual race. Though, I was able to put this mini on pole position during both practice and qualifying. Not to bad for my first time and the first time this car has ever been to a race.
I am proof that it’s never too late to follow a dream. Though I’ve been around some of the worlds best racecars most of my life as a team member, I was never able to actually get behind the wheel on the track. It was not until 2003 that did my very first HPDE. From that point on I was determined to make my childhood dream come true.



When did you decide to take this MINI from a street car to track only?

I decided that I would make my car a dedicated race car in 2005. I was part of a GT-1 team and in repayment for all my work they said I could use the shop to build a cage for my car. Little did they know what I really had in mind. Thanks all go to Ted Sullivan and David Morrow for all their help and guidance.

When did you start the build and how long did it take?

When I started the car I figured it would take about 4 months. About 30 months later it was about ready for the track. OUCH!



Did you do the majority of the work?
Who did the fiberglass work? (body panels)

I did 100% of the designing and about 99% of the building by myself.
The only thing I did not do was the welding as I have no experience with doing so. It’s the one place I didn’t want to take any chances. During the entire build it was number one to make it a safe racecar.
So, everything you see in and on the car was designed and built by me. It was my first time for most things, including body work. The only outsourcing that I can recall would be the lexan windows. This does not include the obvious like the Tilton pedals, ATL cell and stuff like that.



What engine modifications have been made?

Motor actually has few mods. The short block is all stock. “Some” of the modifications are;
• Race head built by Cosworth and supplied to me by M7.
• Race cam.
• I designed and built a new intake plenum.
• Larger injectors
• Factory supercharger with 16% M7 pulley
• Custom aluminum radiator and redesigned cooling system
• Custom made remote oil filter/cooler
• Fuel delivery is still controlled by the factory ECU. To date I am the only one I know that has 100% rewired a mini cooper S successfully. ECU race tunes are done by my sponsor, Viteese Pro.
• Transmission is a 2006 with Quaife diff.
• Axles are factory.
• Flywheel and clutch are from Quarter Master.
• Much more…..


Cage view

Cage view

Suspension? I know you mentioned at the track you just installed it and raced, (no adjustments made).

The heart of the suspension are the JRZ shocks built just for this car. Springs are Hypercoils, anywhere from 500 lbs. to 1000 lbs.
Front control arms are custom built using spherical rear bushing and factory inner and outer ball joints. Custom spacers are used in these areas. Front camber plates are Race plates from Ireland Engineering.
Rear suspension is all “solid”. I built the upper and lower control arms with aluminum Hiems. Trailing arm bushing are again solid spherical.
Front and rear sway bars are custom selections.

The only adjustments I had to make so far was one click on the rebound on each shock. This suspension really works.

Chassis bottom


Pedals and masters are from Tilton. All lines are custom built by me. Front brake calipers and rotors are Wilwood from TCE, an early sponsor. Pads are Wilwoods. I used several compounds depending on track and conditions.
Rear brakes are factory calipers and TCE larger rotors. Pads in the rear are Hawk racing Blues.


Was the MINI a good choice for the track, it being FWD? It was fast when I saw it run at NHMS.

I think the mini was a good choice, especially after the NHMS race. It proved to be the fastest car out there in all classes, even SM which is a wide open modified class. The fact that this was done with a damaged head, that finally gave out, and pumping water through cylinder 2, makes it even more promising. I drove VERY, very poorly that day due to being so new to my car and the overheating problems I was dealing with.
So yes, even though I was told throughout this build that it was the “wrong car” , I knew in my head that it very well could be the “right car”.

On course

Results from this past year?

No results. Only one race, which I did not even get out of the grid. This was due to the car not being ready until then, and then with the head issue I was not able to really afford to continue the season.

Future plans for the car and your racing program?

What I have is most likely the very best race mini in this country. It’s proven very fast and that was at only 75% of its capability, being driven at about 60% of my capability.
Though the plans were to campaign this car throughout the country during the 2009 season in both BMWCCA and NASA GTS, the fact is that finances are making this a very difficult venture to pursue. At an average of $1100 per race, it just becomes hard to justify such an expensive hobby at this time.
It is very important for me to promote all of my sponsors, so I will do all I can to continue to do that such as being on display at Roger Penski’s INSKIP dealership this last month. Possible auto crossing and hill climbing will help keep the car “out there”.

This car will continue to evolve. This winter I will be installing a semi-sequential shift system and will also really go to work on making “dependable” horse power.

Thanks to my major sponsors.

Viteese Pro Hi-Performance Tuning
M7 Tuning
Bentley Publishers


Darren gave me a call to inform me that his son Zak has joined starvingracers(dot)com.
He is looking for ways to fund his 2010 race season and you joining his fan club can help! It is free to join and he gets points everytime someone becomes a fan.

Taking the checkered flag

Taking the checkered flag

Zak out in front. 1

Leading the pack

Leading the pack

In Zak’s own words

My name is Zak Gorski. I’ve Been racing quarter midgets since I was 5 for 9 years. I started racing on dirt and won lots of races. Then i wanted to move to asphault for more of a challange. Now I race at Oaklane Quarter Midget Racing Club, one of the toughest quarter midget tracks in America. I have won lots of races in my 9 yars of racing. One of my goals is to win a Grands, which is a national race. Another one of my goals is to go and win lots more races at my home track.

Looking fast

Looking fast


Mulitipal feature and A-main wins on both dirt and asphault.
A championship win at Snydersville Pa Speedway dirt oval.
3 Gsqmrc A-main wins.
2nd place in the 2008 states race in world formula at Oaklane quarter midget racing assosiation.
2 2nd place finishes in the world formula sponsor-cup
in 2007 and 2008.
A Heavy 160 track record at Oaklane quarter midget racing assosiation.
2 Keystone event wins at Honeybrook qmrc in and Heavy Honda.

They are two of Great Britain’s hottest sports stars, both vying to be the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year, but they specialize in vastly different disciplines.

Metro Chris Hoy

Thirty-two-year-old Chris Hoy won three gold medals on the velodrome at this summer’s Beijing Olympics and 23-year-old Lewis Hamilton is the youngest-ever world champion in Formula 1 auto racing.

Despite their reliance on different tools of the trade, promoters of the upcoming Race of Champions have concluded that the two might be able to match their respective skills in a head-to-head race over the course of a twisting one-kilometer route to be constructed on the field of London’s Wembley Stadium next month.


On December 14, the two will meet in a widely touted “Man vs. Machine” contest on a parallel track originally designed to test the mettle of top auto racers representing a cross-section from motor sport’s various two- and four-wheeled disciplines. As part of the pre-show entertainment, Hoy will match his acceleration and bike-handling abilities against Hamilton, a skilled driver who will be behind the wheel of a 600 horsepower Mercedes-Benz SLR road car.

Hoy, who will be astride his Dolan track bike, says it may be a tighter contest than many might believe.

“It’s going to be a great opportunity and an intriguing prospect,” said Hoy. “I expect it to be close.”

The course may offer Hoy some advantages, in that the king of the velodrome will certainly be able to dive through the sharp corners much faster than even the most skilled driver. Neither, however, is willing to predict a winner just yet.

“This going to be something very special,” said Hamilton. “I’ve done F1 demonstration runs away from race tracks before, but Wembley stadium is completely different. The atmosphere is going to be crazy.”

“It’s a completely different kind of venue to anything I’m used to,” Hoy added. “I think it will be great fun and I am curious to see what will happen.”

Wembley Stadium tickets for the Race of Champions will range from £18 to £199, but the event will also be broadcast live on Eurosport and Al Jazeera Sports.

From: velonews


Keeping on subject. . I would enjoya cyclist vs the solartaxi race.

Solartaxi power 1.2 kW (depending on sunlight)

Pro-cyclist 450 continuous watts


Interesting way to spread the word.

The Solartaxi crew is traveling the world powered by sunlight.




Ferdinand Porsche-
Genesis of Genius
Road, Racing and Aviation Innovation 1900 to 1933
by Karl Ludvigsen
Hardcover, 9.5 in. by 12 in.
496 pages
570 photos & illustrations
Language: English
Bentley Stock Number: GPGE
ISBN-13: 978-0-8376-1334-5
Price: $274.95
Limited Edition of 500
For more information on this collector’s edition, click here.

Bentley Publishers is proud to announce the publication of the newest Porsche historical book by Karl Ludvigsen, author of the award-winning Porsche: Excellence Was Expected.

This limited collector’s edition has been built to the personal standards of Ernst Piëch, Ferdinand Porsche’s eldest grandson.

In Ferdinand Porsche-Genesis of Genius, author Karl Ludvigsen reveals a dynamic young innovator who helped to chart the course of the automobile through the first decades of the twentieth century. As early as 1900, at the age of 25, Ferdinand Porsche pioneered hybrid technology to power his automobile designs. Once gasoline gained dominance as the power-source of choice, Porsche became relentless in his goal to design the fastest and most durable automobiles in Europe.

Porsche’s engineering brilliance did not stop at the automobile. He also made significant contributions to the early development of airplane engines and military transport vehicles. And in addition to his hands-on style of engineering, Ferdinand Porsche was a tireless managing executive in the automotive industry.

Ferdinand Porsche-Genesis of Genius explores in depth the unique combination of ambition, determination and genius that were the genesis of an automotive dynasty which has continued to thrive and expand for over a century.

Ferdinand Porsche-Genesis of Genius combines the dramatic story of Ferdinand Porsche’s early career with over 500 rare documents and photographs depicting his earliest creations. Developed with the personal involvement of Ferdinand Porsche’s eldest grandson, Ernst Piëch, this book is a distinctive reflection of the quality and history of Porsche values.

Chapter 3: Electrifying Automobiles 1900-1905
In neat sketches in his own notebook, Porsche worked out the electrical connections that would be needed to control the forward speeds of his powerful Panhard-powered Mixtes of 1905.

Holiday Shipping
Please keep the following dates in mind if you would like your shipment to arrive before Christmas:
(Orders must be received by 12 noon EST)
December 1st
for delivery via Airmail (to Canada)
December 8th
for international delivery via expedited services
December 10th
for delivery via UPS Ground
December 22nd
for delivery via UPS Second Day
December 23rd
for delivery via UPS Overnight Service

Greg Vasileff’s MINI Cooper S race car is now at MINI of Inskip. They are sponsoring his vehicle and he now has a cool place to store it for the off-season.
I have been offering technical help when I can to Greg since last winter. I had a chance to visit with him and see the car in person at NHMS this past summer.

The car is great looking, fast and real crowd favorite. I am happy to be on board. What ever that entails.

NHMS 2008
On course

Heading into the showroom at MINI of Inskip




Onboard with Greg at new Hampshire Motor Speedway
Some discussion about that day at the track. As described by Greg.

….I must also thank Nick Czerula from Bentley Publishing. His input has been invaluable. Thanks to Bentley for coming on board as a sponsor. Fact is that this entire build was done with my Bentley manual by my side. I’m on my second one as my first has been beaten to death. ….



When you just HAVE to finish the race.

throttle cable repair

With less than a mile left in a stage of the Ralley de Serrians in France, the throttle cable in our hero’s Renault finally gives up the ghost. Does he give up? No! Does the team try to push their way to the finish? Hell no! The driver tells his co-pilot to man the wheel while he hops into the engine bay, pulls the hood over himself and then manually controls the throttle cable bracket to a heroic finish. The picture above speaks for itself.