After the Nogaro Grand Prix, the third round of the European Truck Racing championship, the Renault Trucks-MKR Technology team stand second place in the team rankings with one victory and 5 top three finishes. In spite of the rain on the Gers circuit (32), both drivers climbed one place in the overall rankings. Markus Boesiger was up to second place whilst his team-mate, Markus Oestreich, is now in fifth. This season, which is as open as ever, there is amazing suspense. Next step, the German track at Nürburgring, on July 24th and 25th.
On Saturday 19th, in damp conditions and on a track full of pitfalls, Mario Boesiger took pole position after the qualifying rounds of the Nogaro Grand Prix. This advantage gave him a 3-second lead over the 2nd place driver at the end of the first race. Markus Oestreich finished third. In the second race on Saturday, the top 8 finishers from the first race set off in reverse order and it was not so good for the two MKR Technology drivers since neither of them secured a top three finish. On Sunday 20th, back to work with Markus Boesiger and Markus Oestreich departing 3rd and 4th respectively ast the beginning of the third race. Whilst Markus Boesiger was able to hold onto his position after the twelve laps, Markus Oestreich dropped down one place, finishing 5th. During the final race of the Nogaro Grand Prix on Sunday, the Swiss driver Boesiger grabbed second place whilst the German driver Oestreich, battling for first place, collided with his direct rival and was not able to finish the race.
In the team championship, MKR Technology-Renault Trucks held onto second place with 120 points. The Swiss driver Markus Boesiger and the German Markus Oestreich occupy 2nd and 5th places respectively in the drivers’ championship, each climbing one place compared to the rankings after the Albacete Grand Prix. The next Grand Prix will take place in Germany, on the legendary Nürburgring on July 24th and 25th.
During this Nogaro Grand Prix, Renault Trucks France invited a number of customers to share the excitement and enjoyment of truck racing. The chosen 180 attended the different races over the weekend. Whilst most observers came from the South-west of France, some fans came from as far afield as Marseille and Bourges. Renault Trucks France guests got a good look at the Magnum in its “Route 66” limited edition. It was really the star of the weekend standing outside the MKR Technology facilities!
> Renault Trucks’ vehicle engine engineers: from series production to racing and vice-versa
Maxime Lebech, 31, racing engine project manager: “Competition racing involves far fewer constraints than series production!”
“I am responsible for everything to do with our engines’ development, preparation and performance. After each race, I collate all the computer data recorded on the engine (performance, reliability, etc.) and we analyse it all with the drivers and team manager. Based on these exchanges, I upgrade the engine throughout the season by, for example, modifying the configuration of the combustion or injection chamber. I also provide engine assistance both for parts and software for each Grand Prix.
“Compared to a “series” engine, work on the DXi 13 Racing is technically quite similar, but the big advantage of competition is that we face fewer constraints! We can test prototypes and our scope of exploration is much broader than for a series vehicle. Furthermore, racing allows us to observe how an HGV diesel engine performs across a different range than we see with series vehicles: instead of extrapolating curves in a theoretical manner, we have new, more extreme reference points, which confirm or disprove our IT simulations. It’s real precious information for us.”
Jean-Marc Neveu, 40, engine engineer responsible for development and implementation of the injection system: “All our measurements are made in microseconds, and adjustments, parts to the nearest micrometre, and pressures are adjusted to a thousandth of a bar.”
“I am half way between competition and series production. Day to day, I develop injection systems for DXi 11 and DXi 13 series engines. It is the work of a watchmaker: all our measurements are made in microseconds, adjustments of parts in micrometres and pressure levels adjusted to several thousandths of a bar. So it was natural that at the outset I should be involved in this project with the MKR team and today, a part of my time is dedicated to developing the DXi 13 Racing injection system. I work in close collaboration with Maxime Lebech. We look together in particular at future upgrades to be made to the DXi 13 Racing engine. During the championship races, I work very closely with engine operations. We talk a lot with the drivers; their feedback is really important and the adjustments and modifications that need to be made come from their input. Mario Kress’s visibility as team manager is also very precious. He’s an outstanding engineer who knows exactly what he wants and this allows us all to move forward.
“Whilst the laws of physics apply in the same way to a series engine and a racing engine, the constraints made upon it are different. Today, in order to progress, we have to take a new look at our habits and what we’ve learned in engineering. It’s really very stimulating to look beyond our existing paradigms! Our current work is more to do with the engine’s performance than its pure power. In the end, it’s clear that everything we learn from the racing engine helps us to improve our series engines.”
All Renault Trucks and MKR Technology news can be found on the following link http://truckracing.renault-trucks.com. Online since May 21st, a new version of this site will, after each race, post race reports, photos, videos and, soon, a new version of Truck Racing by Renault Trucks, the video game that has seen almost 350,000 players share the excitement of the truck world, the number who have downloaded for free it since its launch.