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News

Racing for Holland to use new suspension technology developed by Creuat and Corus in Le-Mans 24 Hour

Corus Automotive : 15 June, 2005  (Application Story)
The Racing for Holland team entry in this year's gruelling 24-hour Le Mans race will be using a unique hydropneumatic interconnected suspension system designed to maximise the racecars' traction, grip and stability, which ultimately will help it go faster.
The Racing for Holland team entry in this year's gruelling 24-hour Le Mans race will be using a unique hydropneumatic interconnected suspension system designed to maximise the racecars' traction, grip and stability, which ultimately will help it go faster.

The new system developed by Creuat, a Catalan suspension technology specialist, with material knowledge, expertise and support from Corus, one of the world's leading steel producers, has tested very well in the build up to the 2005 Le-Mans 24 hour race and has quickly demonstrated its potential to help the Racing for Holland team improve the vehicle dynamics of its racecar.

Commenting on using the Creuat suspension technology, Jan Lammers, Racing for Holland driver and winner of Le Mans in 1988 said: 'We have been very impressed during testing on how the new system can help maximise vehicle stability and improve traction and grip, especially over irregular, bumpy surfaces. It will give us much more flexibility in the set up of our racecar depending on physical conditions during the race and we are confident that it will help us produce a good result.'

In conventional suspensions, components such as the springs and dampers are fitted to each wheel and react to individual wheel movements only. The Creuat system, however, is designed to incorporate all the elements in a central device, linking front and rear suspension together. Importantly, instead of just reacting to individual wheel movements, the Creuat system can allow the vehicle's suspension to react separately to roll, pitch and vertical body movements, thus helping to control weight distribution among the wheels.

Josep Fontdecaba, Engineering Director Creuat added: 'Racing for Holland will be able to take advantage of the adjustable damper and spring rates for roll and pitch to maximise stability and softer vertical and axle crossing movements to maximise traction and grip. The Le-Mans 24 hours race is one of the longest and toughest in the world and we believe that the new suspension system will give Racing for Holland, the only team using this technology, a competitive edge this weekend.'

The Creuat system has also been successfully trialed and tested in a number of other prototype vehicles ranging from large off-road to niche sports cars. Mr Fontdecaba continues: 'However, hydropneumatic suspension systems rely on strong yet lightweight materials to contain the gas used as the mechanical spring. It is therefore very important that the right materials are used which is why we have worked closely with Corus utilising their knowledge of materials, processes and vehicle engineering to help develop our new suspension technology.'

Kevin Draper, Manager Product Market Development Automotive, Corus Strip Products IJmuiden said: 'Corus is a company at the forefront of understanding material properties and their applications. We are delighted to add our extensive expertise, particularly in the area of lightweight high-strength steels, to the development of this new suspension technology and wish the Racing for Holland team success in the Le-Mans 24 hour race.'

The 73rd annual Le Mans 24 hour race takes place on Saturday 18th June starting at 4pm.
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