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Mecachrome Evaluating DPi Engine

Mecachrome evaluating adaptation of new LMP1 powerplant for IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship…

Photo: Mecachrome

Mecachrome could be represented in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in the future, with the French engine builder evaluating an adaption of its new LMP1 powerplant for use in a DPi.

The manufacturer has revealed that it’s looking at the “necessary modifications” to adapt its new 3.4-liter turbocharged V6 unit for use in IMSA’s Prototype class.

With all LMP2 cars powered by a spec Gibson V8, Mecachrome’s engine would only be eligible for DPi competition, through a partnership with an OEM.

It is the latest LMP1 engine manufacturer to throw its hat into the ring for IMSA’s emerging prototype formula, which could evolve into a common platform with the FIA and ACO for the next set of LMP1/DPi regulations, due in 2020/21.

Both Nissan and AER currently have a presence in both LMP1 and DPi, with the Japanese manufacturer supplying engines to ByKolles in the WEC and Tequila Patron ESM in IMSA, and AER to power SMP Racing’s BR Engineering BR1 prototypes, while also building Mazda’s MZ-2.0T engine, as well as 

Mecachrome is currently the exclusive engine partner for the FIA Formula 2 Championship, GP3 Series and is also a major supplier for Renault’s Formula One engine.

“The project for this new V6 engine started about two and a half years ago,” said Mecachrome Motorsport Director Bruno Engelric.

“We agreed to build new engines for the GP3 Series and FIA Formula 2 Championship, so when the LMP1 program was launched, it was obvious that this engine would be the perfect basis.

“Obviously, in the WEC LMP1 privateer class, we will have a lot of competition, so we really have to push the limits.

“We’ve had to adapt many aspects of the Mecachrome engine and aren’t limited by rules – our development is only restricted by whatever the team we’re supplying’s budget is.

“It’s a very exciting prospect and we look forward to welcoming any new teams who may want to work with us.”

While a customer team has not yet been confirmed for the WEC, Ginetta announced earlier this year that the Mecachrome powerplant would come standard in its yet-to-be-named car.

Manor was announced as the first customer for the Ginetta, although it has yet to declare its engine choice.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

31 Comments

31 Comments

  1. Antonio Desmond Miles

    December 16, 2017 at 6:41 am

    Hey John. Great article as usual. I checked the specs of this engine and it makes just 50 Hp more than the spec Gibson LMP2 engine. I was hoping for at least 750 Hp. Weren’t the new regulations supposed to allow for more power for LMP1 engines next year?

    • AF

      December 16, 2017 at 7:01 am

      I believe that 650hp is off the basis of last season’s fuel-flow allowance in LMP1.

    • David

      December 16, 2017 at 10:05 am

      Appendix B from the latest technical regulations (06/23/2017) says “No ERS”-cars had a fuel flow limit that is 100.9 kg/h. The Megachrome datasheet says peak power is 650 hp @ 110 kg/h.

      Could not find any ACO/FIA statements about 2018 fuel flow limit.

      • AF

        December 16, 2017 at 12:38 pm

        Its changed for sure, just not been publically announced as it was discussed at the WMC meeting at the start of the month.

  2. Mamozrenesis

    December 16, 2017 at 7:28 am

    This engine could be put on a DPi only through a partnership with an OEM which does not have a GT3-spec engine (the same way Mazda is doing with AER).
    The only OEMs in this situation which come to my mind are Renault, Peugeot and Hyundai.
    To be honest, none of them ever expressed its interest in racing in IMSA.
    So I wonder how the Mecachrome DPi engine is going to happen!

    • Jack

      December 16, 2017 at 9:35 am

      They don’t have to use a gt3 engine. And Hyundai has shown an interest.

    • Barber

      December 16, 2017 at 11:24 am

      Cadillac does not use their GT3 engine.

      • Whoknows

        December 16, 2017 at 12:43 pm

        Yeah, they are using their GT4 engine…………..

    • Whoknows

      December 16, 2017 at 12:29 pm

      While AER builds the Mazda engine, it is actually based on their street car engine and is designed by Mazda in conjunction with AER. That engine is Mazda specs and is not a generic engine like the Mecachrome.

      Given the homologation procedure and the rules, I don’t see how this engine could ever be associated with a car manufacturer unless they start producing a street car with an engine that is at least based on this engine.

      • Bjones

        December 16, 2017 at 1:34 pm

        The only thing about that engine that is Mazda is the nameplate on top and the cash put up to put their name on it, i will give you this Mazda has been bank rolling the motor for years but that motor is pure AER.

        • Whoknows

          December 17, 2017 at 2:24 pm

          You can believe that if you want but it’s based on the 2 liter 4 banger they use in street cars.

          I know AER puts it together (why they stick with AER is a wonder), but it’s based on the street engine.

          • Bjones

            December 17, 2017 at 6:19 pm

            No belief Brother, I have been around that motor just since its conception, from the engineer who builds them to its care taker as well as the design engineer, I have watched it damn near blow up because of a start up mistake, i am not a internet blogger but someone who has been standing right there with it and its lowest to its highest, believe what you want but its pure AER.
            No where did I say I built it or designed it just been around a while and have watched it do some wonderful things as well melt some fine metals. Done here.

  3. Guest

    December 16, 2017 at 11:52 am

    Engine badging is so lazy.

    • Andy Flinn

      December 16, 2017 at 2:01 pm

      Guest, Penske did it with Mercedes in CART.

      • Mike S

        December 16, 2017 at 2:10 pm

        Yeah Ford and Cosworth in CART as well.

        • watchtheGMfansgonuts

          December 17, 2017 at 2:26 pm

          And Chevy and Ilmor in Indycar and ECR and GM in NECKCAR and the Caddies but let’s not say anything bad about GM.

      • keith

        December 18, 2017 at 9:15 am

        Penske did what with Mercedes in CART?

        • Trevor

          December 19, 2017 at 11:47 pm

          Penske and Ilmor built a push-rod, single turbo, 72° 3.4L V8 to take advantage of a loophole that allowed more boost to push-rod motors and Mercedes paid to slap their name on it. The motor made over 1000hp and absolutely dominated the ’94 CART season.

  4. ANGEL

    December 16, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    Who thinks Porsche will join IMSA with DP w/flat six turbo? I think it’s a grand possibility. GO PORSCHE!

    • Larry

      December 16, 2017 at 12:51 pm

      As a Porsche owner, I really, really, really, want them to get into DPi but am not confident they will.

      It would make sense and it would cost them a lot less than the 919, that’s for sure and it would really not be that much more expensive than GTE/GTLM program with the chassis being restricted to the 4 manufacturers and roughly GT3 or GTE spec engines with turbos. 🙂

      • angel

        December 16, 2017 at 1:00 pm

        Larry Porsche is always ahead of the curve so i think thats one of the reasons they turbo charged all 911s. It would a pleasure to hear a flat six turbo.

        • Larry

          December 17, 2017 at 2:31 pm

          Actually, the reason that they have gone all turbo is the governments over there are even worse than the US about the “green” crap. That’s what everyone I know at Porsche says.

          It’s not like the flat 6 is a gas hog but they are under pressure to go more green so they have gone smaller engines with turbos.

          No real complaint though because I love the sound of a flat 6 with a turbo more than without one but love the sound either way and am really surprised they didn’t turbo the GTE/GTLM or GT3 cars.

          Now, the Cayman and Boxster with the turbo flat4 sounds like a Subapoop.

          Yeccchhhh………………..

    • Carefull with that Eugene, axe.

      December 18, 2017 at 7:12 am

      It will never happen.

  5. kv

    December 16, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    RENAoLT/PEOGEOT have contracted to Meccachrome many times,but this is a GT/PROTO 2020 LMP 1 IN HOUSE PROJECT

  6. Bjones

    December 16, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    I was curious if anyone had an idea to whom MecaChrome would sell or build the motor for. Not seeing a French company here as they do not sell in the states, but was wondering about some German companies but they are to proud to buy an engine. So who besides, you say Hyundai? Besides that, to whom did they build F1 motors for or is this just a discussion starter. Another thought: do we want to go down this rat hole again. I will let long time racing fans figure out what I meant by that, should not be hard.

  7. matt

    December 16, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    Koenigsegg DPI!! XD

  8. lukas

    December 16, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    If a 5th DPI manufacturer wanted to enter IWSC, and there are only 4 approved P2 chassis available, can one of the 4 P2 chassis manufacturers provide services to 2 DPI manufacturers? There would be some kind of conflict of interest, or possibly some favoritism, if this took place, right?
    What is the current state of play if a 5th or even a 6th DPI manufacturer wanted to enter IMSA?

    • thomas

      December 16, 2017 at 9:30 pm

      yes. a dpi can be based on any of the chassis options so there’s no exclusivity there. it’s not a case of once you’ve got one you’re done

  9. Sol Shine

    December 17, 2017 at 10:46 am

    I don’t know why they would bother, in fact I don’t know why anyone would bother when Nascar, er, IMSA, keeps favoring their buddies at Generous Motors so that their dinosaur V8 from the 50s keeps winning on torque. How is this a progressive series when an antique engine like that is given every break so it can win? Just lunacy.

    • watchtheGMfansgonuts

      December 17, 2017 at 2:22 pm

      Sol Shine, absolutely agree.

      I know an engineer with one of the DPi cars who flatly says he doesn’t know why they bother given the NASCAR relationship with Government Motors.

      Yeah, for those who think that’s over, they are still partially owned by the UAW and the Canadian government.

    • 919

      December 18, 2017 at 9:48 pm

      I happen to have a soft spot for those ohv v8.

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