2006 BMW Formula BMW

In Shape for Success

2006 BMW Formula BMW
'The goal we set ourselves from the outset was to build a car that would set new standards in the entry level Formulas.' 'Apart from the high safety standards, the most important characteristics of the Formula BMW FB2 car are its low cost, ease of maintenance and flexibility - the gear ratios, axle kinematics, shock absorbers and wings are all adjustable. So young drivers quickly get to grips with the process of setting up a car.' (Dr. Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director) The flaps on the front and rear wings of the car are adjustable, and as in Formula 1, it has a stepped underbody for safety reasons. A deliberate decision was made not to include a diffuser, so as to increase dynamic stability when driving in another car's slipstream or on uneven surfaces. The monocoque and nose of the Formula BMW FB2 are made of a special carbon fiber/Kevlar compound, making the car extremely light and strong.2006 BMW Formula BMW
The Formula BMW FB2 therefore meets the strict FIA safety requirements governing the much more powerful Formula 3 cars: static load tests on the monocoque and dynamic crash tests on the nose cone. The modular design of the cowling components means that damaged areas can be replaced at relatively little cost. This is the first time that the BMW brand identity has been used on a Formula racing car. The vehicle was designed by BMW's American subsidiary Designworks/ÚSA, in close cooperation with BMW Motorsport in Munich and its French partner Mygale. With its excellent aerodynamics and safety standards, the Formula BMW FB2 is a worthy addition to the BMW family, and the distinctive kidney grille is a visual expression of its proud heritage.

2006 BMW Formula BMW
Últra-lightweight BMW Power
The Formula BMW FB2's powerful four-cylinder engine is taken from the BMW K1200RS motorcycle. Its 140 bhp is enough to accelerate the 1001 lbs car to a top speed of up to 140 mph, depending on the gear ratios used. There were some modifications made to the production engine: the exhaust manifold and silencer have been enhanced, a racing catalytic converter fitted and the engine management system modified. An airbox has also been used to create additional dynamic pressure in the inlet duct and thus generate more power.

The engine's performance characteristics are best at high revs, and the car therefore needs a gearbox capable of handling these. The chosen solution is a Hewland sequential six-speed differential transmission of the kind employed in the more powerful Formula 3 cars. Only a limited number of gear ratios are allowed, chosen for the smoothest possible power delivery on every circuit, while the cardan drive-based engine layout also ensures the best possible frictional connection in the drive train.

2006 BMW Formula BMW
The ultra-lightweight engine has horizontal cylinders, making it much flatter than usual for a Formula car. The BMW FB2 therefore enjoys all the advantages of a very low centre of gravity.

The engine is sealed so that it cannot be tuned by the teams; only Schnitzer Motorsport is permitted to carry out engine maintenance. The result is a longer lifetime, lower maintenance costs, and higher level of equality among teams.

The BMW engine's low weight, high reliability and affordable spare parts make it the ideal choice for a racing car.

Safety: the only thing that matters more than speed
BMW Motorsport's top priority was to build a vehicle that set new standards in safety for a Formula racing car. In fact, the Formula BMW FB2 actually exceeded these initial aims. It meets each and every one of the safety requirements for the much more powerful cars used in Formula 3, and also incorporates many safety features previously found only on Formula One cars. For example, the wheel tethers are identical to those used by the BMW WilliamsF1 Team on the FW23, and keep the wheels on the car in the event of an accident so that they do not fly off and hit the driver, spectators or course marshalls. One safety feature deserving of particular attention is the FORS (FOrmula Rescue Seat), developed especially for the FB2. It includes a number of innovations that make it easier to rescue a driver from a crashed car. If necessary the driver can be removed from the car together with the seat and can be transported while still in it. This reduces the scope for error by the rescue team, ensures that the driver's spinal column is not subjected to any further strain, and saves valuable time and, potentially, lives. In addition, crash structures on the front and rear of the car increase its deformation length and thus absorb energy in the event of an impact, while an aluminum bulkhead prevent the wishbones from penetrating the monocoque.

All the safety features of the monocoque are compatible with the HANS (Head And Neck Support) safety system, which prevents excessive neck strain to the head in the event of a serious accident. The HANS system is mandatory for all drivers in the Formula BMW ÚSA Championship.

Recording artistry
Because claiming high performance superiority is a system of choices, the car's set-up and performance need to be analysed in minute detail. The FB2 is fitted as standard with a data collection system, allowing the driver to access many pieces of information via the steering-wheel display; for example operating temperatures, pressures, lap times, and gear currently selected. An LED display is used to notify the driver of RPM and the optimum moment for gear changes.

Source - BMW

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