The historic Milanese brand has unveiled the car with which it aims to participate in the Endurance World Championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans from 2024. The goal is to debut on the track at the 6 Hours of Monza on 9 July
The time for renderings is over: the Isotta Fraschini Type 6 Competition it is a matter of fact. The car built in Padua by Michelotto and cared for by the English team Vector Sport was officially presented in the historic setting of the ACI in Milan. Isotta Fraschini returns to racing 123 years after the foundation of the brand, and does so by choosing the most difficult path: to compete in the queen of endurance races, the 24 Hours of Le Mans. After months of work for the construction of the body, the mechanics and the engine, the car is finally complete: the next step is the homologation in the wind tunnel and the final approval by the FIA and the Aco, the entity that organizes Le Mans. The goal is to get on track in April, and then make his racing debut at the 6 hours of Monza scheduled for July 9.
The design of the Tipo 6 LMH Competizione is entirely made in Italy. From the beginning, Isotta Fraschini relied on Michelotto Engineering by Giuliano Michelotto, historic Paduan tuner who has been building racing cars since 1969. In his history, he boasts dozens of titles and 11 victories at the 24 hours of Le Mans. His collaboration with Ferrari was important, for which he created the rally versions of the 308, the F40 in the GT version, the 333SP from Le Mans and the racing 348, 360, 430 and 458. The body and components were built in the Padua atelier, while the engine is made in collaboration with the German Hwa but the intellectual property belongs to Isotta Fraschini. The only non-Italian component is the team chosen to bring the car to the track: it is Vector Sportsa British structure that made its debut in the World Endurance Championship in 2022 in the Lmp2 class and managed by Gary Holland, former team manager of Jota Sport.
The hypercar technique
The car is built according to the Lmh regulation to compete in the Hypercar category. This means that Isotta Fraschini takes care of every construction aspect of the car: body, chassis and engine are made entirely in-house by Michelotto. Unlike the small manufacturers Glickenhaus and Vanwall, Isotta Fraschini has chosen to build a car with a hybrid four-wheel drive system: the thermal unit is in fact associated with a 270 HP electric motor positioned at the front, which is activated only when specific conditions defined in the technical regulation. The control unit software is designed directly in Padua on a Bosch basis, while the battery system is made by Williams Advanced Engineering. The petrol engine is instead a 3.0 V6 single turbine, a different solution from all those already present on the grid. As per regulation, the maximum system power of the propulsion unit is 500 kW, or 680 HP. The total weight of the car is 1,000 kg.
The next steps
The car has reached the final stage of the construction process: tests in the Sauber wind tunnel in Hinwil, Switzerland, and those on the 4WD test bench are scheduled for March. At that point, the second body already built will be subjected to crash tests for FIA homologation, while the complete car will subsequently undergo the complete control and scrutiny process to obtain the green light from the international federation. Realistically, the Milanese company’s ambition is to get on track for testing around April, thus having time to prepare for its debut at the 6 Hours of Monza on 9 July. If this entry is accepted, the car could race outside the standings, gathering valuable experience and kilometers ahead of the 2024 season, when Vector Sport will try to enter two cars. Claudio Berro, motorsport director of Isotta Fraschini, confirmed that the agreement with the English team provides for the deployment of two cars, but that the production capacity would allow the production and sale of two more Tipo 6 LMH Competizione to customer teams, providing them with all the necessary support. On the other hand, no news was released on the drivers: “We certainly have an agreement with Vector and we could use their Lmp2 drivers for tests if necessary, but we think that for the development of the car it will be necessary to put drivers with experience in this category on the track” Berro confirmed.
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