September 30, 2009

4000 parts, 21 hours and 45 minutes

This was a very cool part of the 2009 Petit Lemans broadcast, I'm so happy a clip popped up online. It's a time lapse of the team at Highcroft rebuilding the Patron Acura LMP1 car overnight. The original Acura ARX-02a had been destroyed the day before when Scott Sharp tagged a GT2 Porsche during practice.

All of this even more impressive if you consider that amid the chaos of having to go through this epic rebuild someone had the thought to set up and execute the filming of this clip!

After the jump, the clip of Scott Sharp's horrifying crash and the press release from Highcroft regarding the rebuild process.

BRASELTON, GA, Saturday, September 26, 2009: Patrón Highcroft Racing's won their "race" to make the grid and maintain the team's championship assault after taking a bare tub into a complete racecar in less than 24 hours today.

After a horrifying crash for Scott Sharp on Thursday, the tub of the team's Acura ARX-02a was badly damaged and Honda Performance Development flew out a replacement overnight from its headquarters in California.

Beginning the build at 8:00am on Friday morning preparing parts, the Patrón Highcroft squad kicked off when the tub arrived at 9:20am and worked throughout the night to build up a new machine for today's 12th running of the annual Petit Le Mans endurance classic.

The car was ready to roll at 5:45am the following morning - in time for the team to take part in the morning warm-up. Heavy rain overnight actually pushed the warm-up back - allowing the team to take a breath before beginning race day.

After starting from the pit lane, the #9 Acura has quickly moved through the field to be in 7th position after 45 minutes with David Brabham at the wheel.

Brabham will be joined by Scott Sharp and Dario Franchitti for today's 10 hour, 1000 mile classic. The team needs to ensure it completes 70 percent of today's race to gain a points haul to add to its 17 point advantage in the LMP1 championship.

"I couldn't be more proud of the guys. They have just done an amazing job. We faced a similar task last season but this year's Acura is significantly more advanced and it a much more high-tech car.
"The tremendous teamwork is just incredible. Everyone has just put their head down, worked together as a team and made it happen. After the crash on Thursday nobody else thought that this would be possible but our guys just never give up.
"I am really thankful for all the offers of support from our fellow Acura teams, other rivals and local suppliers - we are incredibly grateful.
"Our guys have their eye on the championship and they are not going to let a crash get in the way of that."


Pre-petit work list items: 190

Acura ARX-02a Statistics:
Chassis mechanical parts: 4000
Chassis electrical parts: 250
Engine parts: 100 (excluding internals of engine)
Gearbox parts: 350
Parts with tracked life: 1000 (excluding internals of engine)
Custom hardware (fasteners, o-rings, bearings): 450

Rebuild Statistics:
Parts reused: about 10%

Rebuild Timeline
(times are when tasks were completed, unless otherwise noted)
3:43 PM - Accident
4:15 PM - Damaged assessment finished
4:45 PM - Spare part serial numbers allocated for car build
5:00 PM - Finalized arrangements to ship spare tub
6:00 PM - Spare tub picked up by freight service in California
6:45 PM - Damaged car stripped, reusable parts identified
11:00 PM - Replacement parts prepared and arranged for assembly
12:00 AM - Team back to hotel

7:10 AM - Spare tub arrives at Atlanta airport, met by team members
7:30 AM - Breakfast
8:00 AM - Begin preparation for car build, organize and layout assemblies
9:30 AM - Spare, bare tub arrives at track
11:00 AM - Tub preparation finished
12:00 PM - Lunch
11:30 PM - Fresh engine fitted
1:30 PM - Fresh gearbox fitted
6:00 PM - Dinner
8:00 PM - Four corners fitted on car
9:00 PM - Race spare preparation begins
11:45 PM - Hydraulic/fuel/electronic systems tested

1:00 AM - Engine fired
4:30 AM - Car on ground
5:45 AM - Set up finished
6:45 AM - Race strategy meeting
8:15 AM - Warmup / Practice Session

Crash Statistics:
Just before impact:
Speed: 225 kph (140 mph)
Throttle: 100% (Full)
Lateral acceleration: 1.5g
Gear: 6th (Top gear)
Location: Before turn 2

During collision:
Car did a full rotation every 1.3 seconds
Peak acceleration > 15g
From impact to stop: 6.2 seconds

Source : Patron Highcroft Racing


  1. watching the petit le mans I heard the story about the incredibly fast rebuild( and rivals lending a hand in the process) and it sounded impressive but that just doesn't do it justice after watching this.

  2. I like the way everybody breaks for lunch (midnight snack? breakfast?) at about one minute in, except for the footwell/front suspension guy, who's presumably doing something contingent.

    But the best part is that we don't see manuals splayed open or sheets of drawings lying beside these guys as they work. They just f'ing know what they're doing.

    Amazing sport, just amazing

    -Crid [CridComment @ gmail]

  3. Makes me feel so inadequate. 24 hours in my garage would include 18 hours of head scratching, 4 hours of eating/drinking coffee, 1 hour of phone calls and an hour when someone useful turns up and actually fixes things.

    Also fascinating to see how seldom the is anything (tools, loose bits) on the floor.

  4. I love watching these time lapse car builds, and this is one of the best. It's just a shame they sped it up so much! It would have been awesome to see it at half that speed!

    Would be cool to see a F1 team doing this too.


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